New Zealand’s vehicle fleet breaks records

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineSeptember 4, 2017

If you thought New Zealand‘s roads were becoming more congested you‘d be right – more than 300,000 light vehicles took to the roads last year.

The Ministry of Transport has released its Annual Vehicle Fleet Statistics, showing the size of New Zealand‘s vehicle fleet, the number of vehicles per capita, vehicle kilometres travelled, and distance travelled per capita all increased during 2016.

“Over 3.6 million light vehicles are on New Zealand roads, with a record high of almost 307,000 light vehicles entering our fleet in 2016,” says Peter Mersi, secretary for transport.

Once vehicles being scrapped are taken into account, the light vehicle fleet grew by more than 146,000 vehicles, the highest annual growth rate for the past 15 years.

“There are now around 774 light vehicles per 1,000 people, the highest level ever,” says Mersi. “Vehicle kilometres travelled in 2016 increased by 4.6% to more than 45 billion kilometres. Each New Zealander travelled on average 9,683km, the highest since 2007.”

Statistics showed that with the entry of so many new vehicles, New Zealand‘s light petrol fleet is becoming more fuel-efficient, using on average half a litre less fuel to travel 100 kilometres in 2016 than in 2013. The number of electric vehicles (including plug-ins) grew significantly from 964 in 2015 to 2,438 in 2016. In 2000 there were only 51 electric vehicles in New Zealand.

Mersi says the average age of the light vehicle fleet has remained constant at 14 years, above the international average.

“These fleet statistics help transport planners, the vehicle industry, and others to understand emerging trends and to make sound decisions in a constantly evolving transport environment,” Mersi says.

The Annual Vehicle Fleet Statistics are available on the Ministry‘s website: