Feb 01, 2016

A bit of trivia – older drivers rule the roads

A bit of trivia – older drivers rule the roads

Our drivers are more likely to be older than younger.

Eighty-year-old-plus Australians are now more likely to drive than 18-24 year-olds, the latest national data from Roy Morgan shows.

Over the past eight years, the proportion of Australians aged 80-plus who get behind the wheel has steadily increased—while 18-24 year-olds have become less inclined to drive.

For the first time, in 2015 the oldies surpassed the youngsters as the more likely group to drive: 69 per cent for 80-plus (up from 59 per cent  in 2007) compared with 68 per cent for those 18-24 (down from 72 per cent).

Even working in from the bookends, all older groups are now more likely to drive than their younger counterparts: 75-79 year-olds are now more likely to drive than 25-29 year-olds (85 per cent vs 78 per cent), while both 65-69 (91 per cent) and 70-74 year-olds (87 per cent) have surpassed the 30-34 group (85 per cent).

In 2007, driving incidence peaked at 93 per cent of people aged 35-49; the peak is still 93 per cent—but today it’s among 50-64 year-olds. Australians aged 16 or 17 are also slightly less likely to drive than they were eight years ago (37 per cent, down one percentage point).

Old-drivers

As we start driving later and keep driving longer, this impacts the demographics of new car buyers. In 2007, just 38 per cent of those who intended to buy new car within the next four years were aged 50 and over.  As of 2015, this group makes up 45 per cent of the new car market, with growth sharpest among those aged 65-plus (15 per cent of the market, up from 9 per cent).

Of the nearly 2.3 million Australians planning on getting a new car in the next four years, as many are now aged 35-49 (30 per cent, down 4 percentage points) as 50-64 (also 30 per cent, up 1 percentage point), while just one in four are aged 34 and under (down from 28 per cent).

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