Bumper to bumper? Blame the grey nomads

If you think Australian roads are increasingly cluttered with Volkswagens and their upmarket Audi cousins, you'd be right.

Of the 30 most popular car marques in Australia, passenger cars made by Germany's Volkswagen group have flooded onto the roads at a greater rate over the past five years than any other brand, government statisticians have found.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released its annual census of motor vehicles, revealing extraordinary growth of campervans, motorcycles, diesel cars on state motor registers.

Consistent with an ageing population of baby-boomers pursuing the "grey nomad" lifestyle, statisticians found the number of registered campervans has leapt 21.6 per cent since 2007; there are now 52,600 campervans registered, up more than 9000, in rounded figures.

That's twice the growth rate of passenger cars on the road. In the past five years, the number of cars on the road has increased 10.9 per cent to 12.7 million, up from 11.4 million cars in 2007.

All up, there are 16.7 million registered motor vehicles of all types in Australia, including trucks, vans and bikes, in a nation with a population of 22.7 million people.

New South Wales has the most motor vehicles, with 4.9 million registered, followed by Victoria with 4.3 million and Queensland with 3.5 million.

The most prevalent vehicle brand on the road is Toyota, with 2.5 million registrations, ahead of Holden with 2.05 million and Ford with 1.6 million.

The popularity of Fords is declining, the statisticians found, with 12.5 per cent fewer Fords on the road compared with five years ago, when there were 1.8 million.

Of the top 30 brands on state registers, Audi experienced the highest growth, their numbers on the road swelling 103.8 per cent since 2007 to 94,424 registered, growing at a rate of 14.9 per cent in the past year alone.

Its parent company, Volkswagen, swelled in numbers 102.2 per cent since 2007, to 255,486 registered "veedubbs" nationwide, growing 16.7 per cent in the past year.

The number of diesel-fuelled passenger cars on the roads has more than doubled in five years, up 103 per cent, from 434,000 to 882,000 cars.

Motorcycles, including scooters, are fast growing in popularity, with registered bikes up 38.5 per cent in five years, to 709,000, a rate approaching four times that of the growth in cars.

The average age of cars on the road remains relatively unchanged, at 10 years.

The story Bumper to bumper? Blame the grey nomads first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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