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Number of motor vehicles

Number of motor vehicles relates to how many vehicles are available to the household for private use. It is based on the following question asked in the census:

“How many motor vehicles (not counting motorbikes) do the people who live here have available for their use?”

Vehicles that belong to visitors, vehicles that can be used only for work, or only on the farm, and motorbikes, or scooters are excluded.

Two or more motor vehicles increasingly common

Two motor vehicles per household was the most common, at 38.4 percent (565,098 households) in 2013. In 1996, one motor vehicle was the most common, at 42.7 percent (518,454 households).

Figure 5

Graph, Number of motor vehicles, 1996, 2001, 2006, and 2013 Censuses.

A decreasing proportion of households have no motor vehicle. Households without a motor vehicle made up:

  • 7.9 percent of households in 2013 (116,379 households)
  • 8.1 percent of households in 2006
  • 12.0 percent of households in 1996.

One motor vehicle was available to a lower proportion of households than in previous years:

  • 37.6 percent in 2013 (552,813 households)
  • 37.9 percent in 2006
  • 42.7 percent in 1996.

In contrast, three or more motor vehicles were available to a greater proportion of households:

  • 16.1 percent in 2013 (237,468 households)
  • 15.9 percent in 2006
  • 11.8 percent in 1996.

Wellington region households are the most likely to not have a motor vehicle

Of the regions, Wellington had the highest percentage of households with no access to a vehicle (11.7 percent), followed by Gisborne (10.2 percent).

Tasman had the highest percentage of households with access to three or more motor vehicles (19.5 percent), followed by Canterbury (19.1 percent). The Wellington region was the lowest, at 11.1 percent.

Households in Auckland central city have lowest number of motor vehicles

Of Auckland local boards, the Waitemata local board area had the highest proportion of households with no access to motor vehicles, at 25.4 percent. This was up from 19.0 percent in 2006. Waitemata includes the Auckland central city.

The Auckland local boards where households were most likely to have access to three or more motor vehicles were Franklin and Upper Harbour (both 24.9 percent), followed by Rodney (24.5 percent).

Figure 6

Graph, Number of motor vehicles by Auckland local board area, 2013 Census.

One-family households most likely to have access to two motor vehicles

In 2013, more than half of ‘couple only’ and ‘couple with children’ households had access to two motor vehicles (54.5 percent and 54.1 percent, respectively).

One parent with children households were most likely to have one motor vehicle, at 58.9 percent.

Table 2
Number of motor vehicles by household composition

2013 Census

One-family households

No motor vehicle 

One motor vehicle 

Two motor vehicles 

Three or more motor vehicles 

Total households stated 

 Number 

Couple only

 9,375

 114,561

 211,782

 52,818

 388,539

Couple only and other person(s)

 1,293

 5,799

 11,199

 14,361

 32,652

Couple with child(ren)

 4,818

 81,762

 215,847

 96,801

 399,228

Couple with child(ren) and other person(s)

 585

 5,664

 13,410

 13,698

 33,351

One parent with child(ren)

 17,154

 78,567

 29,703

 7,899

 133,326

One parent with child(ren) and other person(s)

 3,486

 11,607

 12,324

 5,010

 32,430

 Total one-family household

 36,708

 297,960

 494,268

 190,590

 1,019,526

 Percent 

Couple only

 2.4

 29.5

 54.5

 13.6

 …

Couple only and other person(s)

 4.0

 17.8

 34.3

 44.0

 …

Couple with child(ren)

 1.2

 20.5

 54.1

 24.2

 …

Couple with child(ren) and other person(s)

 1.8

 17.0

 40.2

 41.1

 …

One parent with child(ren)

 12.9

 58.9

 22.3

 5.9

 …

One parent with child(ren) and other person(s)

 10.7

 35.8

 38.0

 15.4

 …

Total one-family household

 3.6

 29.2

 48.5

 18.7

 … 

Symbol: … not applicable
Source: Statistics New Zealand

Figure 7

Graph, Number of motor vehicles for one-family households, 2013 Census.  

Half of multi-family households have access to three or more motor vehicles

In 2013, half of households containing two or more families (with or without other people) had access to at least three motor vehicles.

One-fifth of one-person households had no access to motor vehicles. At 20.6 percent, the proportion was down from 22.9 percent in 2006.

Almost 7 in 10 one-person households had access to one motor vehicle. At 68.5 percent, the proportion was up from 66.5 percent in 2006.

Figure 8
Graph, Number of motor vehicles for selected household compositions, 2013 Census.

Households with income over $70,000 most likely to have access to two motor vehicles

Access to motor vehicles increases with household income. Of households with an income of $70,001 or more, over half had access to two motor vehicles.

Of households with an income of $100,001 or more, 31.9 percent had access to three or more motor vehicles.

For households with an income of $20,000 or less, 28.7 percent did not have access to a motor vehicle. Most (56.2 percent) had access to one motor vehicle.

Figure 9

Graph, Number of motor vehicles by grouped household income, 2013 Census.

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