- In 2018, there were about 4.3 million motor vehicles in New Zealand, the highest number ever.
- There were 802 light vehicles per 1,000 people in 2018. This represents one of the highest car ownership rates in the world
- Light electric vehicles accounted for 2.1% of all light vehicle registrations in December 2019,compared to 0.03% in January 2014.
- The average age of the light vehicle fleet increased from 11.8 years in 2000 to 14.1 years in 2018
|Main mode of transport to work
- In 2015–18, travel by private vehicle accounted for 79.9% of the time New Zealanders spent travelling to work every year.
- About 15.7% of commuting time was spent using active transport (walking, jogging or cycling). A further 6.5% of commuting time was spent on public transport.
- There has been little change in the use of all transport modes over time.
- The Wellington region had the highest combined use of active and public transport to work.
|Household travel time by mode of transport
- Between 2015–18, 82.8% of all annual travel time was spent in private motor vehicles. A further 11.6% was spent using active transport, while 4.2% was spent on public transport.
- There has been little change over time in the proportion of time spent on different transport modes.
- The Wellington region had the highest proportion of travel time spent using active and public transport
(27.6% of all travel time), while Gisborne had the lowest (3.3%) share of time spent using these modes
|Active transport to and from school
- The percentage of children walking to school dropped from 42% in 1989/90 to 29% in 2010–14. For cycling, the percentage dropped from 12% in 1989/90 to 2% in 2010–14.
- In 2017/18, less than half (43.2%) of children aged 5–14 years used active transport (such as walking and cycling) to and from school.
- There has been no significant change in the use of active transport among 5-14-year-olds in over 10 years, from 2006/07 to 2017/18.
- Children in Northland, Wairarapa and Tairāwhiti District Health Boards (DHBs) had a lower use of active transport to school in 2014-17 than the national rate.
|Unmet need for GP services due to lack of transport
- In 2016/17, 2.6% of children and 3.2% of adults had a medical problem but did not visit a GP due to a lack of transport, in the past 12 months.
- There has been little change in these rates since 2011/12.
- There were higher rates of this unmet need in Māori (7.5% of adults and 4.8% of children), Pacific (7.8% of adults and 4.5% of children) and people living in high deprivation areas (4.8% of children and 7.2% of adults).
- Rates of unmet GP need due to a lack of transport were higher in Hawke's Bay, Hutt and Counties Manukau DHBs in 2011–14.
|Road traffic injury deaths and hospitalisations
- The number of road traffic injury deaths increased from 2013 (253 deaths) to 2017 (379 deaths).
- Both the mortality and hospitalisation rates for road traffic injuries have climbed year-on-year since 2014.
- Motorcyclists were at a higher risk of traffic injury deaths and hospitalisations per time spent travelling.
- Males, young people aged 15–24 years, Māori, and people living in more deprived areas generally had higher rates of traffic injury deaths and hospitalisations.
- West Coast, Tairawhiti and South Canterbury DHBs had the highest mortality rates for traffic injury in 2009-2014. In 2018, the highest hospitalisation rates for traffic injuries were in Northland DHB.
- The number of traffic injury deaths for children aged 0-14 years decreased from 2007 (30 deaths) to 2014 (13 deaths).
|Health burden due to road transport
Road transport was estimated to be responsible for 650 deaths in New Zealand in 2012.
These deaths included:
- 308 deaths due to traffic crashes
- 218 deaths due to particulate matter (PM10)
- 65 deaths due to nitrogen dioxide exposure
- 59 deaths due to noise pollution.