This section provides the latest statistics on vehicle numbers and the average age of vehicles in New Zealand.
The use of motor vehicles can impact human health through air pollution, crashes and accidents, climate change as well as through noise. In particular, motor vehicle emissions produced through the combustion of petrol and diesel affect outdoor air quality and human health.
Diesel-powered vehicles and vehicles which are older or poorly maintained tend to produce more emissions. Recent evidence also shows that diesel engine fumes can cause lung cancer .
light passenger vehicles (passenger cars and vans)
light commercial vehicles (which includes the following if under 3,500 kg: goods vans, trucks, utilities, buses and motor caravans)
trucks (including the following if over 3,500 kg: goods vans, trucks, utilities and motor caravans)
buses (only those over 3,500 kg, with lighter examples classed as 'light commercial vehicles')
motorcycles (including mopeds)
electric vehicles (including pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles).
1. Benbrahim-Tallaa L, Baan RA, Grosse Y, Lauby-Secretan B, El Ghissassi F, Bouvard V, et al. (2012). Carcinogenicity of diesel-engine and gasoline-engine exhausts and some nitroarenes. The Lancet Oncology 13(7): 663-664. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(12)70280-2
2. Ministry of Transport. 2021. 2020 Annual Fleet Statistics. Wellington: Ministry of Transport. Available online: https://www.transport.govt.nz/statistics-and-insights/fleet-statistics/sheet/2020-annual-fleet-statistics