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Senior drivers overtake 25-34 year-olds on the road

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Aust.): August 2002–July 2003 & August 2012 – July 2013, Drivers 14+ n= 86,934

The proportion of Australian seniors (65+) who drive has grown by 10% in the last 10 years—but 25-34 year olds are today less inclined to get behind the wheel, the latest research from Roy Morgan shows.

Australians aged 65+ are now more likely to drive than 25-34 year olds. Back in 2003, 87.5% of the younger group drove compared with 75.9% of seniors; today, 83.3% of seniors are still behind the wheel but just 82.0% of Australians in their late 20s and early 30s drive.

The proportional rise among seniors equates to over one million more motorists aged over 65, and now makes these drivers the third largest bloc of road users behind 35-49 and 50-64 year olds, with the 25-34 year-olds bumped down to fourth.

In other age groups, the proportion of drivers is relatively unchanged since 2003. Over 92% of 35-64 year olds drive, and 71% of 18-24 year olds have taken to the road.   

There are now 15.6 million drivers on our roads—an increase of more than 2.6 million over the last decade. The overall proportion of Australians driving (81.9%) is up less than 0.1% since 2003.  

% of Australians who drive – by age

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Aust.): August 2002–July 2003 & August 2012 – July 2013, Drivers 14+ n= 86,934

Jordan Pakes, Group Account Director – Automotive, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Almost the same proportion of Aussies are driving now as 10 years ago. But with the population increasing by around 20% in that time, this means there are also 20% more drivers on our roads.

“Over the last decade, the number of drivers 65+ has increased by more than a million, accounting for close to 40% of the overall growth in driver numbers.

“Across the major age groups, the only segment to have declined significantly is the 25-34 years olds – with 82% currently driving, down from 87.5% in 2003.

“According to Roy Morgan’s revolutionary classification system Helix Personas – closer analysis reveals that almost 40% of non-driving 25-34 year olds belong to the Metrotech Community. The vast majority of Metrotechs live in urban areas of capital cities, are well educated professionals and typically renting apartments. 

“Conversely, drivers aged 65+ are much more likely to be in the Golden Years Community. This community group is likely to be found in rural areas or regional cities/towns and potentially more likely to be reliant on a vehicle as a means of transport.”

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For more information on our Helix Personas, visit

For comments or more information please contact:

Jordan Pakes, Group Account Director – Automotive

Telephone: +61 (3) 9224 5302

Image credit: pupok, Flickr

About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%