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More than 2.2 million intend to purchase a new vehicle but what fuel?

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Survey (Australia), January 2002 - December 2017, 3 month moving average, Quarterly sample =13,297. Base: Australians 14+.
Some 2.26 million Australians intend to purchase a new vehicle in the next four years. This is just below the same period last year (2.29 million) which lead up to the record sales in 2017, making it a very positive outlook for 2018.

These results are from Roy Morgan’s Single Source survey of over 50,000 consumers per annum. The latest data is for the three months ended December 2017.

In addition to strong four year levels of vehicle buying intentions, one year intentions are up by 44,000 (7.7%) over the same period last year to be currently on 614,000 and a further indication that 2018 is looking very positive for new vehicle sales.

New Vehicle Purchase Intention: December 2017
 Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Survey (Australia), January 2002 - December 2017, 3 month moving average, Quarterly sample =13,297. Base: Australians 14+.

Increased interest in alternatives to petrol

Among intending new vehicle buyers over the next four years, there is an increasing level of interest in alternative fuels to petrol. The share of new vehicle sales in Australia in 2017 (VFACTS) that had petrol engines was 75.3%. Among intending buyers over the next four years, only 61.9% think that their next vehicle will most likely have a petrol engine.

Fuel preference – New Car Intenders vs. VFACTS Sales
 Source: Sales Share in 2017 (Private Buyers) - VFACTS New Vehicle Sales, January 2017 - December 2017
Source: "What type of fuel or engine type is your next vehicle most likely to be?" - Roy Morgan Single Source Survey (Australia), January 2017 - December 2017, Australians 14+ intending to purchase a new car within the next 4 years who answered yes to one of the fuel / engine types, n=928

Alternatives to petrol all showed higher preference levels among intenders compared to their share of current sales, with diesel 5.3% points higher on 29.2%, Hybrid (petrol and electric)  higher by 4.7% points (to 5.2%), fully electric higher by 3.0% points (to 3.1%) and LPG 0.6% higher (to 0.6%).

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan says:

 “Over the last decade or more, there has been considerable growth in the new vehicle market but this is now facing the real challenge of rapidly changing technologies with the resultant fuel preferences. Most manufacturers are ramping up their development in areas such as electric vehicles and driverless cars but it will ultimately be the consumer that will determine who the winners are.

We have already seen some early signs of changes in this industry, particularly in the very rapid changes in fuel preferences, the move aware from cars to SUVs and the speed and range of new models entering the market.

“Roy Morgan has been collecting and analysing a wide range of automotive data for many years across all the major manufacturers and as a result have a database uniquely suited to tracking consumer behaviour and attitudes in this fast changing industry.”

For comments or more information please contact:
Roy Morgan - Enquiries
Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309

About Roy Morgan

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

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%