Motor vehicles

This section provides the latest statistics on vehicle numbers and the average age of vehicles in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Motor vehicles produce air pollution, including particulate matter, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and other gases. These air pollutants can have adverse health effects, including cardiovascular (heart) and respiratory (lung) diseases.

Diesel vehicles, older cars and cars not well maintained tend to produce more emissions. Recent evidence also shows that diesel engine fumes can cause lung cancer [1].

Factsheets and Metadata

Metadata: Average age of vehicles in New Zealand Download report PDF
Factsheet: Average age of motor vehicles (July 2022) View interactive report Download report PDF
Metadata: Number of motor vehicle registrations, by vehicle type and fuel type Download report PDF
Factsheet: Number of motor vehicles (July 2022) View interactive report Download report PDF


Information about the data

Vehicle numbers and average age

Source: Ministry of Transport – The New Zealand Vehicle Fleet Annual Statistics and Monthly electric and hybrid light vehicle registrations/tables
Definition: Number and average age (years) of vehicles in the New Zealand vehicle fleet. Six categories of vehicles are used:

  • light passenger vehicles (passenger cars and vans)
  • light commercial vehicles (the following if under 3,500 kg: goods vans, trucks, utilities, buses and motor caravans)
  • trucks (the following if over 3,500 kg: goods vans, trucks, utilities and motor caravans)
  • buses (those over 3,500 kg)
  • 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. 2020. 2019 Annual Fleet Statistics. Wellington: Ministry of Transport. Available online:

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