We’re not getting any younger
It’s true to say that newer cars are safer cars. They come with more technology to help identify or avoid collisions. They have improved designs that help to better protect passengers. In a crash, you are almost always better off in a newer car.
In fact, reducing the average age of cars on Australian roads is part of the National Road Safety Strategy, which all Australian governments committed to in 2011.
That’s why new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), that show the average age of our cars has increased from 9.7 years in 2010, to 9.8 years in 2016, are so worrying.
According to the ABS, NSW has the newest average cars at 9.3 years, while Tasmanians, on average, drive the oldest cars 12.3 years.
All up Australian cars are a lot older than those in comparative countries such as the UK (7.7 years) and Ireland (8.8 years).
One way to help more people get into safer vehicles is to reduce the cost. Right now, the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) and our member clubs are urging the Australian Government to do what it can to help reduce the price of new cars.
This would help put more Australians into newer, safer cars sooner.
So what can the Government do?
Increase competition in car imports
The Government has announced a plan to allow Australians to directly import new cars from markets with similar safety standards to Australia.
This will increase competition and help put downward pressure on new car prices.
The AAA continues to urge the Government to make the changes it announced in February last year.
Remove car import taxes and tariffs
There is an opportunity for the Australian Government to help make newer, safer vehicles more accessible to more Australians sooner by abolishing importation taxes on vehicles.
With the closure of the last of Australia’s vehicle manufacturing plants in 2017, these importation taxes and tariffs, which will force Australians to pay an extra $4.7 billion for new vehicles over the next four years, are no longer required.
As we said at the start, newer cars are safer cars. Newer cars are also cleaner cars. With 1200 people killed on our roads each year, 45,000 seriously injured, and the Australian Government looking for ways to reduce vehicle emissions, it’s time for the Government to take the needed steps to make new cars more affordable.