Notes on the data: Housing, rent assistance and vehicle access

Private dwellings with no motor vehicle, 2021


Policy context:  In the 2021 Census, 673,969 private dwellings (7.3% of all dwellings) reported having no motor vehicle [1]. While some of these households may represent more affluent, inner city dwellings, the majority are more likely to be disadvantaged households. A household can be considered to be disadvantaged if it lacks the resources to participate fully in society [2]. Ready access to transport provides a link with social and work-related activities. While public transport can adequately provide this link for some households, for others this access is achieved through owning a car. People living in households without a car face many disadvantages in gaining access to jobs, services and recreation, especially if they are in low-density outer suburbia, or in rural or remote areas, or in a country town. The ability to afford to run and maintain a vehicle in reliable condition to meet their transport needs, and the costs of registering and insuring a vehicle, are other important factors.


  1. A1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2021 Census of Population and Housing General community profile Australia Canberra ABS 2022. Available from:; accessed 25 August 2022.
  2. Townsend P. Deprivation. J Soc Policy. 1987;16:125-46.

Notes:  The numerator excludes the 1.5% of dwellings for which the number of motor vehicles was not stated: however, these records are included in the denominator.


Geography:  Data available by Population Health Area, Local Government Area, Primary Health Network, Quintile of socioeconomic disadvantage of area and Quintiles within PHNs, and Remoteness Area


Numerator:  Occupied private dwellings with no motor vehicle garaged or parked there on Census night


Denominator:  All occupied private dwellings


Detail of analysis:  Percent


Source:  Compiled by PHIDU based on the ABS Census of Population and Housing, August 2021.


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