2010 NMR September Update – Average Mileage in Ireland

Today we uploaded via batch, over 75,000 mileage records collected from third party sources during September. As of the 9thOctober 2010 the National Mileage Register contains 3,553,707 records.

Average Mileage in Ireland – Some Statistics from the NMR

The concept of average mileage comes up from time to time, especially when filling out things like insurance applications or buying a used car. Just what is the average mileage for a vehicle? Sustanable Energy Ireland (SEI) were first to reliably report average mileage statistics back in 2006 (PDF) based on NCT data. They found that:

  • In 2005 the average annual mileage of all cars was 16,894 kilometres (10,498 miles) per car
  • Petrol cars were found to have an average annual mileage of 15,969 kilometres (9,923 miles)
  • Diesel cars, as would be expected, had a higher figure of 23,817 kilometres (14,799 miles)

The SEI article makes for interesting reading and funnily enough they went on to say:

Anecdotally the average mileage of a private car was thought to be around 19,000 kilometres (12,000 miles) and some estimates put it as high as 24,000 kilometres (15,000 miles)

When I read this I wondered how the September 2010 batch of data compared with the findings derived from NCT data back in 2005. So a few DB queries later I came up with this table*:

Year* Miles Kilometers**
2010 6805 9987
2009 15433 24905
2008 29440 49684
2007 42365 70905
2006 52594 85124
2005 61806 96455
2004 72994
2003 80757
2002 88941
2001 93086
2000 97330

When this data is charted we get:

Average Mileage September 2010


Extrapolating to get an average we come with a figure of 10,827*** miles per year. This figure is very close to the published figure of 10,498 miles per year from SEI.

As expected newer vehicles tend to do higher mileage, roughly 1,000 miles per year more than those that are nearer their end of life. High mileage drivers value reliability on the road therefore preferring vehicles less than four years old. Indeed most lease cars are replaced before their first NCT.

If you have an interest in vehicle mileage data, the Cartell article on using telemetry to combat car clocking is well worth a read.

Statistical Notes

*The data presented here derives from a September 2010 snapshot of car sales data and is only valid for the period of Aug/Sept 2010.

**Before 2005 only a minority of Irish vehicles displayed their odometers in kilometers, thus producing a much smaller sample. In the interests of statistical confidence this data has been omitted.

***As data derives from sales mileage, we assumed:

  1. An average sales cycle of 3 weeks
  2. Most vehicles are initially registered Jan-March.

This allows us perform an approximation that the September 2010 data is ~0.6 of a full years mileage..

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