Average Mileage in Ireland

Average Mileage in Ireland: Some Statistics Courtesy of the NMR

One query we get from time-to-time from consumers concerns the average mileage for a vehicle in Ireland. Understandably potential buyers want to know whether the mileage on the vehicle they are considering buying is more or less than the national average. So the question arises: what is the average mileage in Ireland?

Sustanable Energy Ireland (SEI) were first to reliably report average mileage statistics back all the way back in 2006 which they 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: it refers to previous anecdotal evidence which suggested that the average mileage was actually higher than the reality, stating:

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 we read this we decided to run a check against our own data (courtesy of the National Mileage Register (NMR)) to see if we could verify the average listed by SEI. We found these results*:

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 the following:

Average Mileage September 2010

Mileage Readings in the Irish Fleet

Extrapolating to get an average reading we arrive at the figure of 10,827 *** miles per year. This figure is very close to the published figure of 10,498 miles per year from SEI. Therefore we are happy to corroborate their finding!

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.

Since 2010 it is worth noting that due to issues like house prices in urban hubs many commuters are facing a longer journey into the workplace and the overall trend in average mileage was upwards until the pandemic arrived. Now with lockdowns, remote learning and working and restrictions on travel in place the average mileage figure is set to drop in 2020 and into 2021 and possibly beyond.

The most recent data we have comes from the Central Statistics Office, and in line with our expectations they estimate that average mileage in Ireland in 2016 for each private car to be aabout 18,000 kilometers annually. Their data also neatly demonstrate the increasing average mileage of the Irish fleet in recent years.

Cartell intends to scrutinise our own mileage data to see what effects the Coronovirus pandemic is having on average mileage values across Ireland and the results of this analysis should be available in early 2021.

Average Mileage Per Year 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.

One thought on “Average Mileage in Ireland

  • at first glance one might think that as the numbers of diesel cars in the Irish fleet increases the average mileage of the fleet will also increase. but this is not necessarily the case. traditionally those who purchased diesels were more likely to be higher-mileage drivers but increasingly diesels are being purchased by drivers who consider the car represents better value in terms of fuel and taxation costs and not because they intend to drive further distances. therefore it will be interesting to see if the increase in diesels in the irish fleet has any impact on the average mileage reading in a few years – or – whether the average mileage figure for diesels will fall

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