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Worldwide Daily Driving Distance is 25-50km? What about AU, US, UK, EU, and...

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

We drive to work, to shopping, pick up our kids. But how much do we drive? The easiest way to find out is from your vehicle's annual mileage, you'll find that it is really minimal. Apart from your occasional self-driving holidays, or long-distance business trip, we don't usually drive much. In fact, the worldwide average Daily Driving Distance for passenger cars is only 25km - 50km. Do we know how each country does?



It Starts From An Australian Government Statistics


In Dec 2020, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) issued the reports, “Survey of Motor Vehicle Use in Australia” and “Sub-annual Motor Vehicle Use Estimate”. The pieces are statistics about Australian vehicles usages during the period from Jul 2019 to Jun 2020. It included all vehicles travel on Australian roads, such as buses, trucks, passenger vehicles, motorcycles, etc. Although the statistics ran for the whole year, we’d only take "Period 1", 1Jul 2019 – 31Oct 2019 of 123 days, as the preferred reporting data. We do not intend to use data from periods two and three because vehicles usage was heavily affected by

  1. NSW bush fire in period 2, Nov 2019 - Feb 2020; and

  2. Covid-19 pandemic lockdown during period 3, Mar 2020 - Jun 2020.


In the 2nd report, we learned that the average Daily driving distance for passenger vehicles was (4200 / 123 days) <== 34.1km, (5600 / 123) <== 45.5km for light commercial vehicles (Utes, small truck, etc.), and (4600 / 123) <== 37.4km for the whole Australian transports sectors (incl. Passenger Vehicles, Trucks, Buses, Motor Cycle, other commercial vehicles, etc.), during the 123 days in period 1. See pic below.

Data from Australian Bureau of Statistics on Average km travelled by type of vehicle in bar chart and raw data format.
Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reports

Pic: Data captured from the ABS report


The pictures below also show that ALL vehicles from NSW have the longest average driving distance at 39.8km <== (4900 / 123), while Tasmania has the shortest at 32.5km <== (4000 / 123).


Data from Australian Bureau of Statistics on Average km travelled by state and territory of registration in bar chart and raw data format.
Data captured from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) report

Pic: Data captured from the ABS report


We can try to derive each States average driving distance for passenger vehicles by getting the ratio between all passenger vehicles (4200km) and all vehicles (4600km), that is 91% <== (4200 / 4600). Therefore, NSW passenger vehicles' daily average driving distance would be 39.8 x 91% = 36.8km over period one, 123 days.


The daily average driving distance for passenger vehicles by State and Territory,

NSW (4900 / 123) x 91% = 36.8km

VIC (4600 / 123) x 91% = 34.0km

Qld (4400 / 123) x 91% = 32.6km

SA (4200 / 123) x 91% = 31.1km

WA (4100 / 123) x 91% = 30.3km

Tas (4000 / 123) x 91% = 29.6km

NT (4800 / 123) x 91% = 35.5km

ACT (4700 / 123) x 91% = 34.8km

Australia (4600 / 123) x 91% = 34.0km


Therefore, the Daily Average Driving Distance for Passenger Cars as a whole in Australia is 34.0km, while the daily average for all types of vehicles is (4600 / 123) = 37.4km including buses, trucks, and taxis, etc.



In The US, Figures Are Falling


A similar figure is found in the US. Based on info published in Statista, in 2017, the "daily miles of travel per driver" is 45.5km ( 25.9mi ), including all types of vehicles, eg, passenger cars, buses, trucks, etc. Let's assume that the American passenger vehicles hold a similar percentage at 91% to all vehicles types as the Australian. The Daily Average Traveling Distance for Passenger Vehicles in the US is 42km.


Interestingly, the figures show a decreasing trend of average distance travel from 2002 to 2017. If the trend continues, the figure might drop below 40km,



Keep On Falling YoY In Europe And Others


The UK shows a similar decreasing trend of yearly driving distance for passenger cars from 16192km (9200mi) in 2002 to 11968km (6800mi) in 2020. Therefore, the average daily distance is 32.8km for the UK.


While the EU also shows the same falling trends of yearly driving distance from 13200km in 2000 to 12000km in 2018. Therefore, the average daily traveling distance is 32.9km. Within the EU, Italian travels the least of 25.8km daily, and Austria travels the most at 37.7km daily.


Unfortunately, I could not find any government data or statistics for Canada and Japan. But according to Google searches, Canadians and Japanese drove 15200km yearly and 9300km yearly for all vehicles, respectively. Therefore, the Canadians average for passenger cars is (assuming 91% of daily distance as Australian) 37.9km, and 25.4km for the Japanese passenger cars. Although I believe these two figures were a bit outdated and high (all figures worldwide have a falling trend), they are within the average worldwide range of 25 - 50km.



The Daily Average


Therefore, the average daily driving distance for passenger vehicles alone by country are,


Australia is 34km

The US is 42km

The UK is 32.8km

The EU is 32.9km

Canada is 37.9km

and Japan is 25.4km.

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