Alarming trends in the growth of forced car ownership in Melbourne

Graham Currie, Alexa Delbosc, Katerina Pavkova

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

9 Citations (Scopus)


‘Forced Car Ownership’ (FCO) describes low income households with high car ownership, resulting in a high proportion of their income going to their cars. The cost of running multiple cars, combined with housing costs, puts considerable stress on low income households. Contemporary research has identified that FCO is one of the most prevalent social and economic problems in Australian major cities. The aim of this paper is to explore whether trends in FCO have continued or even accelerated over time. The recent 2016 census provides the opportunity to explore whether this concerning trend is continuing. The results of this paper suggest a growing problem is getting much worse. Between 2011 and 2016 FCO households in Outer Melbourne increased by 36%. Alarmingly the rate of growth of fringe urban FCO households is accelerating; there was a 25% growth between 2006 and 2011 but this has increased to 36% between 2011 and 2016. Furthermore, FCO households now outnumber low-income households with no cars, particularly in Middle and Outer Melbourne. The paper discusses the policy failures that have caused these outcomes, suggests solutions and identifies areas for future research to better understand the problem and its impacts.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
EventAustralasian Transport Research Forum 2018 - Darwin, Australia
Duration: 30 Oct 20181 Nov 2018
Conference number: 40th (Proceedings)


ConferenceAustralasian Transport Research Forum 2018
Abbreviated titleATRF 2018
Internet address

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