The total VKT (in million) between 1965 and 2012 in Australia is shown first. What I see in this graph is an increasing trend. However, if you look more closely you may notice that the increase rate is actually going down a little bit (the slope becomes smaller).
This is actually very interesting because the decline in VKT per capita in the US started in 2006, about 1-2 years before the GFC (reference). It was also in 2006 when the American housing market had a burst with house values peaking (reference).
Did a same thing happen in Australia? Is there really a relationship between housing prices, income, and people's driving trends? I'll get back to this question with some data from Australia in a bit.
Here is the change in VKT per capita from year n-1 to year n. I see a similar decreasing trend with many fluctuations.
Going back to the question on the relationship between housing boom and driving trends, here is also some data from Australia showing a "local" (not global) housing boom in 2003-2004 about the same time as the apparent "Peak Car" happened. The graph below shows the ratio of median residential house price over the annual wage & salary in Australia. Data is from ABS and REIV.
Does this mean people started shifting their behavior towards less consuming (fuel/driving) because they were too in debt on their housing costs? I don't have a certain answer yet. After a local boom in housing prices in 2004, there has been a relatively stable (on average) period until more recently.
UPDATE: Following you'll see a few more graphs for fuel price, fuel budget, unemployment rate, and young adult (18-34 years old) proportion.
What is fuel budget?
Fuel budget is defined as the budget that a person spends on fuel in a year.
How did we estimate fuel budget?
Fuel budget = fuel price [$/liter] x average fuel consumption [11.5 liter/100 km] x VKT per capita [km/person/year]