The Australian Automobile Association’s (AAA) latest Transport Affordability Index report shows the average Australian family is paying almost $700 more for road and rail transport than this time last year – an average of $17,464.
The “average” household is determined by the 2016 census results – a couple with children and two cars. Each capital city has its own “average” households, too.
It’s no surprise that Sydney families are paying the most at $22,238 per year – that’s an increase of $848 over twelve months. Hobart households have the lowest average transport costs of any Australian capital at $14,852 annually, however this represents an increase of $737.
Nationally, average household transport costs account for 13.6 per cent of the household budget. This is an increase from 13.3 per cent over the four quarters to March 2017. In comparison, household expenses relating to electricity and gas consume a far smaller share of that budget, ordinarily around one to three per cent.
Fuel was the number one contributor to the national increase in transport costs over the quarter to March 2017, up $226. Fuel costs also increased by $373 over the four quarters to March. The average family now pays $1,035 in Government fuel excise each year, and for the first time, Government fuel excise increased to more than 40 cents per litre on 1 February 2017.
Over the March 2017 quarter, public transport increased significantly due to fare rises in Melbourne, Hobart and Canberra. Other increased costs faced by the average family included tolls, new car servicing and new car prices which had a flow on impact on car repayment costs.
The increasing costs borne by households for land transport highlights the need for all governments to develop policies and make infrastructure investments that will make transport more affordable.
Brisbane and Melbourne yearly average costs sit at $19,629 and $18,889 respectively, with tolls contributing “heavily” to the weekly transport costs of families in these three cities. Without tolls, Melbourne would be overtaken by Perth as the third most expensive city for transport.
You can find the full report here.