National transport costs continue to rise
The Australian Automobile Association’s (AAA) latest Transport Affordability Index shows the average Australian family is now paying $17,464 per year in land transport costs, an increase of $686 over the four quarters to March 2017.
The latest edition of the AAA Transport Affordability Index shows the average Sydney family pays more than families in any other capital city, $22,238 per year, an increase of $848 over the four quarters.
Hobart households have the lowest average transport costs of any Australian capital at $14,852 annually, however this represents an increase of $737 over the four quarters.
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[i].
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.
The Index is based on the incomes and transport costs of a hypothetical household in each capital city that consists of a couple with children and two cars, the average household identified by the 2016 Census.
[i] ABS Household Expenditure Survey, 2009-10.