You know getting around costs a lot. But do you really know how much?

Posted at August 30, 2017 3:00 pm by AAA News

A new Index shows Australians spend between 11 and 13 per cent of what they earn just getting around day-to-day.

When you list them all, there are a lot of costs to keeping you moving.

The price of the car and fuel are obvious. But what about your driving licence, servicing, tyres, registration, insurance, parking and tolls? And what if you or someone in your household also uses public transport? It’s not until you look at these costs together that you can really understand just how much of your weekly wage goes on just getting around.

That’s why the AAA developed Australia’s first Transport Affordability Index, and why we have now expanded it to cover regional areas. It’s designed to help everyday Australians, our politicians and policy makers, understand just how much you are paying so they (hopefully) don’t come up with policies that will needlessly cost you more.

So, what does the latest Transport Affordability Index tell us?

It shows the average family in an Australian city spends $17,294 every year on transport and that for this family, it means more than 13 per cent of what they earn goes on transport.

And it shows us that regional Australian families are paying an average of $13,863 each year – or around 11 per cent of what they earn.

That’s a lot when you consider that according to the ABS, the average Australian household spends less than 3 per cent of its budget on energy costs such as gas and electricity.

While bringing down the costs of energy can sometimes be as simple us bundling a package, swapping providers or buying more efficient appliances, these options simply don’t exist for transport.

So, what are some of the ways transport can be made more affordable?

For starters, many transport costs in Australia are influenced by Australian Government policy. For example, every time you fill your tank you are paying about 50 cents per litre to the Australian Government.

The average Australian family now pays about $1,035 every year just on fuel tax!

On top of that the Australian Government charges import taxes and charges that are adding about $5 billion extra to what Australians will pay for new cars over the next 4 years.

We know that transport is a large and largely unavoidable cost to Australian families. We use the Affordability Index to ensure politicians know it too. It’s an important part of ensuring that when our governments are thinking about transport policies and other policies that impact transport (for example environment policy) that they try to avoid loading already struggling Australian families up with needless extra costs.

Check out the Affordability Index.