Transport absorbs a large part of household budgets but is frequently overlooked in national debates about cost of living pressures.
The average Australian metropolitan household spends $17,606 on transport costs, which accounts for 14.2 per cent of household income, analysis by the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has shown.
The December 2017 Transport Affordability Index, released today, shows that costs have risen since the previous quarter.
Regional households are spending $14,008 annually on transport, comprising 12.3 per cent of household incomes, up from 12.2 per cent in the September quarter.
AAA Chief Executive Michael Bradley said transport absorbed a large part of household budgets but was frequently overlooked during national debates about cost of living pressures.
“Price movements in electricity receive a great deal of attention but transport actually absorbs a much larger share of household income,’’ he said.
“Unlike utility bills, Australian families do not receive all-encompassing transport bills every three months. The index highlights subtle movements in transport costs, which are otherwise easy to overlook.
“The report shows that annual transport costs for metropolitan households increased by $121 since the previous quarter.’’
The index found that shifts in fuel prices nationally added $5.42 per week to transport costs for city households during the December quarter.
In a state by state analysis, only Sydney, Wagga Wagga and Hobart recorded decreases this quarter, by $58, $80 and $24 respectively. Sydney has remained the most expensive capital city in Australia in terms of total dollars at $22,291 per year, despite the decrease in costs this quarter.
The decrease for Sydney was due to a significant cost reduction in registration and CTP following a reform of the Green Slips scheme. The reduction has saved Sydney families $305 in total per year.
However, tolls in Sydney and Melbourne both rose during the December 2017 quarter, with Sydney prices increasing by around $19 per year and Melbourne increasing by $10.40 per year.
The December 2017 Affordability Index can be read here.
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