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Transparency in transport

Australians deserve a fair go when it comes to transport. We believe motorists should have real information about how much fuel their car will use on the road and its emissions, have access to car data, and continue to have the choice of independent repairer for their vehicle. We are also calling on the government to invest more of our road taxes into infrastructure to improve safety and reduce congestion.

Real world emissions testing

The AAA and its member clubs believe that Australian motorists have a right to accurate information about fuel consumption and environmental performance when buying a new car.  Currently, Australians are not able to make informed decisions about which car will put the least pressure on the family household budget.

In the wake of the Volkswagen scandal, the AAA tested 30 vehicles to quantify the difference between their results in standard laboratory testing, and the actual emissions they produce in the real world.

This real-world emission testing research revealed that on average, the cars tested used 23 per cent more fuel compared to the standard laboratory tests. Worryingly for consumers, the vehicle which produced the worst result was 59 per cent above the lab test and only three cars used the same amount of fuel on the road as they did in the lab.

These results reinforce concerns that consumers are increasingly paying for technologies which reduce consumption and emissions in a laboratory environment but fail to deliver the benefits in the real world. The AAA is calling for a real-world emissions testing for new cars, and to make that information available to consumers. View the AAA real-world testing proposal.

Mandatory Code for Access to service and repair information

The AAA and its member clubs believe that consumers should be able to choose which mechanic will service their vehicle. The AAA is concerned that the current lack of access to service and repair information will restrict competition, ultimately leading to higher service and repair costs for consumers.

Accessing the technical service and repair information from a car manufacturer is often challenging and the current voluntary industry agreement has not delivered measurable outcomes.  Mandating independent access to service and repair information is critical to maintaining competition in the aftermarket sector.

Recently the ACCC market study on the new car retailing industry recommended, in its report, the current voluntary agreement on access to service and repair information be replaced with a mandatory scheme. The commission found that independent repairers were experiencing ongoing problems with accessing this technical information.

The AAA supports the introduction of a mandatory scheme.

Paying for our roads

The way Australians pay for their roads needs to change. Current infrastructure funding relies on revenue streams such as fuel excise and the shift to more efficient fuel technologies, including electric vehicles, is making this system unsustainable, inequitable, and inefficient. The system is also unfair. Motorists that drive older cars pay more to use the road than drivers that may be able to afford newer fuel-efficient cars.

In November 2016 the Government announced an inquiry to investigate the potential impacts of road user charging reform.

The AAA believes the inquiry should;

  • consider how transport market reform and road user pricing could replace current fees and charges and be directly linked to land transport infrastructure investment
  • build on work undertaken by the Productivity Commission, the Harper Review and Infrastructure Australia
  • identify a transitional pathway to a more transparent, efficient and equitable transport market, supported by appropriate regulatory controls and funding models.

The majority of Australian motorists are unaware they pay an excise of more than 40 cents on every litre of fuel. The AAA is calling for the Australian Government to disclose the amount of excise paid on fuel tax invoices in the same way GST is currently displayed. This will assist motorists in understanding the road user charging debate.

Fuel Standards

The AAA supports changing Australia’s fuel quality standards, as it will reduce the environmental impact of motoring, support greater supply of new vehicles with advanced engine technologies and enable the introduction of new vehicle emissions standards.

View the AAA submission on changes to fuel quality standards.