Australian families’ transport costs soar higher

Peter Terlato 22 May 2017

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Sydney families suffer the greatest costs.

The latest research shows transportation costs for the average Australian household - a couple with children and two cars - have increased considerably over the last year, now totalling $17,464 annually, driven primarily by rising fuel costs.

The Australian Automobile Association’s (AAA) recent Transport Affordability Index found land transport costs for Aussie families in capital cities rose an average $686 over the four quarters to March 2017.

These costs account for more than one-tenth (13.3%) of families' annual household expenditure. To provide some perspective, electricity and gas require much less (1-3%) of the budget.

The analysis revealed Sydney families were burdened with the highest transportation costs in the country, paying $22,238 per year - up $848 year-on-year. Hobart households had the lowest average costs of any capital city, averaging $14,852. Despite this, average expenditure rose $737 year-on-year.

Filling up at the bowser was the main reason for the rise in average household costs across Australia. The price of fuel jumped $373 over the four quarters to March 2017. The average family now pays $1,035 in government fuel excise each year and for the first time, in February, this exceeded 40 cents per litre.

Public transport fares increased substantially over the March 2017 quarter, particularly in Melbourne, Hobart and Canberra. Other costs affecting the family budget included car servicing, tolls, higher new car prices and as a result, greater vehicle repayment costs.

However, savings could be garnered by choosing alternative transportation methods. The latest Roy Morgan research poll shows car sharing has reached critical mass among key demographics, with 55-56% of Sydney and Melbourne residents aware of the phenomenon and the potential savings benefits.

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