Melburnians slugged $21,000 a year to get around

Moving Well | Sue Hewitt | Posted on 25 November 2019

Latest figures show families are spending thousands of dollars a year on transport.

Melbourne remains the second-most expensive Australian city for transport, with families spending almost $21,000 a year getting around, according to a report by Australia’s peak motoring body.

The average Melburnian spent 15.2 per cent of their income on transport in the September quarter, the report found. (More: Motorists should pay to drive into CBD, report finds)

Person touching on to train at Myki ticket barrier

The Australian Automobile Association, of which RACV is a member, measures transport costs in all capital and regional cities in its quarterly Transport Affordability Index.

Its latest report ranks Melbourne as the second-most expensive city for transport behind Sydney, and Geelong as the second-most expensive regional centre after Alice Springs.

Melbourne remained the most expensive Australian city for car loan repayments at $133.47 weekly, and for comprehensive insurance at $32.87 a week.

On average Melburnians spend $20,774 a year on transport costs, with the bulk of the cost spent on running a car

The report estimates Melburnians each week spend $355.50 on car costs including car loan repayments at $133.47, registration and licensing $33.17, insurance $32.87, servicing and tyres $30.57, fuel $72.82, tolls $50.40 and roadside assistance at $2.12. The average weekly public transport cost was $44.

By filling up your tank when petrol prices drop, households can save several hundred dollars a year on their petrol bill.

Geelong households had a yearly transport cost of $15,851 which represented 12.1 per cent of the average income of a Geelong resident. 

The report says weekly transport costs in the regional city fell by about $2.47 or about $128 a year because of cheap fuel prices.

“In the September quarter, Geelong had average unleaded petrol prices of 137.9 cents per litre – cheaper than all capital cities, including Melbourne,” it says.

RACV general manager public policy Bryce Prosser says while transport is an unavoidable cost, there are many ways Victorian families can save on hip-pocket expenses.

“One way to reduce transport expenses is to be savvy with petrol prices,” he says.

He says by filling up your tank when petrol prices drop households can save several hundred dollars a year on their petrol bill.  

He says transport costs have been increasing year on year for the typical Victorian household by an extra $12.66 a week. “This is a heavy burden for Victorian families and these cost pressures need to be considered when governments are formulating policy,” Bryce says.