Transport costs spike by $2,149 a year across Melbourne

Bolte bridge in the evening

Tianna Nadalin

Posted May 26, 2021


Report reveals Melbourne is the second-most expensive Australian city for transport.

Melburnians are being slugged an extra $2,149 a year to get around according to the latest report by Australia’s peak motoring body.

The report ranks Melbourne as the second-most expensive city for transport behind Sydney, and Geelong as the second-most expensive regional centre after Bunbury in Western Australia.

The Australian Automobile Association (AAA), of which RACV is a member, measures transport costs across all capital cities and a regional centre in each state and the Northern Territory.

This quarter’s Affordability Index reveals the largest rise in overall national transport costs since reporting commenced in 2016.

The average Melbourne household now spends $22,573 a year on transport. This represents 15.6 per cent of their total income, an increase of 1.6 per cent, or $41.32, since last quarter (Q4 2020). This was mostly due to car loan payments, which increased by $1,863, and fuel expenditure, which increased $251 per year.

Melbourne remains the most expensive city for comprehensive car insurance, with families forking out an average of $34.50 a week.

The report estimates Melburnians also spend $165.29 a week on car loan repayments, $33.17 on registration and licensing, $31.76 on servicing and tyres, $68.58 on fuel, $53.60 on tolls and $2.19 on roadside assistance. The average weekly public transport cost was $45.

Regional communities have taken an even bigger hit, with average transport costs for families in Geelong ballooning by $2,396 a year.

Geelong had yearly transport costs of $17,197 and remained the regional centre with the second highest costs, the report found. This was mostly because of higher car loan payments and fuel expenditure, which rose by $1,863 and $449 per annum, respectively.

RACV senior manager transport, planning and infrastructure, Peter Kartsidimas, said there were a few simple things Victorians could do to keep their transport costs down.

“We would advise Victorians to shop around for the best fuel deals by keeping an eye on the price via RACV’s online fuel tracker,” Peter said.

He also advised Victorians to consider alternatives to the car for shorter trips, such as walking, cycling or catching public transport.

“The arevo app by RACV can help you plan your journey by whatever mode of transport you decide to use and is available to download for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store,” he said. “It also has a fuel tracker.”


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