Transport Costs Rise 10% In 12 Months

The latest AAA Transport Affordability Index shows that in the March quarter, the typical Australian household’s transport costs rose by 4.5 per cent (3.9 per cent for the typical capital city household and 5.3 per cent for the typical regional household).

This was almost four times the quarter’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) rise of 1.0 per cent.

The report, released by Australia’s peak motoring body, also shows that in the 12 months to 31 March, typical Australian household transport costs rose by 10 per cent, which was 2.8 times higher than the same period’s CPI increase of 3.6 per cent.

In the 12 months to 31 March transport expenditure rose by 9.3 per cent for the typical capital city household and 11 per cent for the typical regional household.

In the March 2023 quarter, the typical capital city household spent 16.4 per cent of its income on transport, but in the March 2024 quarter this had risen to 17.3 per cent.

Over the same period, the typical regional benchmark centre household’s transport expenditure rose from 15.1 per cent of its income to 16.3 per cent.

The overall rise in transport costs was largely driven by higher up-front costs for purchasing new vehicles. In 2023, some popular vehicle models’ prices increased, and some small and mid-sized vehicles were displaced from the 10 top-selling models by larger, more expensive vehicles.

“The continuing decline of transport affordability is a heavy burden at a time when Australians are feeling cost-of-living pressures across the board,” AAA Managing Director Michael Bradley said.

“Transport is a significant and unavoidable expense for households, and it is also one of the key drivers of general inflation. Governments at all levels must consider these cost pressures when formulating policy.”

The Affordability Index surveys transport-related costs in Australia’s eight capital cities and in one regional centre in each of the states and the Northern Territory. It models costs for a hypothetical household of four, which has both parents working full-time and owns two cars.

/Public Release. View in full here.