Australian household transport costs rise 10 per cent in a year

The typical Australian household’s transport costs rose by 10 per cent in the 12 months to 31 March 2024, reveals a new report.

The Australian Automobile Association’s (AAA) Transport Affordability Index showed that in the recent March quarter transport costs rose by 4.5 per cent, almost four times the quarter’s CPI rise of 1 per cent.

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

“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 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.

In the March 2024 quarter, the typical capital city household spent 17.3 per cent of its income on transport, compared to 16.4 per cent in the same period in the prior year. The typical regional household transport expenditure also rose in that same period, from 15.1 per cent of its income to 16.3 per cent.

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