Household transport costs’ double-digit rise in 2023

The latest Australian Automobile Association (AAA) Transport Affordability Index shows that typical Australian household transport costs rose by 13 per cent in 2023.

The number far outpaces the year’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase of 4.1 per cent, with typical capital city households transport expenditure rising by 12.4 per cent and 13.7 per cent for the typical regional household.

Michael Bradley, Managing Director of 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 is also one of the key drivers of general inflation. Governments at all levels must consider these cost pressures when formulating policy.”

Transport cost rises eased towards the end of the year. In the December 2023 quarter, the typical Australian household’s transport costs rose by 0.7 per cent (0.6 per cent for the typical capital city household and 0.8 per cent for the typical regional household). This was roughly in line with the quarter’s Consumer Price Index increase of 0.6 per cent.

The overall rise in transport costs was largely driven by higher up-front costs for purchasing new vehicles, higher interest rates on car loans, and increasing insurance premiums.

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