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$474 per week: The most expensive city to get around

Cash and car on street
Australian households spend $368 per week on transport. (Source: Getty)

Sydney remained the most expensive city to get from A to B, costing the average household $474.43 per week.

That was significantly more than the national average of $368.21 per week spent on transport.

If that sounds quite high to you, that’s because the Australian Automobile Association’s (AAA) Transport Affordability Index takes a holistic view of transport costs, and includes petrol, car-loan repayments, maintenance costs, registration, tolls and public-transport fares.

Transport spending accounted for around 14.7 per cent of a household's income, on average.

Interestingly, despite fuel prices rising by 40 per cent in the past year, overall transport costs dipped across the nation.

Transport graph
Transport Affordability by location, per household Q1 2022. (Source: Australian Automobile Association’s Transport Affordability Index)

That was mainly due to a drop-off in car-loan repayments, with many new car buyers opting for cheaper vehicles than normal.

As a result, the cost of weekly car-loan payments decreased in all locations by $20.59, or $1,071 a year, on average.

New cars are in short supply, with a global shortage of computer chips slowing car manufacturing.

Wait times as long as 12 months have been reported for some models.

Petrol prices causing pain

Overall transport costs were down but households were still struggling with the cost of getting around.

AAA managing director Michael Bradley said people were feeling the pressure of rising fuel costs.

Weekly petrol costs had risen an average of $26.49, to $93.87, over the past 12 months in capital cities, with Hobart ($100.18 per week), Sydney ($94.80 per week), Darwin ($94.36 per week) and Brisbane ($93.93 per week) the most expensive cities.

People living in the regions were hurting the most, with fuel prices rising on average to $96.65, from $27.89, per week across the regions.

For example, people in Geelong were paying $110.69 on fuel a week compared to $92.07 in Melbourne.

The war in Ukraine and supply chain issues largely caused the spike in fuel prices, causing them to soar to more than $2 a litre in March.

However, the halved fuel excise tax offered some relief to motorists, as had a dip in wholesale oil prices.

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