Latest available data from March 2018

Quick Stats

  • The average two car household ownership costs added up to $15,807 in 2017
  • Metropolitan households pay more than regional households on transport costs $17,606 vs $14,008
  • Fuel costs are the biggest ongoing expense for Australians who own their cars outright, with an average spend of $71.50 a week

Cost of running a car per week

The total annual costs of transport depend on where you live in Australia. The following costs are separated into two categories, city and regional households. The average household is calculated to have two vehicles in use. The average regional household pays more for costs relating to the greater distances travelled, such as fuel and maintenance costs. The city household is more likely to pay more for registration, CTP and different taxes and charges such as toll roads.

Car loan repayments

The time of year a car is purchased affects the cost of buying a new car and subsequently the loan amount and interest rates. Quarter 2 and 4 of the year show a reduction in the weekly car loan repayment costs by $2 which can be attributed to car sales happening in the same period. This equates to just over $100 saved per year for the duration of the car loan.

The average weekly two-car household cost in major cities around Australia for car loan repayments was $121.81 and the regional city average weekly cost in Australian was $121.79.

Registration, CTP and licence costs

Registration, CTP and licensing costs remain consistently lower in regional cities around Australia, as a result of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia implementing different policies that allow for different pricing structures in regional and metro areas.

The average weekly cost for households in major cities around Australia was $31.41 and the average weekly cost in regional cities around Australia was $28.48.

Comprehensive Insurance costs

Comprehensive insurance is an optional insurance that covers vehicles in the event of damage to the vehicle, theft, collisions, vandalism or weather damage. 34% of fatal accidents occur in metropolitan cities around the country, which could contribute to lower insurance costs for those that live outside of major cities.

The average weekly cost for a two-car household in major cities around Australia was $22.36 and the average weekly cost in regional cities around Australia was $17.33.

Servicing and tyre costs

These costs are dependent on the amount of wear and tear driving has on the vehicle. Experts recommend tyres be inspected if not replaced every 5 years. Services are recommended every 12 months or every 15,000 kilometers, whichever comes first.

The average weekly cost for a two-car household in major cities around Australia was $28.24 and the average weekly cost in regional areas around Australia was $26.33.

Fuel costs

Increases to fuel prices have contributed the most to the rising car ownership costs. From the start of the year, fuel costs for the average two-car household rose $3.35 for major cities and $3.25 for regional areas around the country.

The average weekly cost in major cities around Australia was $69.52 and the average weekly cost in regional areas around Australia was $73.46.

Toll road costs

A toll road can either be a private or public road which requires a fee from users. Tolls are usually put in place to recoup the cost of road construction and maintenance. Only three states in Australia have toll roads in operation, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland and only in the major cities.

The average weekly household cost of road tolls was $59.75, which increased from $57.97 in 2016.

Only three cities had recorded average spend on road tolls in Australia: Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Sydney came in with the highest average spend on road tolls at $80.64 a week, followed by Brisbane at $50.20 and Melbourne at $48.40. Each city saw an average increase of $2 a week from 2016.

Roadside Assistance

The national average for roadside assistance in 2017 was $2 a week. Roadside assistance is an optional cost designed to help with vehicle breakdown costs such as minor mechanical repairs, towing, flat tyre and battery problems, emergency fuel delivery and lockout service. The fee is usually paid as a one off annual fee accompanying auto insurance. There is usually no difference between metropolitan and regional cities as roadside assistance providers offer standard statewide pricing.

Capital city weekly running costs

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Regional weekly running costs

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New South Wales

Major cities

Sydney was the most expensive city for total transport costs, with an average spend of $22,292 in 2017 per household. This was an increase of 1.1% on the annual costs from 2016 at $22,050 for Sydney. Transport costs counted for 15.49% of the average total household income in Sydney.

Regional areas

The average yearly total transport costs for a household in Wagga Wagga was $12,934 in 2017, making it the most affordable regional city in the country for total transport costs. Transport costs counted for 9.85% of the average total household income in Wagga Wagga, which was the best rate for regional cities in Australia.

Victoria

Major cities

Melbourne was the second most expensive city for total transport costs, with an average spend of $19,461 a year. This was a 4.6% increase on the annual costs from 2016 at $18,574 for Melbourne. Transport costs counted for 15.31% of the average total household income in Victoria.

Regional areas

The average yearly total transport costs for a household in Geelong was $15,005 in 2017, making it the most expensive regional area in Australia for total transport costs. Transport costs counted for 12.26% of the average total household income in Geelong.

Queensland

Major cities

The average yearly total transport costs for a household in Brisbane was $19,312 in 2017. Brisbane was the only major city to see a decrease on the total annual costs from 2016, with costs down 0.5% decrease from $19,409. Transport costs counted for 16.35% of the average total household income in Brisbane.

Regional areas

The average yearly total transport costs for a household in Townsville was $13,038 in 2017 an increase of $173 from the previous year. Transport costs counted for 11.5% of the average total household income in Townsville.

Western Australia

Major cities

The average yearly total transport costs for a household in Perth was $17,218 in 2017. This was an increase of 5.3% on the annual costs from 2016 at $16,319. Transport costs counted for 13.22% of the average total household income in Perth.

Regional areas

The average yearly total transport costs for a household in Bunbury was $14,920 in 2017. Transport costs counted for 12.35% of the average total household income in Bunbury. Bunbury was the most expensive region for registration, CTP, license costs and fuel.

South Australia

Major cities

The average yearly total transport costs for a household in Adelaide was $15,624 in 2017. This was a 2.7% increase on the total annual costs from 2016 at $15,213. Transport costs counted for 13.11% of the average total household income in Adelaide.

Regional areas

The average yearly total transport costs for a household in Mount Gambier was $13,743 in 2017 which was an increase of $324 on the previous year’s costs. Transport costs counted for 12.9% of the average total household income in Mount Gambier.

Tasmania

Major cities

The average yearly total transport costs for a household in Hobart was $14,977 in 2017. This was a 3.6% increase on the total costs from 2016 at $14,438. Transport costs counted for 16.09% of the average total household income in Hobart. Hobart saw the highest average of weekly spend on fuel at $71.86, but the lowest weekly spend on registration, CTP and licensing costs at $22.65.

Regional areas

The average yearly total transport costs for a household in Launceston was $13,717 in 2017. Transport costs counted for 16.24% of the average total household income in Launceston, which is the highest rate out of all considered regional towns.

Northern Territory

Major cities

The average yearly total transport costs for a household in Darwin was $15,372 in 2017. This was a 0.8% increase in the total annual costs from 2016 at $15,250. Transport costs counted for 12.43% of the average total household income in Darwin.

Regional areas

The average yearly total transport costs for a household in Alice Springs was $14,692 in 2017 which was an increase of $124 on 2016. Transport costs counted for 12.65% of the average total household income in Alice Springs.

Australian Capital Territory

Major cities

The average yearly total transport costs for a household in Canberra was $16,589 in 2017. This was a 4.1% increase on the total annual costs from 2016 at $15,918. Transport costs counted for 12.19% of the average total household income in Canberra. Canberra had the most expensive weekly average cost for registration, CTP and licensing costs in the country, at $38.97.

Due to the ACT’s small size and minimal differentiation between suburbs, no regional location was used for analysis of average costs.

Car Type

What type of car you drive plays a large part in determining the total yearly running costs. Fuel consumption and type, the initial costs of the car, how old the vehicle is, depreciation and maintenance issues all affect the amount a car owner pays for the vehicle.

City Cars

E.g. Audi A1, Suzuki Ignis, Skoda Fabia

  • The average initial cost of a city car is $20,593
  • The average fuel costs for a city car over 15,000km are $926
  • The average fuel consumption for a city car is 4.6L/100km

Small Cars

E.g. Suzuki Swift, Volkswagon Polo 66TSI, Kia Picanto

  • The average initial cost of a small car is $15,890
  • The average fuel costs for a small car over 15,000km are $967
  • The average fuel consumption for a small car is 4.9L/100km

Small SUV’s

E.g. Citroen Cactus, Renault Captur, Mazda CX-3

  • The average initial cost of a small SUV is $24,623
  • The average fuel costs for a small SUV over 15,000km are $1003
  • The average fuel consumption for a small SUV is 5.1L/100km

Medium Cars

E.g. Toyota Camry, Mercedes-Benz C200, Hyundai Sonata

  • The average initial cost of a medium car is $40,960
  • The average fuel costs for a medium car over 15,000km are $1217
  • The average fuel consumption for a medium car is 6.2L/100km

Medium SUV’s

E.g. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Peugeot 3008 GT, Ford Escape

  • The average initial cost of a medium SUV is $42,823
  • The average fuel costs for a medium SUV over 15,000km are $797
  • The average fuel consumption for a medium SUV is 4.1L/100km

Sports Cars

E.g. Lotus Elise, Porsche Boxster, Toyota 86

  • The average initial cost of a sports car is $74,626
  • The average fuel costs for a sports car over 15,000km are $1464
  • The average fuel consumption for a sports car is 7.2L/100km

Luxury Cars

E.g. Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz S500e, Porsche Panamera

  • The average initial cost of a luxury car is $303,366
  • The average fuel costs for a luxury car over 15,000km are $502
  • The average fuel consumption for a luxury car is 2.5L/100km

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