Australian family budgets are increasingly burdened by transport costs which now consume 13.6 percent of our incomes.
This compares to expenditure of 1.0 to 3.0 percent of household income which is spent to meet gas and electricity charges.
The findings are contained in the December 2016 quarterly Transport Affordability Index prepared by the Australian Automobile Association (AAA).
In the three months which ended on 31 December, the average Australian household’s annual expenditure on land transport was $17,147 (up from $16,894 in the previous quarter).
The largest increases came in Sydney (up by $397) and Melbourne (up by $519) and the AAA reports fuel was the category which saw expenditure growing the most.
“A typical two-car Sydney household faces weekly costs of $424 – or $22,050 per year – ahead of Brisbane and then Melbourne at $19,409 and $18,575 per year respectively,” the AAA claimed. Although the figure for Brisbane actually represents a decrease from $19,617 in the previous quarter.
Hobart was the lowest at $14,438.71 per year (although that represents 14.6 per-cent of the household budget) - that figure is up from $14,197.07 in the third quarter.
The Transport Affordability Index tracks tax, road tolls, public transport, insurance, maintenance, fuel and finance costs and uses data from the 2011 national census relating to a family of four with two cars.