The latest edition of the AAA’s quarterly Transport Affordability Index shows lower fuel prices have meant that drivers in our capital cities are now likely to be spending more on road tolls than fuel.

Overall, average transport costs in the second quarter of 2020 decreased by four per cent compared to the previous quarter. That now means household transport costs have fallen by 5.8 per cent since the beginning of the year.

Many households however, are not feeling the full impact of the reduction in transport costs, as the COVID-19 pandemic is keeping many Australians off our roads and away from public transport.

The AAA’s Affordability Index measures household transport costs in all capital cities along with a selected regional centre in each state and the Northern Territory. The Index is designed to give an indicative picture of household transport costs across the nation.

On average, a typical household’s weekly expenditure on transport was $306 in the June quarter: down from $318 in the previous quarter. This represents a decrease of four per cent, lower than the quarter’s rate of inflation, which was a decrease of 1.9 per cent.

For the typical metropolitan household, this equates to a yearly transport expenditure of $17,538 and $14,004 for the typical regional household.

Loan repayments, fuel and tolls are the largest cost inputs, with the average cost of transport now representing 12.8 per cent for the typical household income.

When it comes to transport, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane remained the nation’s most expensive capital cities.

Like the previous quarter, when interpreting data contained in this edition of the AAA’s Affordability Index, it is important to remember that it measures transport costs over a normal week. With restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic still in force throughout Australia, many households have reduced their ‘transport footprint’, which is not measured in this report.

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