The latest AAA Transport Affordability Index found transport is not very affordable in Hobart or Launceston. Hobart had the lowest total transport costs but the least affordable transport of all cities. Launceston had the lowest average earnings and transport was the least affordable across Australia.
Lowest costs but least affordable
Tasmania’s capital continues to have the lowest transport costs in Australia at $390.60 per week. The annual cost of transport in Hobart was $20,311 per year, up $1,421 from the previous quarter. Around 97% of this increase – $26.50 per week – was because of higher car loan payments.
While Sydney has the highest transport costs in Australia, Hobart is the least affordable, followed by Brisbane and Melbourne. In Hobart, transport takes up 18.4% of household income.
Meanwhile, Launceston had the lowest average earnings and the worst affordability of transport across Australian cities and regions. At 18.9% of income, it was the least affordable region, followed by Alice Springs in the NT and Mount Gambier in SA.
In the March quarter, Launceston households were paying $18,961 per year or $364.64 per week. Car loan payments increased by $1,399 or $26.50 per week.
Breakdown of transport costs
Car loan payments typically take up 44% of total transport costs in Australia and make transport less affordable. This means a household without a car loan would be substantially better off. However, the AAA index measures these costs too:
Vehicle registration, CTP and driver’s licence (7.3% of costs) – Hobart had the lowest of all cities and Launceston was lower than the regional average, both at $23.12 a week.
Comprehensive insurance (8.4% of costs) – Launceston annual premiums rose by $94 but, like Hobart, are still lower than average.
Servicing and tyres (8.0% of costs) – Launceston had the lowest of the regions at $26.17 while Hobart paid below the city average at $32.33 per week.
Fuel (23.1% of costs) – Hobart had the second highest fuel prices and highest fuel spend at $95.87 per week, even though prices fell. Launceston paid the third highest of the regions at $108.53 per week.
Roadside assistance (0.5% of costs) – Tasmania (and Victoria) had the highest costs in Australia at $2.42 a week or $126 a year.
Remaining costs are tolls (only in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane) and public transport (Hobart costs are relatively low and affordable).