Lowest and highest transport costs in Australia

The latest AAA Transport Affordability Index found Darwin households have the second lowest transport costs in Australia. But it’s the fourth least affordable city. Meanwhile, Alice Springs has the highest transport costs of the regions and is the second least affordable region after Launceston in Tasmania.

Lowest and highest costs in Australia

Northern Territory’s capital continues to have some of the lowest transport costs in Australia at $410.76 per week. The annual cost of transport in Darwin was $21,360 a year, up $1,641 from the previous quarter. Around 85% of this increase, or $26.89 per week, was because of higher car loan payments.

Darwin swapped places with Sydney to become the fourth least affordable capital city. Households pay 16.1% of their income in transport costs.

Alice Springs is still the region paying the most in transport costs. It costs $401.93 a week or $20,900 a year, up $1,337 from the previous quarter. Car loan payments made up even more than this increase, because fuel costs fell.

Transport takes up 16.8% of of income in Alice Springs. It was one of the top 4 regional centres where transport is less affordable than in their capitals.

Breakdown of transport costs In Darwin and Alice Springs

Car loan payments typically take up 44% of total transport costs in Australia. 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) – Darwin’s costs are $31.55, just above the capital average. Alice Springs are the same, but the third highest of the regions.
Comprehensive insurance (8.4% of costs) – Darwin had the second highest costs, at $46.75, well above the capital average of $37.70. Alice Springs had the highest costs at $44.79; the regional average is only $30.86.
Servicing and tyres (8.0% of costs) – Alice Springs had the second highest costs of $37.89 and Darwin paid $34.34, just above the capital average.
Fuel (23.1% of costs) – The region with the most expensive fuel is Alice Springs, even though fuel costs fell by $207 in 12 months. Households paid $103.48 per week while Darwin paid $93.90, compared to $94.02 capital average.
Roadside assistance (0.5% of costs) – Northern Territory paid the lowest at $1.96 a week, compared to an Australian average of $2.24 per week.

Remaining costs are tolls (only in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane) and public transport (Darwin costs were the lowest).

For more, see the AAA Transport Affordability Index.

Find out more about registration in the Northern Territory.