The cost of getting around in Melbourne


A March 2017 report found Melbourne is the the third most expensive city in Australia for getting around, with yearly transport costs of $18,889. This is 14.5% of average income, compared to a national average of 13%. Considering average income rather than actual cost, Melbourne is the fourth most affordable.

The Index

These figures come from the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) Transport Affordability Index, which uses a hypothetical couple with children and two cars. It assumes one family member drives to work while the other catches public transport. The Index does not include vehicle depreciation or – unfortunately – the cost of parking.

Cost breakdown

Melbourne Q1 $ Ranking
Car loan payments 124.13 1
Fuel 64.90 2
Tolls 47.60 3
Public transport 41.00 4
Registration and licensing 31.28 5
Insurance 30.99 6
Servicing and tyres 21.42 7
Roadside Assist 1.92 8
Total 363.25

The most expensive transport cost in Melbourne, for people who have them, is car loan payments. It is the third most expensive city to service a loan. After these comes relatively low cost fuel (compared to other cities) and then tolls. The Index assumes one household member uses toll roads every weekday in Melbourne.

Tolls push up weekly transport costs for households in Sydney and Brisbane, as well as Melbourne. Without tolls, Perth (rather than Melbourne) would be the third most expensive city for transport. Melbourne still has the lowest tolls of these three cities.

Cost of registration, CTP and licensing

City Q1 $ Ranking
Sydney 43.03 1
Canberra 38.41 2
Perth 33.23 3
Melbourne 31.28 4
Adelaide 29.85 5
Brisbane 29.00 6
Darwin 27.73 7
Hobart 22.49 8
National average 31.88

Melbourne is the fourth most expensive place to buy CTP and drivers licences, at $31.28 per week (national average). While it is the most expensive city in Australia for buying comprehensive insurance, it is the cheapest city to service a vehicle.

If you have a habit of racking up parking fines, see our blog, Parking fines: Move to Melbourne.