WA drivers hit in the pocket

transport costs

Perth residents have seen the biggest increase in transport costs across Australia, according to a transport affordability index. The average annual cost of transport was $17,023, $619 more than the previous quarter. Combined with a drop in weekly earnings, locals now spend 13.1% (10.5% last year) of their income just on getting around.

The Australian Automobile Association’s Transport Affordability Index is updated each quarter. It looks at a notional average family that drives and uses public transport in cities and regional areas.


Registration in WA has continued to rise each year from $255 in 2014 to $335 in 2017 (24% over 3 years). This does not include CTP insurance or $99 Catastrophic Injury Support Scheme insurance.

In Perth, car owners spend $265 per week on: car loan repayments ($124), fuel ($66), registration and licensing ($33), servicing and tyres ($26), insurance ($14) and roadside assistance ($2). This is only slightly less than the capital average, which is pushed up by Sydney.


City/Region Weekly Cost
Perth $327.36
Capital average $336.25
Bunbury $284.56
Regional average $266.98
Sydney $429.80
Melbourne $371.29

Unfortunately, public transport is not cheap either. Perth commuters pay more for public transport than anyone, except in Sydney.

Regional WA

Meanwhile, Bunbury is the second most expensive regional area in Australia (after Geelong).

Bunbury vehicle owners pay the most in regional Australia for vehicle registration, CTP insurance and driver licensing. They also have very little public transport. Bunbury families have to pay about $14,797 per year in total transport costs.


No relief came from The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) petrol report for September quarter 2017. Perth’s average petrol price was 125.8 cents per litre — only Brisbane residents were paying more than this to fill up.

No wonder WA has become more expensive for people to get around. See more about registration in WA.