Car | The latest blogs, articles & guides from our best storytellers The Burrow > Car

City car costs coming in at over $14,000 a year – find out how you compare

By Hannah Twiggs | 12 Jun 2019
7 min read

Aussies are being warned to switch-off from auto-pilot and take control of the wheel as new research shows we could be guzzling up to $14,000 a year to keep our cars running while travelling in and out of the city.

Leading online car comparison site comparethemarket.com.au has crunched the numbers to find out how much CBD workers are forking out for basic car expenses annually across some of Australia’s major cities – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

With Sydney being in the top 20 most expensive capitals to live in globally[1], it’s no surprise that it’s also the most expensive city in the country to drive in, with motorists potentially paying a whopping a $14,051[2] a year when driving and parking around the city.

Melbourne is a fraction cheaper where city workers could be paying approximately $13,252 a year for car-related costs, followed by Brisbane CBD motorists at around $12,442 a year. Meanwhile, Adelaide and Perth are easily the cheapest capitals to keep the wheels turning in the city, with these drivers paying up to $11,576 and $11,488 a year, respectively.[3]

“When you consider that a brand-new Toyota Corolla costs about $26,000[4], keeping your car running can siphon about half of that amount in just a year for those who regularly drive in the city. Almost a quarter of our car expenses are in petrol and car insurance, so it’s crucial consumers take a good hard look at how they can save in these areas,” says money expert, Rod Attrill.

For those who use tolls every day to avoid the dreaded traffic jam when heading into work and getting back home, it’s Sydney motorists who are being stung the most. These drivers are looking at potentially forking out $40.97 in toll charges every week. Across the border, Melbourne CBD drivers may pay a much cheaper rate of $24.53 on average a week in tolls, and Brisbanites sit a little higher at $25.33 or so per week.[5]

Whilst Melbourne city drivers also have some of the cheapest on-street parking rates, with drivers forking out around $14 to park for two hours in the city[6], Adelaide drivers are paying some of the most exorbitant fees to park in the city during the day, with rates starting at around $18 for two hours of parking. [7]

The only reprieve for Sydney motorists is at the bowser. The average price for unleaded petrol came in at 142.4cpl in the last financial quarter, but petrol pains were real for Brisbane drivers who paid 146.4cpl.[8]

Looking to car loans and based on a repayment of a $26,000 loan over 5 years, at a fixed rate of 8.49% p.a, the weekly repayments would be around $125 for all states.[9]

In the car insurance stakes, it’s Melbourne commuters that are generally forking out more for comprehensive cover, to the tune of around $92 a month.[10] This is almost twice as much as Perth drivers who could pay approximately $55 a month for a policy.[11]

That being said, the NSW capital remains the most expensive city for roadside assistance, with drivers paying around $110 a year, compared to their QLD neighbours who pay around $96 per year.[12]

“Roadside assistance is definitely an area where Aussies can claw back some money. Some insurers offer it at little or no extra cost with comprehensive cover so consumers should check that their current policy includes roadside assistance as an additional benefit.” Rod adds.

“It’s also about being clued-up on fuel cycles. Knowing when and where to fill-up can add up to big savings. Say you saved just 15 cents a litre at the pump, that’s $218 you get to keep in your pocket over a year.[13]

“Using comparison services such as comparethemarket.com.au may help city drivers save some costs in the insurance space in particular. Motorists can compare a range of policies to find a more competitive price rather than allow costs to increase every year,” Rod says.

 

Comparethemarket.com.au analysed the potential annual car costs across Australia’s major capital cities such as parking for a few hours in the CBD, using tolls every day and general maintenance costs:

Car expenses[14]Potential annual cost for Sydney CBD drivers
Comprehensive car insurance$1,035
Car loan repayments$6,529
Registration$822
Maintenance and servicing$753
Petrol$1,923
On-street parking*$749[15]
Tolls$2,130
Roadside assistance$110
Total$14,051
Car expensesPotential annual cost for Melbourne CBD drivers
Comprehensive car insurance$1,104
Car loan repayments$6,529
Registration$835
Maintenance and servicing$766
Petrol$1,907
On-street parking*$728
Tolls$1,275
Roadside assistance$108
Total$13,252
Car expensesPotential annual cost for Brisbane CBD drivers
Comprehensive car insurance$682
Car loan repayments$6,529
Registration$757
Maintenance and servicing$630
Petrol$1,922
On-street parking*$510[16]
Tolls$1,316
Roadside assistance$96
Total$12,442
Car expensesPotential annual cost for Adelaide CBD drivers
Comprehensive car insurance$750
Car loan repayments$6,529
Registration$800
Maintenance and servicing$599
Petrol$1,862
On-street parking*$936
TollsN/A
Roadside assistance$100
Total$11,576
Car expenses Potential annual cost for Perth CBD drivers
Comprehensive car insurance$660
Car loan repayments$6,529
Registration$919
Maintenance and servicing$837
Petrol$1,916
On-street parking*$520[17]
TollsN/A
Roadside assistance$107
Total$11,488

 

For interviews and more information, please contact:

Hannah Twiggs | 07 3377 8879 | 0422 965 049 | e: hannah.twiggs@comparethemarket.com.au   

About comparethemarket.com.au

Comparethemarket.com.au is an online comparison service that takes the hard work out of shopping around. We help Australians to quickly and easily compare and buy products from a wide range of providers. Our easy-to-use comparison tool enables consumers to find a product that suits their particular circumstances. We’re also in the business of comparing personal finance products, utilities and can help find the lowest fuel prices in your area. Whether it’s car, health or home & contents insurance, we provide a completely free service, that empowers Australians to make informed buying decisions. We’ve got your back, simples.

 

 

[1] Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living 2019 survey: http://www.eiu.com/public/thankyou_download.aspx?activity=download&campaignid=WCOL2019

[2] Based on a comparethemarket.com.au analysis of Sydney transport costs from Australia Automobile Association – Transport Affordability Index 2018, parking meter tariffs (2018-19), toll charges from the department of transport, and car insurance quotes completed through Compare the Market (May 2019) from Budget Direct, Virgin Money, Australia Post, Progressive Direct and Huddle, for a 30-year-old male driver with a semi-automatic Mazda CX-7, garaged, driving no more than 15,000km per year

[3] Based on a comparethemarket.com.au analysis of Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide transport costs from Australia Automobile Association – Transport Affordability Index 2018, parking meter tariffs (2018-19), toll charges from the department of transport, and car insurance quotes completed through Compare the Market (May 2019) from Budget Direct, Virgin Money, Australia Post, Progressive Direct and Huddle, for a 30-year-old male driver with a semi-automatic Mazda CX-7, garaged, driving no more than 15,000km per year

[4] Toyota.com.au-All new Corolla Hatch: https://www.toyota.com.au/corolla/hatch

[5] Australian Automobile Association – Transport Affordability Index (December 2018): https://www.aaa.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/AAA-Affordability-Index_Q4-2018.pdf

[6] City of Melbourne parking locations and fees (June 2019): https://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/parking-and-transport/parking/parking-locations-fees/Pages/parking-locations-and-fees.aspx

[7] City of Adelaide – Fees and Charges 2018 – 2019 (Excluding discounts/free parking): https://www.cityofadelaide.com.au/assets/documents/FEES-charges.pdf

[8] Based on quarterly average figures (January – April 2019) supplied by MotorMouth Pty Ltd.

[9] Based on a car loan repayment calculation through Compare the Market on a $26,000 loan from CommBank over 5 years, at a fixed rate of 8.49% p.a. The weekly repayments would be $125.11 with a loan fee of $10 a month. This cost is consistent across all states: https://www.commbank.com.au/personal-loans/secured-car-loan.html

[10] Based on car insurance quotes completed through Compare the Market from Budget Direct, Virgin Money, Australia Post, Progressive Direct and Huddle (May 2019) for a 30-year-old male Melbourne driver with a semi-automatic Mazda CX-7, garaged, driving no more than 15,000km per year

[11] Based on car insurance quotes completed through Compare the Market from Budget Direct, Virgin Money, Australia Post, Progressive Direct and Huddle (May 2019) for a 30-year-old male Perth driver with a semi-automatic Mazda CX-7, garaged, driving no more than 15,000km per year

[12] Australian Automobile Association – Transport Affordability Index (December 2018): https://www.aaa.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/AAA-Affordability-Index_Q4-2018.pdf

[13] ABS – Survey of Motor Vehicle Use 2016: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/9208.0Main+Features112%20months%20ended%2030%20June%202016?OpenDocument

[14] Based on a comparethemarket.com.au analysis of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide transport costs from Australia Automobile Association j- Transport Affordability Index 2018

[15] City of Sydney Parking Meter Tariffs (2018-2019): https://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/explore/getting-around/parking/parking-meters

[16] City of Brisbane schedule of fees and charges (2018-19): https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/about-council/council-information-and-rates/news-and-publications/council-annual-plan-and-budget-2018-19#fees

[17] City of Perth Parking, General Parking Fees (July 2018), Central City: https://www.cityofperthparking.com.au/parking-fees

Did you find this article interesting or helpful?

Written by Hannah Twiggs

Hannah (or Twiggs as she's known by most of her colleagues) is a non-stop talker, avid snack eater, dog lover and passionate writer. When she's not chatting to journalists or writing up new story angles, Hannah enjoys a good Netflix binge, going away camping with friends and big brunches - preferably with extra bacon.

Read more from Hannah