Australian commuters can save themselves $10,000 a year or more simply by using public transport to commute to work instead of a car, according to a new report prepared by the Australasian Railway Association.

The Costs of Commuting: An Analysis of Potential Commuter Savings report, gives a breakdown for all Australian capital cities, as well as Auckland and Wellington, of what the costs are to own and run a car and commute via the most popular routes, the availability and costs of public transport, and the savings achieved by either not using a car for commuting or forgoing car ownership or a second family car.

“Of the 9.8 million Australians in the workforce, 60 per cent drive to work, causing road congestion in our cities that increases carbon emissions and accidents, and is also set to cost the Australian economy $20.4 billion annually by 2020,” ARA chief executive Brian Nye said.

The Report found that Brisbane and Melbourne commuters have the highest costs to own and commute to work by car compared with those in other Australian capital cities due to higher registration, fuel and servicing prices. By not owning a car and using public transport, a Brisbane commuter can save an average of $10,375 annually, and a Melbourne commuter an average of $10,788.

“A lot of people are unaware of the significant savings that can be made by selling their car or simply not purchasing a second household car and switching to public transport. A driver of a larger vehicle, like a Holden Commodore, could save more than $12,600 annually while the driver of a smaller vehicle, like a Mazda 2, could save about $6400.”

The methodology allowed a cost of $1000 annually for parking, however Mr Nye pointed out that with CBD parking costs ranging from $180 to $750 a year, this can add a saving of up to $9000 a year.

“Even commuters who choose to own a car but leave it at home and take public transport can still save,” Mr Nye said.

  • Read the full report here.

One reply on “Give yourself an extra $10,000 a year – sell the car”

  1. I can fully substantiate the savings. I live on the Northern Beaches of Sydney and about 3 years ago switched from driving to the city daily to catching the bus. I still own the car but am saving around $10-12k pa through parking and car running costs. It takes a bit longer on the bus but it is much less stressful and I now avoid driving into the city for work at all costs

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