Second car equates to a mortgage

PERTH is Australia’s most expensive city for commuting by car says a planning thinktank.

Committee for Perth’s latest research reveals that if you live 5km from the CBD and drive to work it costs you $9180 per year, while a 25km commute from Joondalup shoots it to $22,306.

“The comparable average figures for the other Australian capital cities are $7432 and $14,369, so we’re paying between $1748 and almost $8000 each year more than it’s costing other capital city commuters,” says committee CEO Marion Fulker.

“Part of this cost is because of Perth’s relatively high parking fees caused by a shortage of bays in the CBD.

“But if you’re living 25km from the CBD, you’re spending up to $1900 a month on petrol, parking, car registration, insurance and maintenance, which isn’t much less than the average monthly mortgage repayment of $2000.”

The thinktanks’ report—cost of living, what is your commute costing you?—also reveals:

• choosing a small car over an SUV can save you $1500 a year;

• ditching your second car can save you up to $20,000 per year;

• commuting by public transport can save you $10,000 a year.

“There are 540,000 full-time workers in Perth and 84 per cent of them use their car to get to work,” Ms Fulker says.

“If we can get 20 per cent more of them to use public transport it could save Perth households more than $600 million in travel costs, which would be a huge shot in the arm for the local economy.

“Getting more people onto public transport would also reduce congestion, which by 2020 will be costing Perth $2.1 billion every year.

“To put that figure into perspective, the Perth to Mandurah rail cost $1.66b to build and the MAX light rail is estimated to be $1.88b.

“Both of those figures are less than the congestion cost, so the question is not ‘can we afford to invest in public transport’ but ‘can we afford not to’.”

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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