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How much does it cost to run a car in Sydney today?

speeding hurts run a car

Sydney is the most expensive city in Australia to run a car. The top three costs for an owner are car loans, fuel and tolls. Owners with a loan could spend 57% more every week to run a car than someone without a car loan. We look at how much it costs to run a car in Sydney.

Is owning a car in Sydney affordable?

The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) says households in Sydney pay the most in Australia, spending $513 a week on getting around. Transport takes up 16% of their average income, which is lower than Brisbane or Melbourne.

  City Cost Percentage of income
1. Sydney $513 per wk ($26,653 pa) 16.0%
2. Melbourne $506 per wk ($26,332 pa)  17.6%
3. Brisbane $502 per wk ($26,119 pa) 18.2%

Hobart, at 18.5% of average income, is the least affordable city for owning a car.

Note, if a household does not use public transport, these figures would be higher. AAA affordability statistics for June  quarter 2023 are based on a notional family. They have a car loan, pays tolls 3 days, and take public transport on other days to save money.

What are the highest costs of running a car?

The highest cost of owning a car anywhere in Australia is having a car loan. Car loans inflate the total cost of owning a car in Sydney by 56.7%.

The second biggest cost is fuel. Fuel has been at record prices and shows no signs of falling by much. Use our fuel price calculator to find the cheapest possible fuel prices near you.

The third highest cost is road tolls. As the price of most tolls increases every quarter and with inflation, they could soon overtake even high fuel prices. For owners without a loan, tolls could become the biggest cost of owning a car.

What are the other costs of running a car in Sydney?

The costs of running a car include car loan payments, fuel, tolls, insurance, servicing and tyres, registration and green slip and roadside assistance.

  Per week Per year
Car loan payments $185 $9,644
Fuel      $94      $4,883
Tolls $83 $4,305
Insurance $39 $2,013
Servicing and tyres $34 $1,790
Registration, licensing and CTP $25 $1,297
Roadside assistance    $2     $121
Total with car loan  $513    $26,653
Total without car loan  $328      $17,009

Some of these are your choice and some, like registration and green slip, are mandatory.

Your registration and green slip

Registration and green slip are relatively small contributors to the cost of owning a car in Sydney.

Registration in NSW currently costs $75 for a car, station wagon or small bus (at October 2023). On top of this is vehicle tax, which is paid on the weight of the vehicle. For example, $264 for a medium car.

The cost of your green slip in NSW is variable and depends on you, type of vehicle and your driving history. Find out more about how green slip prices are set.

We used the greenslips.com.au Calculator to calculate the cost of a green slip for a driver with a clean licence and a driver with one demerit point. While the average hike in prices for demerit points is high, not all insurers view one demerit point in the same way.

The rolling 12 month average cost of a green slip in NSW is $557.

However, in Sydney in October 2023, our notional good driver spends around $513 to insure a Honda Accord and $823 for a Ford Ranger.

  Ford Ranger Average Honda Accord Average
Good driver $674-$1,126 $823 $429-$733 $513
Driver with one demerit point $846-$1,126 $990 $466-$733 $622

It is usually more expensive to insure a ute or light goods vehicle  than a motor car.

Calculate your green slip now.

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Corrina Baird

Writer and Researcher, greenslips.com.au

Corrina used to lend her car to her kids and discovered what Ls, Ps and demerits mean for greenslips. After 20 years in financial services and over 8 years with greenslips.com.au, she’s an expert in the NSW CTP scheme. Read more about Corrina

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