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

cost of running car

Sydney is Australia’s most expensive city to run a car. The top 3 highest costs for an owner are car loans, fuel and tolls. If you have a loan, it could cost you 56% more every week to run a car than someone without a car loan. How much does it cost to run a car in Sydney?

Is owning a car in Sydney affordable?

According to the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), households in Sydney pay $486 a week, or nearly $25,300 a year on getting around. This takes up 15.5% of the average income. Brisbane, at 17.0% of average income, is the least affordable of these 3 cities for owning a car.

  • Sydney            $486 per wk ($25,255 pa)       15.5% of income
  • Melbourne      $464 per wk ($24,109 pa)       16.5% of income
  • Brisbane         $458 per wk ($23,836 pa)       17.0% of income.

In fact, if a household does not use public transport, these figures could be even higher. AAA affordability statistics for November quarter 2022 are based on a notional family living in Sydney. They have a car loan, pays tolls 3 days, and other days take public transport to save money.

What is the highest cost of running a car?

The highest cost of owning a car in Sydney (or anywhere in Australia) is having a car loan. Car loans can push up the total cost of owning a car by 55.5%.

The second biggest cost is fuel. Nobody needs to be told that fuel has been at record prices and shows no signs of big drops. Use our fuel price calculator to make sure you’re getting the cheapest fuel prices possible near you.

The third highest cost is tolls, by only one dollar. We at greenslips.com.au have written extensively about tolls. As the price of most tolls increases every quarter and with inflation, they could soon become the second largest cost of owning a car in Sydney. For owners without a car loan, tolls will become the biggest cost.

What are the costs of running a car?

The costs of running a car include car loan payments, fuel, tolls, insurance, servicing and tyres, registration and green slip and roadside assistance. Some of these are a choice and some are not.

  Per week    Per year
Car loan payments   $156   $8,133
Fuel      $94      $4,885
Tolls    $93 $4,811
Insurance    $34 $1,762
Servicing and tyres $32    $1,681
Registration, licensing and CTP $24    $1,262
Roadside assistance     $2    $121
Total with car loans  $435     $22,655
Total without car loans $279    $14,522

Compared to the top 5, registration and green slip are smaller contributors to the full cost of owning a car in Sydney.

Your registration and green slip

Registration in NSW currently costs $70 for a car, station wagon or small bus (at November 2022). Then you need to add on vehicle tax of around $260 for a medium car, depending on the weight of the vehicle.

However, the cost of your green slip depends on you, type of vehicle and your driving history. Find out more about how green slip prices are set.

Using the greenslips.com.au Calculator, we looked at the cost of a green slip for a driver with a clean licence compared to a driver with one demerit point. While the average hike in prices for demerits is high, not all insurers treat one demerit point the same way.

The average cost of a green slip in NSW is $470. However, in Sydney, our notional good driver spends around $439 to insure a Honda Accord and $701 for a Ford Ranger.

  Ford Ranger Average Honda Accord Average
Good driver $625-$776 $701 $401-$527 $439
Driver with one demerit point $664-$1104 $907 $416-$723 $602

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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