New research commissioned by Real Insurance found the rising cost of living has impacted 71% of Australians commuting costs over the past year.

Out of the 5,001 respondents, 48% noted the rising fuel and transport costs have resulted in added financial pressure for their household.

On average, the cost of commuting per year is $4,003. Collectively, this equates to $42.3 billion spent annually across the country.

While Sydney is the most expensive capital city to commute to work ($22 per day), Brisbanites were most likely to describe their trip as difficult (29%). 

The difference between the most expensive commute (Sydney) and the mid-tier commute (Brisbane) is $771 annually.

Senior Lecturer in Transport Planning Dr John Stone said despite the disadvantages of the long and expensive commute, Australians are still using public transport.

“This is due to several factors including changes in environmental consciousness, demographic shifts with more people living closer to CBD jobs, and improvements in the quality of public transport and safer bike routes,” Mr Stone said.

When deciding where to live, six in 10 respondents said commuting time and cost were the biggest deciding factors. 

Before moving to a new house or changing jobs, the maximum price people are willing to spend per week on commuting to work is $80. 

Given the average daily commuting cost is $20, this works out to be $20 more than what Aussies are willing to pay on a five-day work week.

Which state has the highest commuting cost?

According to the research, 83% of commuters agree the cost of commuting has never been as expensive as it is now.

Below is the state-by-state breakdown for average daily and annual commute cost:

State Daily cost Annual cost
NSW $22 $4,477
ACT $21 $4,416
VIC $20 $3,902
WA $19 $3,905
QLD $18 $3,706
SA $18 $3,469
TAS $17 $3,835
NT $11 $2,440


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