A typical medium car costs over $12,000 to own and operate each year (see table below). Public transport that works gives families the ability to own fewer cars (cutting registration, insurance, depreciation and interest costs), and to use them less (cutting fuel and maintenance costs). For each additional car they can avoid having to buy thanks to public transport that works, a typical family could save thousands of dollars each year.

Table: Annual costs for average medium-sized car1

Depreciation 5,222
Interest 2,458
Registration, insurance, roadside assistance, etc 2,199
Total standing costs 9,880
Fuel 1,569
Tyres 203
Servicing 1,077
Total running costs 2,849
Total annual costs $12,728
For someone on the 30% marginal tax rate (e.g. earning
$60,000 p.a.), $12,728 after tax equals this much before tax:
Investing $18,581 p.a. from before-tax income into superannuation
for 30 years (assuming 7.5% return) would amount to:
$1.8 million

Map: Household cars per 100 residents aged 20-74

Note: Families who have access to good public transport don't need to own as many cars (green areas) as families with infrequent and poorly co-ordinated public transport (red areas)

Dwindling oil supplies

Experts are warning that production from the world's finite oil reserves will start to fall in the near future (see chart below), so the cost of fuel is likely to continue rising over coming years. Tell your MP that we need public transport that works to cushion us from the impact of high oil prices.

Chart: Actual and forecast oil production showing peak around 20142

Note: Once annual oil production goes into decline around 2014 (see blue line), oil prices will rise rapidly as consumers compete for dwindling supplies.


  1. Average for medium cars listed in RACV vehicle operating costs 2010
  2. Ibrahim Sami Nashawi, Adel Malallah, Mohammed Al-Bisharah, 'Forecasting World Crude Oil Production Using Multicyclic Hubbert Model', Energy & Fuels 2010 24 (3), pp.1788-1800