The Real Insurance Real Australian Commute Report is now live here. View insightful information regarding commuting in your own suburb/region by entering your postcode.

The Real Australian Commute Report forms part of the Real Insurance Research Series. In its latest instalment, this study explores aspects of commuting in Australia, looking to tackle the cost, time and distance commuted by Australians and how this impacts where people want to work and live. It also explores the effect that COVID-19 had on the experience of Australian commuters working from home.

The report is compiled based on research commissioned by Real Insurance and conducted by CoreData between 22 July and 12 August 2022. The research was conducted via a quantitative online survey, gathering 5,001 responses from commuting Australians. The sample is representative of the general commuting population of Australia in terms of cost, distance and time spent commuting across age, gender, wealth, and state/territory.

Key Findings

Commuting time and costs are usually higher in capital cities

  • Capital cities have a higher average annual commute cost in 5 of 8 states and territories compared to rural and regional areas.*
  • Commuting times are higher in all capital cities compared to suburban, regional and rural areas in their respective state or territory.*

Commuting is costly

  • Over 7 in 10 (71%) commuters agree that the rising cost of living has reasonably impacted their commuting costs in the past year. Close to 1 in 2 (48%) say that this has resulted in considerable financial pressure on their household.
  • More than 4 in 5 (83%) agree that commuting has never been as expensive as it is now.
  • The average daily cost of commuting per person is $20, while the average yearly cost of commuting per person is $4,003.*
  • The findings suggest that collectively, Australians spend $43.2 billion annually on commuting.*^
  • The furthest average daily commutes belong mainly to areas outside of capital cities with other VIC having the tied longest at 39 km with other NSW, other QLD (37km), and other SA (35 km).*
  • For capital cities, Brisbane has the furthest average commute at 33 km, followed by Adelaide and Melbourne (both averaging 30 km), Perth (29 km), then Sydney at 28km.*

Commuters like public transport (without the public)

  • Nearly 9 in 10 (87%) mass transit commuters wish that public transport commuters had better manners.
  • Over 8 in 10 (83%) wish people were friendlier to each other on public transport.
  • Close to 8 in 10 (78%) also believe that commuters with poor manners should be fined or even banned from using public transport.

Private commuting can be frustrating

  • Over 9 in 10 (91%) car commuters wish other drivers had better knowledge of the rules.
  • Almost 9 in 10 (87%) think that drivers behaving poorly should be fined or even banned from using the roads.
  • Additionally, more than 8 in 10 (85%) agree that too many drivers and road users are not courteous or safe.
  • Nearly 1 in 3 (34%) commuters prefer to work completely from an office, while almost 3 in 10 (28%) prefer to work from home and an office equally. Less than 1 in 10 (7%) prefer to work completely from home.

*Outliers have been removed in analysis.
^This figure was calculated using survey results and ABS data from June 2022 for employment numbers to get the commuting population. The commuting population was used with self reported costs from survey respondents to derive this figure

View the report on the Real Insurance website here or download the full PDF report below.