2. Vehicle operating cost (VOC) components
This chapter contains the unit values for the following vehicle operating cost (VOC) components:
- Repairs and maintenance
- New vehicles (for estimation of depreciation).
2.1 Fuel prices
Fuel price data were obtained from FuelTrac for urban centres (capital cities and towns) across jurisdictions in Australia for the following fuel types:
- Petrol – unleaded petrol (ULP) and premium (PULP)
- LPG and
- Ethanol fuels.
Retail prices were adjusted in terms of taxes (GST and fuel excise) and applicable subsidies and rebates / tax credits to reflect resource prices for these components. Detailed retail and resource price data across all areas for all fuel types are contained in Appendix A. Retail and resource price data for capital cities are contained in Table 2.1 while weighted average resource prices for petrol (ULP and PULP) and diesel are presented in Table 2.2.
2.1.1 Fuel excise
From March 2001 to June 2014, the fuel excise was fixed at 38.143 cents per litre. Changes to fuel excise proposed in the Federal budget for 2014–1, involved a reintroduction of indexation of the fuel excise on a twice-yearly basis. If accepted and eventually introduced, this would be included in future parameter values updates for the ATAP Guidelines.
2.1.2 Fuel tax credits
Changes to fuel tax credit schemes were initiated from 1 July 2013. The fuel tax credit applicable from that date to heavy vehicles with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) greater than 4.5 tonnes travelling on public roads is 12.003 cents per litre for liquid fuels, especially diesel (Australian Taxation Office, 2013). Vehicles used for off road purposes in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors are eligible for a fuel tax credit of 38.143 cents per litre (equivalent to the fuel excise). These fuel tax credits are not reflected in the price data in Table 2.1 as they came into effect from 1 July 2013 and, furthermore, were not applicable to all diesel sold.
2.1.3 Road user charge
The road user charge applicable to fuel used in heavy vehicles from 1 July 2013 (Australian Taxation Office, 2013) was set at 26.14 cents per litre, with the fuel tax credit set at 12.003 cents per litre. This can be incorporated into future parameter values updates for the ATAP Guidelines.
2.1.4 Fuel subsidy schemes
Fuel subsidy schemes were withdrawn from Queensland (8.354 cents per litre) from June 2009, Northern Territory (1.1 cents per litre) from May 2009 and South Australia (3.3 cents per litre) from September 2010. These changes are reflected in the calculation of resource prices in Table 2.1 and Table A.1 in Appendix A.
2.1.5 Fuel price estimates for capital cities
Retail and resource price estimates for all applicable fuel types for each capital city as at 30 June 2013 are set out in Table 2.1. The resource prices for each fuel type reflect GST and fuel excise (38.143 cents per litre for all fuel types except LPG and 12.5 cents per litre for LPG).
|Retail price(1)||Resource price||Retail price(1)||Resource price||Retail price(1)||Resource price||Retail price(1)||Resource price||Retail price(1)||Resource price|
The prices in Table 2.1 were then weighted in terms of sales volumes data (especially the case for petrol) to provide weighted average fuel prices per capital city contained in Table 2.2.
|Capital city||Fuel type (cents/litre)|
(weighted averageby volume)
Fuel prices across all jurisdictions and local areas are presented in Table A.1 in Appendix A.
2.1.6 Emission conversion factors
The most recent emission conversion factors for all fuel types are provided in Appendix B for appropriate vehicle types and age classifications. The emissions factors have been calculated by BITRE, based on averaging results of various models such as BITRE MVEm (which includes calibrations using NISE1 and NISE2 data, such as reported by FORS and Orbital Australia) and COPERT for Australia (http://www.emisia.com/content/copert-australia). They have been compared with summary results reported in NGGIC 2006 and the National Inventory Report 2012 (Department of the Environment, 2014).
A survey was undertaken of retail outlets for small volume sales (1 litre and 4 litre containers) mainly for oil used in petrol engines, as well as oil companies for large containers (209 litres) of engine oil sold in bulk to road freight transport operators for use in diesel engines. The market and resource prices obtained from the surveys across vehicle types are presented in Table 2.3. The prices for diesel engine oils were therefore lower than might be expected due to the inclusion of larger containers in the sample. This was not the case in previous unit values surveys, which relied primarily on retail outlets for the sample.
|Engine type||Market price ($ per litre)||Resource price ($ per litre)|
Where a vehicle type, e.g. LCVs, includes petrol and diesel engines, the oil price can be weighted in terms of the vehicle population using the road or in that jurisdiction. Using SMVU data for this vehicle type, a weighted average engine oil price was calculated for LCVs given that this vehicle type includes petrol or diesel engines. Using this methodology, the engine oil price for LCVs was estimated at a market price of $6.15 per litre and resource price of $5.59 per litre.
A survey of tyre prices for all vehicle types was undertaken through a sample of retail outlets and tyre companies and these data are contained in Table 2.4. Data are presented for market prices and resource prices per vehicle type. Where appropriate, for heavy vehicles, the prices per new tyre are a weighted average between the drive tyres and trailer tyres. The number of tyres per set and the resource price per set of new tyres are also presented in the table, the latter being deducted from the resource price of new vehicles for depreciation purposes.
|Vehicle type||Market price|
($ per new tyre)
($ per new tyre)
|Number of tyres per set||Resource price|
($ per set of new tyres)
|01. Small Car||98||89||4||356|
|02. Medium Car||128||116||4||464|
|03. Large Car||167||151||4||604|
|04. Courier Van-Utility||171||155||4||620|
|05. 4WD Mid Size Petrol||306||278||4||1,112|
|06. Light Rigid||247||224||4||897|
|07. Medium Rigid||507||461||6||2,764|
|08. Heavy Rigid||728||662||10||6,618|
|09. Heavy Bus||493||448||8||3,584|
|10. Artic 4 Axle||676||614||14||8,600|
|11. Artic 5 Axle||690||627||18||11,291|
|12. Artic 6 Axle||686||624||22||13,720|
|13. Rigid + 5 Axle Dog||660||600||30||18,000|
|15. Twin steer + 5 Axle Dog||690||627||32||20,064|
|17. B Triple||689||626||46||28,796|
|18. A B Combination||653||594||54||32,076|
|20. Double B-Double||688||625||66||41,250|
The resource price per retreaded tyre and resource price per set of retreaded tyres are presented in the table below.
|Vehicle type||Resource price|
($ per retreaded tyre)
($ per set of retreaded tyres)
|01. Small Car||48||194|
|02. Medium Car||58||232|
|03. Large Car||68||273|
|04. Courier Van-Utility||78||310|
|05. 4WD Mid Size Petrol||139||556|
|06. Light Rigid||149||596|
|07. Medium Rigid||200||1,201|
|08. Heavy Rigid||222||2,218|
|09. Heavy Bus||161||1,290|
|10. Artic 4 Axle||222||3,106|
|11. Artic 5 Axle||214||3,855|
|12. Artic 6 Axle||220||4,845|
|13. Rigid + 5 Axle Dog||227||6,817|
|15. Twin steer + 5 Axle Dog||227||7,258|
|17. B Triple||249||11,466|
|18. A B Combination||241||13,006|
|20. Double B-Double||253||16,726|
2.4 Repairs and maintenance
For passenger cars and light vehicles, the repairs and maintenance costs used in previous Austroads unit values updates (Austroads, 2012a) were updated using an average of the CPI for vehicle maintenance and repairs and the CPI for motor vehicle spares. For heavy vehicles, repairs and maintenance costs were updated using an average of the PPI for road freight and the PPI for auto parts. This differs from the methodology used in the previous Austroads unit values update (Austroads, 2012a), which used the PPI for road freight only. The repairs and maintenance costs per vehicle type are contained in Table 2.6. The estimates based on percentage of new vehicle price as used in the adapted HDM-4 models (including estimated time costs for labour) are also presented for comparison purposes. The table shows that there is a reasonable correspondence between the costs based on the PPI update and that based on percentage of new vehicle price with a labour cost component (HDM approach), except for several of the combination vehicle types due to the specification of those vehicles and the new vehicle prices involved.
|Vehicle type||Repairs & maintenance costs (cents per km) based on PPI||Repairs & maintenance costs (cents per km) based on % new vehicle price|
|01. Small Car||6.1||7.1|
|02. Medium Car||7.1||8.1|
|03. Large Car||5.7||9.3|
|04. Courier Van-Utility||6.7||6.7|
|05. 4WD Mid Size Petrol||8.2||8.2|
|06. Light Rigid||6.1||7.5|
|07. Medium Rigid||13.1||10.7|
|08. Heavy Rigid||14.0||16.8|
|09. Heavy Bus||13.1||13.1|
|10. Artic 4 Axle||19.1||18.9|
|11. Artic 5 Axle||22.2||19.5|
|12. Artic 6 Axle||22.8||18.0|
|13. Rigid + 5 Axle Dog||25.2||22.7|
|15. Twin steer + 5 Axle Dog||27.2||30.5|
|17. B Triple||35.3||47.1|
|18. A B Combination||34.7||45.3|
|20. Double B-Double||39.2||47.7|
Vehicle repair and maintenance costs were also compared to available servicing costs from sources such as the RACV. Summarised data from these sources are contained in Table 2.7. The servicing costs do not seem to be significantly different to those estimated by the PPI update, and are closer to those values than the HDM approach (% of new vehicle price).
|Vehicle type||Average vehicle servicing costs (cents per km)|
|Two wheel drive utility vehicle||6.1|
|Four wheel drive utility||8.2|
2.5 Vehicle prices
Average new vehicle prices for passenger cars and LCVs (utility/delivery vehicles) were obtained from the Automotive Data Services (www.redbook.com.au), while new vehicle prices for heavy commercial vehicles were updated using an average of the PPI for road freight, PPI for motor vehicles and the PPI for vehicle bodies and trailers to give a more representative index for the change in new vehicle prices. These prices were also compared to available sources, namely: http://www.trucksales.com.au and FreightMetrics (www.freightmetrics.com.au). The resource price for each vehicle type in Table 2.8 involved the deduction of a 5% fleet discount, GST and the resource price per set of tyres applicable to that vehicle type, as presented in Table 2.4.
|Vehicle type||Market price ($ per vehicle)||Resource price ($ per vehicle)|
|01. Small Car||18,770||15,855|
|02. Medium Car||29,070||24,645|
|03. Large Car||41,467||35,204|
|04. Courier Van-Utility||34,203||28,919|
|05. 4WD Mid Size Petrol||57,280||48,357|
|06. Light Rigid||56,511||47,913|
|07. Medium Rigid||139,521||117,726|
|08. Heavy Rigid||225,004||187,756|
|09. Heavy Bus||322,571||275,000|
|10. Artic 4 Axle||305,732||255,450|
|11. Artic 5 Axle||341,347||283,509|
|12. Artic 6 Axle||373,497||308,840|
|13. Rigid + 5 Axle Dog||340,037||275,668|
|15. Twin steer + 5 Axle Dog||410,015||334,040|
|17. B Triple||707,382||582,125|
|18. A B Combination||611,048||495,647|
|20. Double B-Double||690,398||555,003|
 The proportion of petrol and diesel engine LCVs was based on SMVU (2012) data available at time of calculation.
 Using the 20 vehicle classification as developed for use in the harmonisation studies, which employed the Australian adaptation and calibration of the HDM models that have also been adopted for the vehicle operating cost (VOC) modelling chapter of this Part. This is explained further in Appendix C, including how this relates to the Austroads 12 bin classification.