• Feb 18, 2011
Right now, the U.S. dollar and the Australian Didjaerawollabuck dollar are about as evenly rated as possible. If that's the case, why are Australians paying double or even triple what we pay to purchase an automobile?

Neil Dowling of Cars Guide looked into this huge discrepancy and found several reasons for the disparity. The United States typically purchases 30 million vehicles per year, while Australia buys around one million. Like any product, there's a discount for buying in bulk. Additionally, Australia mandates its own set of emissions and the cost of adhering to those rules is passed on to the consumer. Beyond emissions and volume, Australians are also paying for the cost to bring vehicles down to their distant southern location. All these factors increase the price of a vehicle in Australia, but one of the biggest reasons for the increased cost is taxes.

A Porsche Carrera S would run a U.S. buyer around $88,000, before the inevitable dive into the bottom-less pit that is the Porsche options list. In Australia, that same car costs a staggering $282,800. The Australian-market Porsche is saddled with a luxury-car tax, import tax and a goods and services tax. Those taxes can also turn a $66,230 U.S.-priced Lexus LS into a $191,200 Australian-priced wallet buster.

On the flip side, Australians are getting vehicles that are highly specced. Mercedes-Benz Australia states that the local S-Class is one of the finest you can buy anywhere in the world. The level of standard equipment on Australian vehicles is greater than what we experience on NA-specced vehicles. In addition, the average wage in Australia is nearly $10,000 higher per person, per year. That may not make it easier to swallow paying nearly $300,000 for a Porsche Carrera S but it shows the Aussies are, on average, earning a better wage than us Yanks.

[Source: CarsGuides.com.au]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 56 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Australia is run by a bunch of morons so everything costs way more than it should. Most Australians would like to move to the U.S. to drive reasonably priced cars with gas prices that are 40% less.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Mate i am not moving to rhe US so that I can drive a better car cheaper. And that goes for the majority if us. Are you nuts? Have you seen a Dodge Nitro lately? Syracuse or Sydney. I'll have Sydney thanks.
        • 3 Years Ago
        No we wouldn't. I'm not diss'in the US (and I do like your cars), but given the current economic performance and social climate of both countries, I ain't moving from Aus.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Come on, check out the Chinese market for the Porsche price tags, it will simply blow your mind.
      • 3 Years Ago
      lots of the prices here are 2x to 3x the price (food, clothing....) because minimum wage is much higher in Australia (I think its sitting around $15 per hour and it increased with age)
      Rafik Kocharians
      • 11 Months Ago
      A huge load of BS. A $66000 lexus LS costs $3000 to import from the US. The luxury car tax as per the government rules is $6000. GST adds another $6000. Total so far is $81000. As for the options, thats not true eiher. Lets add another $19000 in options. Now the car costs $100,000. So where is the other $90000 going ? I mean come on $90,000 It all goes into the dealers or car makers pocket. So please stop making excuses and talk hard number proved facts. Stop lying to the australian people. If importing was so expensive that it triples and quadruples the price then how can ford justify bringing in a $40,000 taurus to replace a $40,000 falcon ? the taurus should cost $130,000. If people are not buying so many falcons they sure as hell would not buy one taurus.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well, we pay much more for a Carrera S here in Malaysia, tax is 300%!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sorry, I meant the Camry is more expensive. I just had a final and I can really think anymore.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The article mentions that Australians make $10K more but it does not mention the comparison of income tax rates which I believe are higher in Australia vs. US. This article is incomplete. BAH!
      • 3 Years Ago
      As an American Expat working in Australia, it is not just cars.

      A candy bar will cost about $2 at a grocery store.
      Beer is about $50 for a 24 pack (mass produced equivalent to a Bud)
      Meat is 2x to 3x the price
      Rent in Sydney is listed on a weekly basis as it would sounds crazy to list it monthly
      • 3 Years Ago
      Expensive? Look out for prices in Singapore and you will know what is really called expensive!
      • 3 Years Ago
      There are countries where cars cost more than Australia. India,Singapore,Norway etc.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The luxury car tax only applies to cars over $57,466, but still the average car is way more expensive than the USA. A more apt comparison would be a Camry (yawn) or Cruze.
      Camry: AU$30,490 US$20,870 (Base model autos, prices from respective websites). So Aus pays about 50% more for similar car (yes specs are different, but many in the US favour, like more air bags and 6 Speed Auto).

      In fact I think you'll find cars in pretty much every other market are expensive by comparison, so anyone could (play devils advocate and) ask - why are cars in the USA so cheap?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Canadian wages are higher than the US, we have healthcare, our taxes are considerably higher, we don't have the infrastructure (bigger country, smaller markets, more expensive to do business) and we have a better public education system . It was written by an economist in the Glob e and Mail recently that ANY product sold in Canada is fairly priced at between a 10-15% more than the same product in the US when the CDN $ is around par.
      Canadians take all the above benefits for granted but don't want to pay for them. Buy your products for less if you want to take a pay cut and buy your own health insurance. I do not work for a manufacturer, it just aggravates me when we enjoy so much more "social" amenities in Canada but no one wants to pay the costs of those services.
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