Real change in transport prices by mode

Indicator Assessment
Prod-ID: IND-173-en
Also known as: TERM 020
Created 04 Sep 2018 Published 22 Nov 2018 Last modified 22 Nov 2018
10 min read
Topics: ,
The cost of purchasing motor cars has decreased significantly since 1996, compared with average consumer prices. In contrast, the cost of passenger services and the operation of personal transport equipment has generally increased over the same period. The volatility of the transport market can be seen by looking at figures for 2009, when overall transport prices fell at a faster rate than average consumer prices. This was primarily because of a significant drop in the average crude oil price between 2008 and 2009, and subsequent reductions in fuel prices. Rail transport prices are less closely tied to the costs of fuel as most services operate under ‘public service obligations’ and an increasing proportion of passenger rail is electric-powered. Overall, transport prices appeared to peak in 2012, largely driven by a peak in the price of operating personal transport equipment.

Key messages

  • The cost of purchasing motor cars has decreased significantly since 1996, compared with average consumer prices. In contrast, the cost of passenger services and the operation of personal transport equipment has generally increased over the same period.
  • The volatility of the transport market can be seen by looking at figures for 2009, when overall transport prices fell at a faster rate than average consumer prices. This was primarily because of a significant drop in the average crude oil price between 2008 and 2009, and subsequent reductions in fuel prices.
  • Rail transport prices are less closely tied to the costs of fuel as most services operate under ‘public service obligations’ and an increasing proportion of passenger rail is electric-powered.
  • Overall, transport prices appeared to peak in 2012, largely driven by a peak in the price of operating personal transport equipment.

Are passenger transport prices increasing at a higher rate than consumer prices?

Real change in transport prices by mode

Chart