Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Five things more expensive in Australia than in SG

Cost of living in Australia has been a perennial topic amongst both our friends, families, and readers alike.

After I saw this BBC article about how SG is the world's most expensive city, I'd better caution those of you from there who may be thinking of visiting or migrating to Oz. Not everything is cheaper here!

  1. The cost of rubbish disposal can be much steeper in Oz. Here, there are no enterprising elderly to scavenge your recyclables. If you have bulky refuse, you may have to pay to get rid of it. See here for a sample of the fees. We once paid $2 to dispose of a small bag of trash (usual price $5 per bag, but the kind lady at the transfer station gave us a discount) on a multi-day camping trip. Honestly we could have waited, but since we had already made the detour to dispose of it...
  2. Internet is much more expensive in Oz. We pay $60 a month for an ADSL connection which tops out at about 12mbps, and has 150gb data allowance per month (additional usage is not charged, but the speed will be throttled to 512kbps)
  3. Public transport is much more expensive in Melbourne, especially if you do short trips. About $3.50 within zone 1 (inner city) for the first two hours, but unlimited travel distance and trips. Maximum price is $7 per day within zone 1. Ignore the fact that the service is now overall more reliable than SG and that it's far less crowded. It is more expensive!
  4. Speeding fines. We've earned two in three months. Ouch! $180 for 10km/h above the limit.
  5. Car parts tend to be a bit more expensive. Sending your car to a mechanic other than the dealer could cost more too, unless you are talking about basic servicing, in which case I've seen internet deals from reputable providers for about $29 including oil and oil filter. However the dealers here don't seem to charge any more than those in SG, based on the few comparisons I have done. Many also offer capped price servicing as standard.
Please think twice before you emigrate. As the saying goes, out of the frying pan, and into the fire!



  1. speed demons, eh? 2 fines in 3 months.

    Learn to slow down and enjoy the scenery, brudder... this is down under leh... not the PIE, KJE, TPE. LOL!

  2. Been reading your blog and asingaporeanson for a while and thank you for all the inspiration and info on making the move. Making a change of career and hopefully I be in Aust in about 3 years time.

    1. Good for you thomie!! Better to be proactive than sit around and do anything about it. All the best in your new career and hope it turns out well!
      - A

  3. You are right about the fine....i was fined few times for doing 55k in a 50k zone and the find is not cheap. Do you know that our speedo is tuned so that you are actually doing 100k when the speedo is showing 107k ? If you drive to Geelong and on your return you should see a sign that said something like max is 107k on the speedo.

    The other things that cost more is uniform and sch text books esp at high school level. For girls we have winter and summer uniform. School jacket cost almost $200. I remember paying almost 1K for my daughter's new uniform. Likewise for high sch books, a Maths text bk can cost more than $70.

    It's a monopoly and luckilly Govt is giving subsidy for these purchases.

    Anyway like I always said coming to OZ is a package, you can't pick and choose....

  4. Internet can be cheaper you just need to shop around. TPG offers AUD 80/ month unlimited downloads, phone line, free calls, free overseas call to selected countries (includes Singapore), free IPTV including channel news asia, Al Jazeera, CCTV etc

  5. My wife is also using TPG, her land line died for days before it was fixed, her Internet connection was cut off every now and then.

  6. Yes, all speedos in oz cars are tuned to read about 10% higher than actual. This is to ensure that if you follow the speedo, you will not speed. So it protects the car manufactures and no excuse. But of course if you change the tyre size and all, it will not be accurate.

  7. hi there! love your blog! please continue writing!

    1. Thanks for your comment! We might just post pictures if we can be bothered again.

      Little motivation to blog these days because:

      1. Have been consistently annoyed by stupid comments and questions from sinkies.
      2. Enjoying life here, no longer need the blog as an outlet.
      3. Not every reader is as appreciative as you (see point 1 as well)
      4. Sg has little relevance in our lives and we hardly follow news from there at all unless it concerns CPF and NS (our bread and butter issues)
      5. For those who want to migrate and are trying, but really cannot, I do not wish to rub salt into open wounds.
      6. For those who are not convinced, no amount of blogging would convince them anyway (refer to point #3).

      We still monitor and filter comments and this will continue for the foreseeable future. But if there's anything in particular you like to read about regarding Oz, you can tempt me to do a reader's special just for you ;)


  8. Can you share about the council rate, strata rate and water rate please? Those rates are sky high in Perth?
    Mortgage rate is not cheap too.

  9. We are in Melbourne and have zero interest in finding out the rates for Perth. Try posing the same question on this blog: A Singaporean in Australia.

    These rates vary from suburb to suburb. So my hint is, Google is your friend. I've seen the numbers before and while my memory is so hazy that any answer would be to everyone's detriment, I was unfazed by the figures.

    Mortgage rate is not cheap, as you have pointed out. Currently at its pretty low rate is 4+ to low 5%.. Better stay put in Sg =D