Melbourne to Perth Drive Cost

Melbourne to Perth drive Cost
A rare signpost with camel near Yalata, SA

How much does it cost to drive from Melbourne to Perth or Perth to Melbourne?

This is one thing that everyone wants to know when thinking or planning about the trip.

Unfortunately, there is no standard answer to this question. However, a fair bit of idea can be given.

I am going to provide some details that will help you to arrive at rough estimation.

Here you go.

Table of Contents

Expense Factors

As you know, your trip expenses will vary based on the following factors.

  • number of days of travel

  • number of people travelling

  • do you drive your own car? Or, renting?

  • type of accommodation. Do you go camping? Or, do you stay in a hotel, motel, caravan park or sleep in your vehicle?

  • Whether you bring your own food and cook them? Or, do you eat outside all the time?

  • fuel consumption based on the type of car. Also, do you pull a caravan or camper or a trailer?

  • Any entry fee you pay to the National Parks or other events during your journey

  • time of your travel. Is it festive season like Easter, Christmas, New Year? Or, offseason?

Before I jump into other things, first let me share my expenses for the drive.

My Trip Expenses

Before sharing my expenses, first, let me tell you my travel factors.

  • 5 days of driving

  • I am the only person

  • I drove my own car. So, no rental charges

  • Just a car only. I didn't pull any trailers

  • No cooking. I ate outside all the time

  • No camping. I stayed at caravan parks and roadhouse hotel

  • I travelled during offseason

Here is my expense list. All the numbers are real. I didn't cook them for any reason.

All the expenses were from my credit card. So, it was easy for me to pull everything and generated a report.

Drive Expenses - Melbourne to perth
DayFood ($)Petrol ($)Accommodation ($)Entry Fees ($)
   Grand Total$1,224.20

 Here is the detailed breakdown of the expenses.

Food Expenses:

Food expenses include the following

  • Breakfast

  • Morning coffee

  • Lunch

  • Afternoon coffee

  • Dinner

  • Purchased drinking water on 4th day only

On average, I paid

  • around $10 for breakfast

  • around $15 for lunch

  • around $20 for dinner

Petrol Expenses:

My car is a Sedan type and petrol car.

On the second, fourth and fifth day, I topped petrol up 2 times a day. One in the morning before starting the drive and another one after lunch.

On the first and third day, I put petrol only once in the morning.

When I travelled,

  • fuel price at the metro (Melbourne, Adelaide & Perth) was around $1.50 per litre

  • fuel price at roadhouses across the Nullarbor Plain was around $2.00 per litre

Accommodation Expenses:

I stayed in fully self-contained cabins in Caravan park on 4 nights.

Two of them had a double bed and bunk beds. Another two had a double bed only. All four had a kitchen and an ensuite bath and toilet.

On the third day, I stayed at Border Village Roadhouse's hotel. It had a double bed and ensuite bath, toilet. No bunk beds. Also, no kitchen.

Overall, these accommodations can accommodate up to 5 people easily.

On average, I paid $115 per night for accommodation.

Entry Fees:

I visited the Whale Watching Centre at the Head of the Bight. There was an entry fee of $7.

Since it was off season, I couldn't see any whales.

The Takeaway from My Expenses

The reason why I shared my expenses is that it'll give you a fair bit of idea of a rough estimate. In addition, there are a few takeaways for you.

As you can see, my trip expense was roughly $1K just for myself.

Does it mean that the expenses will be $2K for 2 people or $5K for 5 people?

No. It'll be comparatively the same for everyone.

How come?

Read further...

  • Up to 5 people can sleep in most of the places where I stayed. So, whether you are 1 person, 2 people or a family of 5, the accommodation expenses are almost the same (if not, at least comparable)

  • My car has a seating capacity of 5 people. So, whether you are 1 person, 2 people or a family of 5, petrol expenses are going to be the same (maybe a slight increase as the headcount increases)

  • Food expenses are for individual people. So, this will increase as the headcount increases

Based on the above points, petrol and accommodation expenses are going to be comparatively the same for 1 person, 2 people or a family of 5. It is the food expense that will vary based on the number of people.

Another point is that there are many ways to reduce food and accommodation expenses.

You can bring your own food, cook them and have them. This will reduce food expenses.

You can opt for camping, backpackers accommodation or shop around for better deals. This will bring down your accommodation expenses.

However, there is no way to reduce car fuel expenses.

So, how do you estimate fuel expenses for your car?

Here is a simple method.

How to Estimate Fuel Expenses?

Here is the simple method to estimate the approximate fuel expenses for your car.

  • Identify the distance between your source and destination. Basically, the number of KM

  • Break the total KM into two segments

  • Segment #1 is 1,200 KM. This is the distance of Nullarbor Plain between Ceduna (SA) and Norseman (WA)

  • Segment #2 is the remaining KM. That is total KM minus 1,200. This is the rest of your journey

  • Identify your car's fuel efficiency. That is the number of litres of fuel required per 100 KM. I knew my car can do less than 7L/100 KM on the highway. Consider only the fuel efficiency on highway & freeway. You can ignore the fuel efficiency on urban & suburban areas

  • Identify the number of litres of fuel required for Segment #1 (1,200 KM)

  • Identify the number of litres of fuel required for Segment #2 (remaining KM)

  • For Segment #2, apply the fuel price of a metro city (Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth)

  • For Segment #1, add 50 cents per litre more than the metro price. For example, if the metro price is $1.50 per litre, then segment #1 price will be $2 per litre

Now, let me show you a practical example based on my actual journey and see if theory meets practical or not.

  • My journey's total distance was 3,640 KM

  • Segment #1 is 1,200 KM

  • Segment #2 is 2,440 KM (3,640 minus 1,200)

  • My car's fuel efficiency is 7L/100 KM (on highway and freeway)

  • For segment #1 (1,200 KM), I need 84L of petrol

  • For segment #2 (2,440 KM), I need 171L of petrol

  • When I travelled, the petrol price in Melbourne was $1.50 per litre. So, I am taking $1.50 for segment #2 and $2 for segment #1

  • Segment #2 price = 171L x $1.5 = $257

  • Segment #1 price = 84L x $2 = $168

  • Total price = $257 + $168 = $425

Now, let's compare the estimated and actual amount I spent on petrol.

Estimated petrol price = $425.00

Actual amount spent on petrol = $393.60

Difference between estimated and actual = $31.4

As you can see, theory and practice are almost the same except that there is a minor difference of $30. We can ignore this minor difference.

So, it is evident that this method works well to estimate the approximate fuel price.

Are the Expenses Worth the Driving?

After going through this page or after you have estimated the drive cost, one question may pop-up on your head.

That is

Are the expenses worth the drive from Melbourne to Perth?

The answer is a big YES.

Many people wanted to compare the flight charges and the drive cost. Note that both are different. You can't compare the flight to driving.

Driving from Melbourne to Perth is a completely different experience. Hence, the amount that you are going to spend will be well worth it.

The flight may be cheaper for one person. But, for a family of 4 or 5, driving may work out to be a bit cheaper or comparable.

You can't drive every time. But, you should try at least once.