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A Guide to Stamp Duty on Cars in Australia

If you’re in the market for a new or used car, you’ve probably come across the term stamp duty. What exactly is stamp duty? Sometimes known as motor vehicle duty or registration duty, it’s a state government tax you need to pay when you buy a car or transfer a car registration into your name. It also applies when purchasing or first registering a used car. It’s a one-off payment rather than an ongoing tax. 

Who pays stamp duty on a car?

A buyer does. Whether you’ve bought your vehicle from a dealer or through a private sale, you are responsible for paying the stamp duty on the car. 

Car dealerships often include stamp duty in the driveaway price, which can simplify the process considerably. If you purchase a car privately, you must pay directly through your state transport office. 

How much does stamp duty cost?

That depends on where you are in Australia! Stamp duty varies across the country, with each state charging different rates based on other classification systems. Costs are based on the price and type of the car, the amount of emissions produced and the region of registration. 

State-by-state breakdown

Australian Capital Territory

When looking at stamp duty costs in ACT, you consider the type of vehicle you have, the market value or purchase price of the car (whichever is higher) and the green rating. The system splits cars into four classes, labelled A to D, with A being the most efficient vehicle and D being the least. 

VehicleDuty amount payable for vehicles valued below $ 45,000Duty amount payable for vehicles valued at $45,000 or more
A
ZEV (new & used)
Used eligible hybrid
Used eligible PHEV
$ 0$ 0
B
New non-ZEV  motorcycle
$1 for every $100, or part of $100, of the dutiable value.$450, plus $2 for every $100, or part of $100, of the dutiable value in excess of $45,000.
Non-rated vehicles (other than used ZEV, used eligible hybrid or used eligible PHEV)$3 for every $100, or part of $100, of the dutiable value.$1,350, plus $5 for every $100, or part of $100, of the dutiable value in excess of $45,000.
C$3.05 for each $100, or part of $100, of the dutiable value.$1,370.50, plus $5.11 for every $100, or part of $100, of the dutiable value in excess of $45,000.
D$4.25 for each $100, or part of $100, of the dutiable value.$1,910.60, plus $6.82 for every $100, or part of $100, of the dutiable value in excess of $45,000.

*Information taken from https://www.revenue.act.gov.au/duties/motor-vehicle-duty 

You can verify costs using the ACT stamp duty calculator

New South Wales

In NSW, stamp duty on your car is calculated based on the purchase price of the car OR the market value – whichever is higher. The following table will give you an estimate of how those costs may look for your purchase. The NSW State Government have a stamp duty calculator that you can also use. 

Motor vehicle valueDuty payableMotor vehicle value
Up to $44,999$3 for every $100Up to $44,999

*Information taken from: https://www.revenue.nsw.gov.au/taxes-duties-levies-royalties/motor-vehicle-duty 

Northern Territory

Stamp duty in the Northern Territory is straightforward. It is calculated at a rate of 3% of the vehicle’s value and a $19 ownership fee. You can use the NT’s stamp duty calculator for a more precise calculation. 

Queensland

Stamp duty in Queensland is calculated based on the value of the car and the engine. This table further breaks down those costs. The table applies to light vehicles only. You can also use the Queensland State Government’s stamp duty calculator to estimate your stamp duty cost. 

Under $100,000Over $100,000
Hybrid and electric vehicles$2 per $100 or part of $100$4 per $100 or part of $100
1 to 4 cylinders, 2 rotors or a steam vehicle$3 per $100 or part of $100$5 per $100 or part of $100
5 to 6 cylinders, 3 rotors$3.5 per $100 or part of $100$5.50 per $100 or part of $100
7 or more cylinders$4 per $100 or part of $100$6 per $100 or part of $100

*Information taken from: https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/registration/fees/duty/rates 

South Australia

Stamp duty in South Australia is calculated on the purchase price or value of the car and if the car/vehicle is classified as commercial or non-commercial. You can use the South Australian State Government’s stamp duty calculator to estimate your own stamp duty costs. The table can give you an idea of what you may need to pay. 

ValueAmount of stamp duty
Does not exceed $1,000$1 for every $100 or part of $100 with a minimum of $5 payable in all cases
Exceeds $1,000 but not $2,000$10 plus $2 for every $100 or part of $100 over $1,000
Exceeds $2,000 but not $3,000$30 plus $3 for every $100 or part of $100 over $2,000
Exceeds $3,000$60 plus $4 for every $100 or part of $100 over $3,000

*Information sourced from: https://www.revenuesa.sa.gov.au/stamp-duty-vehicles/rates 

Tasmania

Stamp duty in Tasmania is calculated based on the market value of the vehicle you purchased. The table breaks down an estimate of what those costs will look like, but you can also use the Tasmania State Government’s stamp duty calculator for a more precise idea of costs. 

Price paid:Up to $600$600 – $34,999$35,000 – $39,999$40,000 and over
Duty payable:$20 flat rate$3 per $100 or part of $100$1050 plus $11 per $100 or part of $100$4 per $100 or part of $100

*Information taken from https://www.transport.tas.gov.au/fees_forms/registration_fees 

Victoria

Calculations for car stamp duty costs in Victoria are more complex than in other states and territories. Similar to NSW, the rate is calculated based on the market value of your car or the purchase price, whichever is higher. However, there are a few more factors that can affect the final stamp duty rate, including: 

  • Whether the car is new or used
  • The amount of CO2 it emits – any car emitting less than 120g/km is classified as a green passenger car
  • Whether it is registered to a primary producer or classified as a non-passenger vehicle (for example, utes, commercial vans, motorcycles)

This table breaks down the costs further based on these extra factors: 

TypeValueRate
Green passenger carN/A$8.40 per $200 or part thereof
Primary producer passenger carN/A$8.40 per $200 or part thereof
New utes, vans, motorcycles and minibusesN/A$5.40 per $200 or part thereof
Used utes, vans, motorcycles and minibusesN/A$8.40 per $200 or part thereof
All other new and used vehicles$0-$69,152$8.40 per $200 or part thereof
 $69,153 – $100,000$10.40 per $200 or part thereof
 $100,001 – $150,000$14.00 per $200 or part thereof
 Over $150,000$18.00 per $200 or part thereof

*Information is taken from this source: https://www.sro.vic.gov.au/rates-taxes-duties-and-levies/motor-vehicle-duty-current-rates 

As with other states, you can use the Victorian State Government stamp duty calculator to estimate your stamp duty costs. 

Western Australia

Stamp duty in Western Australia is based on the purchase price and the weight of the vehicle you’ve bought. 

For non-heavy vehicles, which have a gross mass of 4.5 tonnes or less, this table provides further information on costs:

Dutiable valueValue rate
Up to $25,0002.75% of dutiable value
$25,000 – $50,000R% of the dutiable value, where R = [2.75 + ((dutiable value – 25,000)/ 6,666.66)] rounded to 2 decimal places
Over $50,0006.5% of dutiable value

*Information taken from https://www.savings.com.au/car-loans/stamp-duty 

Heavy vehicles weighing over 4.5 tonnes require you to pay 3% of the Dutiable Value (capped at a maximum figure of $12,000). 

You can use the Western Australian State Government’s stamp duty calculator to calculate more precise costs. 

Can you avoid paying stamp duty? 

There are some exemptions to paying stamp duty, but these will vary from state to state. Here are a few examples of where you may not need to pay stamp duty – you should seek further advice if you think one of these exemptions applies to you: 

  • You will not need to pay stamp duty if the vehicle is from a deceased estate.
  • If the vehicle has been registered in your name in another state, and you have already paid stamp duty, you won’t need to pay it again. 
  • You won’t need to pay stamp duty if the vehicle is used for primary production or charities.
  • You won’t need to pay stamp duty if the vehicle is electric or hybrid.

Don’t forget stamp duty when applying for a car loan with Handy Finance

When budgeting for a new car, you must not forget the stamp duty you’ll be required to pay. Check that you’re financially ready to take on a car loan with our car loan calculator. This calculator estimates the regular repayments you’ll make for a loan, depending on the loan term, loan amount, repayment frequency and credit rating you input. The calculator also provides an estimated interest rate and comparison rate. It can be a great tool to work out your borrowing power if you are considering applying for a secured car loan.

Talk to our credit experts today to find out more about car loans with Handy Finance.