What is vehicle stamp duty? 

Stamp duty is a tax levied by state governments on the transfer of ownership of an asset. It’s most well-known as a tax on the purchase or sale of a house, but it also applies to vehicles as well. That’s why you have to pay it whenever you buy a new or used car, with a few exceptions. 

Vehicle stamp duty is a one-off payment, applying to both new and used cars purchased from a dealer or through a private sale. Typically if purchasing from a dealership, the driveaway price is inclusive of stamp duty. If the vehicle is purchased privately, stamp duty is paid through the respective state or territory transport office.

When purchasing a new set of wheels, whether they be new or used, you will be required to pay stamp duty. The amount of stamp duty payable however can vary between state and territories.

How much does stamp duty cost?

The cost of stamp duty varies depending on a number of factors including:

  • The price of the car.

  • The type of the car.

  • Amount of emissions produced.

  • Region of registration.

Below you’ll find a breakdown of the stamp duty costs for each state and territory.

Queensland

In Queensland, stamp duty is calculated based on the value of the vehicle and its engine.

 

Under $100,000

Over $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

To calculate how much stamp duty you would be required to pay in Queensland, the State Government has a stamp duty calculator available here.

New South Wales

In NSW, stamp duty is calculated on the market value of the vehicle or the purchase price - whichever is higher.

Price paid:

$44,999 or less

$45,000 or more

Duty payable:

$3 for every $100 or part of $100

 $1350 plus $5 per $100 or part of $100

To calculate how much stamp duty you would be required to pay in New South Wales, the State Government has a stamp duty calculator available here.

Victoria

In VIC, stamp duty is more complex than other states or territories. The rate is typically charged on either the market value of the car or the purchase price, whichever is greater. However, different stamp duty rates apply depending on:

  • Whether the car you are buying is new or used

  • Whether it emits a certain amount of CO2 (with vehicles emitting less than 120g/km classified as "green passenger cars")

  • Whether it is registered to a primary producer, or

  • Whether it is classified as a non passenger vehicle which covers single- and dual-cab utes, commercial vans, motorcycles, and vehicles designed to carry more than eight people.

Type

Value

Rate

Green passenger car

N/A

$8.40 per $200 or part thereof

Primary producer passenger car

N/A

$8.40 per $200 or part thereof

New utes, vans, motorcylces and minibuses

N/A

$5.40 per $200 or part thereof

Used utes, vans, motorcycles and minibuses

N/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

To calculate how much stamp duty you would be required to pay in Victoria, the State Government has a stamp duty calculator available here.

South Australia

In SA, stamp duty is calculated on the purchase price or value of the vehicle and if the vehicle is classified commercial or non-commercial.

Price paid:

Up to $1000

$1001 - $2000

$2001 - $3000

More than $3001

Duty payable:

1 per $100 or part of $100, with a minimum payment of $5

$10 plus $2 per $100 or part of $100

$30 plus $3 per $100 or part of $100

$60 plus $4 per $100 or part of $100

To calculate how much stamp duty you would be required to pay in South Australia, the State Government has a stamp duty calculator available here.

Western Australia

In WA, stamp duty is calculated on the purchase price and the weight of the vehicle.

Non-heavy vehicles (gross mass of 4.5 tonnes or less) require:

Dutiable value

Value rate

Up to $25,000

2.75% of dutiable value

$25,000 - $50,000

R% of the dutiable value, where R = [2.75 + ((dutiable value - 25,000)/ 6,666.66)] rounded to 2 decimal places

Over $50,000

6.5% of dutiable value

Heavy vehicles (over 4.5 tonnes) require:

  • 3% of Dutiable Value (capped to a maximum of $12,000)

To calculate how much stamp duty you would be required to pay in Western Australia, the State Government has a stamp duty calculator available here.

Tasmania

In TAS, stamp duty is calculated on the vehicle’s market value.

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

To calculate how much stamp duty you would be required to pay in Tasmania, the State Government has a stamp duty calculator available here.

Australian Capital Territory

In the ACT, stamp duty is calculated on the type of vehicle you have, the higher of the purchase price and the market value of the vehicle, and its green rating.

Vehicles are identified by four classes - A, B, C, and D.

Class A is for the most efficient vehicles, while Class D is for the opposite. Vehicles not rated by the Green Vehicle Guide are classified as Class C.

Green vehicle Class:

Class A

Class B

Class C

Class D

Price up to $45,000:

No stamp duty payable.

$1 for every $100 or part of $100 of the dutiable value.

$3 for every $100 or part of $100 of the dutiable value.

$4 for every $100 or part of $100 of the dutiable value.

Price over $45,000:

No stamp duty payable.

$450 plus $2 for every $100 or part of $100 of the dutiable value.

$1350 plus $5 for every $100 or part of $100 of the dutiable value.

$1800 plus $6 for every $100 or part of $100 of the dutiable value.

To calculate how much stamp duty you would be required to pay in the ACT, the Territory has a stamp duty calculator available here.

Northern Territory

In the NT, stamp stamp duty is calculated at a rate of 3% of the value of the vehicle plus a $19 transfer of ownership fee.

To calculate how much stamp duty you would be required to pay in the NT, the Territory has a stamp duty calculator available here.

Can you avoid paying stamp duty?

The exemptions from stamp duty also vary across the regions. In some cases, you will not be required to pay stamp duty if:

  • The vehicle is from a deceased estate.

  • The vehicle has been registered in your name in another state where you have already paid the stamp duty.

  • The vehicle is used for primary production or charities.

  • The vehicle make is electric or hybrid.

Savings.com.au’s two cents 

Stamp duty can be an expensive fee, so it’s important you factor this expense into your car buying budget (which you should have already!). As a rule of thumb, the more expensive the car is to purchase, the more you will fork out in stamp duty expenses. Exemptions and duty reductions will vary between states or territories, so it’s important to do your research first using relevant government resources to determine if you may be eligible.

If you hold a valid pension or concession card, you may be eligible for other vehicle registration exemptions, such as motor vehicle tax and other registration fees, but will generally still need to pay stamp duty.

Article first published 18 June 2019 by William Jolly & updated 13 February 2023 by Jacob Cocciolone. 


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