Unless an exemption applies, you pay motor vehicle duty when you:
- Register a vehicle that has never been registered or is currently unregistered
- Transfer the registration of a vehicle
Duty, which is collected by VicRoads on our behalf, is imposed and calculated at the time you register or transfer registration of a vehicle. The amount of duty depends on the type of vehicle, its value, and the date it is registered with VicRoads.
The Commissioner of State Revenue announced a temporary administrative change on 22 May 2020 to assist Licensed Motor Car Traders (LMCTs) impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Types of vehicles attracting duty
- Passenger cars - vehicles built to carry no more than eight adults, including the driver.
- Other motor vehicles - motorcycles, vehicles seating more than eight adults, including the driver, vehicles designed to carry goods (including trucks, utilities and panel vans) are considered other motor vehicles.
- Green cars - passenger cars that have a combined tailpipe carbon dioxide (CO2) emission of 120 grams or less per kilometre.
- Primary producer passenger cars - passenger cars that are:
- Registered, or is to be registered, in the name of a person who is a primary producer.
- Used or is to be used primarily in the person’s primary producer business.
Motor vehicle duty rates
From 1 July 2019, the same duty rate applies for new or used passenger cars, although the rates differ depending on the vehicle type and value, with duty increasing as the car’s value increases.
Green cars and primary producer passenger vehicles, whatever their value, and other passenger cars at or under the luxury car tax threshold ($69,152 in 2021-22) attract a lower rate of duty. Higher rates apply for luxury passenger cars valued over $100,000.
For other motor vehicles that are not passenger cars, the rate of duty depends on whether they are new or used.
How much do I pay?
The amount of duty you pay is calculated by multiplying the rate by the higher of the price:
- you paid for the vehicle, or
- for which it may be reasonably sold on the open market.
If you bought a used vehicle, the value of the vehicle is determined when you lodge the transfer documents with VicRoads, not when you bought it.
This means that if your vehicle was improved between buying and registering it, for example through repairs or modifications to obtain a roadworthy certificate, you must take these changes into account when declaring its dutiable value.
The value of the vehicle is rounded up to the nearest $200.
Motor vehicle duty rates
Calculate your motor vehicle duty
Frequently asked questions
Information for licensed motor car traders
If you are a licensed motor car trader, we have information about your motor vehicle duty responsibilities.
Information for dealers
Buying a vehicle from a dealer
When you buy a roadworthy vehicle from a dealer, you pay them the duty and they lodge it and your registration application with VicRoads. Until payment is received, both you and the dealer are liable for duty.
Buying a vehicle privately
If you buy a registered vehicle privately, you must complete the registration transfer application and pay duty directly to VicRoads within 14 days of the purchase. Penalties apply if you do not lodge your application on time, or if you under-declare your vehicle's value.
If the vehicle is unregistered, you pay duty at the time you lodge a registration application.
Other vehicle transfers
Where a vehicle is otherwise transferred to you, for example a gift from a parent to a child, and is garaged in Victoria, you must tell VicRoads and pay duty within 14 days of the transfer. A duty exemption only applies in rare circumstances.
Please visit VicRoads to find out how to register, renew or transfer a registration on your vehicle.
Guidelines apply for dealers to calculate the duty on drive-away deals.
Exemptions and refunds
Exemptions and refunds of duty already paid are available depending on circumstances, including transfers between spouses or domestic partners, and for vehicles used by eligible veterans, the incapacitated, primary producers and people with disabilities.
Exemptions are also available for certain vehicles registered by licensed motor car traders.
Refunds for dealers
A refund application must be lodged with all supporting documents relevant to the circumstances of each refund or exemption.
More about trading stock
More about change of use
Getting it right
Our priority is to help you pay the right amount of tax at the right time. Learn more about how we do this.
Last modified: 1 September 2021