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Motor vehicle duty is payable when you apply to register or transfer registration of a motor vehicle.

There are some concession and exemptions from motor vehicle duty. 

Concessions

Concessions are available for the registration or transfer on or after 1 July 2019 of:

  • green cars,
  • primary producer passenger cars.

You do not need to apply to us for these duty concessions. They will be applied when you register or transfer the registration of the car with VicRoads.

Green cars

Registering or transferring registration of a green car attracts one rate of duty, regardless of the value of the car.

A green car is a passenger car with combined tailpipe carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of less than 120 grams per kilometre.

Information about the combined tailpipe CO2 emissions of passenger cars is available from the:

  • Green Vehicle Guide maintained by the Australian Government. 
  • Fuel consumption label or energy consumption label attached to the windscreens of new motor vehicles sold in Australia.
  • Vehicle manufacturer's website.

Primary producer passenger car

Registering or transferring registration of a primary producer passenger car attracts one rate of duty regardless of the car’s value.

This is a car that is:

  • 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.

To qualify as a primary producer for these purposes, you must be engaged solely or substantially in agricultural, horticultural, viticultural, dairying, pastoral or other like activities, or hold a licence under the Fisheries Act 1995 to take fish for sale. 

Primary producer passenger cars are those used primarily for driving around primary production land or between farms to undertake primary production activities. The exemption does not include passenger cars used for private or personal or non-primary production business purposes.

Exemptions

An exemption from motor vehicle duty may be available in these circumstances:

If you are applying for an exemption from duty, you must lodge an application and provide supporting documentation.

Death of owner

Registering or transferring registration of a motor vehicle to a beneficiary following the death of the registered owner. This includes executors or administrators registering or transferring registration for the purpose of transferring the vehicle to the beneficiary, or for the sale of a vehicle when winding up an estate. 

Breakdown of marriage or domestic relationship

Registering or transferring registration of a motor vehicle between spouses or domestic partners, or as a result of the breakdown of a marriage or a domestic relationship.

Transfers involving trustees or nominees

  • Transferring registration of a motor vehicle bought for a minor from the nominee or trustee to that person when they become an adult.
  • Transferring registration of a motor vehicle solely to trustees because of the appointment or retirement or other change in trustees.

Licensed motor car traders

  • Registering or transferring registration of a motor vehicle used as a demonstrator vehicle, service demonstrator vehicle or LMCT trading stock.
  • Registering or transferring registration of a motor vehicle by an interstate motor car trader, but only in the course of carrying out their business.

Interstate

Registering a motor vehicle in the name of a person where the vehicle was previously registered in the same name interstate. The Commissioner must be satisfied that the interstate registration was not made for the purpose of avoiding Victorian duty.

Transport of disabled, handicapped, incapacitated or injured person(s) and/or wheelchairs

  • Registering a motor vehicle in the name of a corporate or unincorporated body and marked with that body’s name. The body must be established for a public purpose and not for private gain and the vehicle must be used only for carrying disabled or handicapped people to training, education or employment.
  • Registering or transferring registration of a motor vehicle in the name of an incapacitated person. The motor vehicle must be designed solely to carry an incapacitated person and not be used to drive any other person.
  • Registering or transferring registration of a motor vehicle (but not a taxi cab) modified to carry a wheelchair and used to carry an incapacitated person. The vehicle can be registered in the name of the incapacitated person, their parent or guardian if they are a minor, or a relative of or carer for them.
  • Registering or transferring registration of a government or charitable, benevolent or religious institution motor vehicle (but not a taxi cab) modified to carry a wheelchair and used to convey an incapacitated person. The vehicle must be marked with the name of the registered operator, relevant government department or agency.
  • Registering or transferring registration of a motor vehicle to an incapacitated war veteran who is assessed pursuant to the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 or someone who has been assessed under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 as suffering a particular level of impairment because of an injury or disease while with the Defence forces and does not operate another vehicle without a fee.
  • Registering or transferring registration of a vehicle to be registered in the name of St John Ambulance Australia (Victoria) Inc which is used for the transport of disabled, handicapped or injured passengers.

Primary production, firefighting, emergency response, mobile plant and special purpose vehicles

  • Registering or transferring certain motor vehicles in the name of a primary producer where the vehicle is used solely in the business of the registered operator as a primary producer. These are special work vehicles (body type SWV1 and SWV2) and special purpose vehicles (type O). They include heavy trailers, tractors, mobile cranes, fire engines, truck-mounted concrete pumps, and boring plants.
  • Registering or transferring registration of mobile plant and plant-based special purpose vehicles (type P). Mobile plant is any motor vehicle not designed solely for carrying passengers, which is under 4.5 tonnes mass rating for charging (MRC), and that may use public roads for access. Carrying a load must be incidental to the purpose(s) for which the vehicle was built, except in the case of concrete pumps and fire trucks. Mobile plant includes backhoes, excavators, bulldozers, headers, forklift, scrapers and tractors. It does not include tow trucks.
  • Special purpose vehicles (type P) are more than 4.5 tonnes MRC and generally make little use of the road network. They are primarily built or permanently modified for off-road use. They include agricultural tractors, self-propelled agricultural harvesters, bulldozers, backhoes, graders, front-end loaders and heavy excavators.
  • Registering or transferring registration of firefighting and emergency response motor vehicles owned and registered by a State Emergency Service volunteer unit, Country Fire Authority or  municipal council that are certified as equipped for, and exclusively used for, combating fire outbreaks or for emergency response.

Consular vehicles

Registering or transferring registration of certain consular vehicles. This depends on the post held by the person in whose name the vehicle is to be registered.

Amalgamations, restructures and repossessions

  • Transferring registration of a motor vehicle following an amalgamation of industrial organisations where the transfer is made in accordance with the rules of the transferring organisation.
  • Transferring registration of a motor vehicle as a result of the vehicle becoming an asset of a receiving body under Part 3 of the Financial Sector (Business Transfer and Group Restructure) Act 1999.
  • Transferring registration of a motor vehicle which has been repossessed under a security interest, being an interest that secured payment of a debt or other obligation. 

People with a physical disability

Under the Act, if you have a physical disability you will pay less duty when you register or transfer a motor vehicle which has been modified to enable you to drive. The duty reduction reflects the reasonable cost of the modification.

In cases where the reasonable cost of the modification is greater than the duty you are required to pay, you can make a claim to pay no duty at all. Please contact us on 13 21 61 for more information.

Charitable organisations

There is no exemption in the Duties Act 2000 (the Act) for charitable organisations. Instead, one of the above exemptions may apply.