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 is imposed and calculated at the time you register or transfer registration of a vehicle and is collected by VicRoads on our behalf. The amount of duty depends on the type of vehicle, its value, and the date it is registered with VicRoads.
Types of vehicles attracting duty
This is a vehicle built to carry no more than eight adults, including the driver.
Other motor vehicles (not a passenger car)
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.
This is a passenger car that has combined tailpipe carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of less than 120 grams per kilometre.
Find out more about green cars.
Primary producer passenger car
This is a passenger 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.
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 ($67,525 in 2019-20) attract a lower rate of duty. Higher rates apply for luxury passenger cars valued over $100,000.
This means, for example, that if you agreed to buy a car and paid a deposit in June 2019, but only finalised your purchase and applied for registration or transfer of registration in July 2019, duty would be calculated at the 2019-20 rates. However, in limited circumstances, you may be eligible for transitional relief.
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?
- 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.
Note: The value of the vehicle is rounded up to the nearest $200.
Information for licensed motor car traders
If you are a licensed motor car trader, find out more about your responsibilities in relation to motor vehicle duty.
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 transfers of a vehicle
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/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
An application must be lodged with all supporting documents relevant to the circumstances of each refund or exemption to enable us to process your request.
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.