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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. This means, for example, that if you agreed to buy a car and paid a deposit in June 2019 but finalised your purchase and applied for registration or transfer of registration in July 2019, duty would be calculated at the 2019-20 rates.

Motor vehicle duty is collected by VicRoads on our behalf.

How much do I pay?

It depends on the type of vehicle (passenger or non-passenger), its value, and the date it is registered with VicRoads.  

From 1 July 2019, the same duty rate applies for new or used passenger cars, although the rates will differ depending on the vehicle type and value, with duty increasing with the value of the car.

The rate of duty for a non-passenger car motor vehicle depends on whether it is new or used. Green cars, 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. 

See all motor vehicle duty rates

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.

Note: The value of the vehicle is rounded up to the nearest $200.

Calculate your motor vehicle duty

Frequently asked questions

Types of vehicles attracting duty

Passenger car

This is a vehicle built to carry no more than eight adults, including the driver.

Non-passenger 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 non-passenger motor vehicles.

Green car

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 production 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.

Find out more about primary producer passenger cars.

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.

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 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.

Drive-away deals

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/reduction to enable us to process your request.

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.