A Quick Guide to Stamp Duty for Vehicle Purchases in Australia

Posted by Jane Clothier on 11 March, 2016

 One of the easiest costs to overlook when considering buying a car, ute or truck is stamp duty. However, it’s an unavoidable expense that you really must budget for before starting your search for a new personal or commercial vehicle.

What is stamp duty, exactly? It’s a single payment tax that is imposed when a vehicle’s ownership is transferred. It’s payable whether the motor is new or used, and whether it’s sold through a dealer or privately via the classified ads.


As with many things Australian, stamp duty varies according to State and Territory laws. Here’s your quick guide to what you’ll need to pay, depending on where you live.

  • Queensland

In this state, it’s quite simple: the level of stamp duty varies depending on the engine type of the car you’re buying. The more cylinders it has, the more you pay.

For hybrid and electric vehicles, you’ll pay 2% of the purchase cost. For 1-4 cylinders, pay 3%, and for 5-6 cylinders, it’s 3.5%. Even with 7 or more cylinders, your stamp duty is 4%. You can read further details here.

  • New South Wales

Stamp duty is calculated according to the price you paid, or the market value. Unsurprisingly, whichever is greater is the figure that’s taken.

If the cost is $44,999 or less, you pay 3% on each hundred or part of a hundred dollars. If it’s $45,000 or more, with seating for up to 9 people, you pay $1350 plus $5 per $100. You can read full details, including excemptions, here.

  • ACT

In the ACT, it’s more complicated, with stamp duty calcluated on the car’s purchase price plus its green rating according to the Federal Government’s classification (A, B, C or D, with A being the greenest). This is applied to new vehicles. Older vehicles are automatically assigned to Class C.

So, if your vehicle costs less than $45,000 or less, and is Class A, there’s no duty payable. Classes B, C and D incur duty of 1%, 3% and 4% respectively.

If the purchase costs is over $45,000 and is Class A, no duty has to be paid. After that, it’s $450 plus 2% of value (Class B), $1350 plus 5% (Class C) or $1800 plus 6% (Class D).

Confused? Check out full details here.

  • Victoria

It’s slightly simper in Victoria, where duty rates are calculated on the new or used status of the vehicle, and its market or purchase price (whichever is greater). Stamp duty is collected by the dealer. If buying privately, you pay it directly to VicRoads.

For all used vehicles, the rate is 4.2%. For new vehicles, it’s 3.2% on vehicles up to around $60,000, while for vehicles over that amount, it’s 5.2%. New non-passenger vehicles are charged at 2.7%. The rates aren’t published, so use the revenue office’s calculator to learn how much is due.

  • South Australia

For private vehicles, the South Australian rates are fixed according to the price of the car.

For up to $1000, it’s 1%, with a minimum payment of $5. From $1001 to $2000, it’s $10 plus 2%, for every dollar over $1000. From $2001 to $3000, it’s 3% with a minimum of $30. Above $3001, you’re looking at $60 plus 4%.

It’s slightly different for commercial vehicles, although it’s the same up to $2000. After that, it’s $30 plus 3% for every dollar over $2000.

Check the SA calculator and all will become clearer.

  • Tasmania

Tasmania bases private vehicle stamp duty on market value alone. It’s a $20 flat rate up to $600, and then it’s 3% for $600 to $34,999 value. For market values from $35,000 to $39,999, it’s $1050 plus 11% for every dollar over $35,000. Above $45,000 and you’re looking at 4%. Check the table of rates here.

  • Western Australia

Stamp duty is based on the manufacturer’s list price for a new vehicle, or the reasonable market value for a used car. In other words, up to $25,000 is 2.75% and $25,001 to $50,000 is 2.75%, while over $50,000 is 6.5%. You can check with the WA calculator here.

  • Northern Territory

Unsurprisingly, things are once again simpler in the NT. Stamp duty is 3%, based on the reasonable market value of the car. You can check with the NT calculator here.


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Topics: Car loan