Stamp duty for cars explained

When you go to buy a new or used car, you will have to pay stamp duty. But what is it, and how much does it cost?

Stamp duty is a tax levied by state governments on official documents. It is generally payable on the purchase of motor vehicles and other things such as land or shares.

It is a one-off tax paid when transferring ownership, like when buying a new or used car from a dealer or privately.

Rates of stamp duty differ across all Australian states and territories, so look below to see what you'll have to pay in the state where you are.

New South Wales

Stamp duty is based on either the market value of your car, or what you paid for it - whichever is greater.

$44,999 or less - 3 per cent ($3 per $100)
$45,000 or more - $1350 plus $5 per $100.

NSW Office of State Revenue has a stamp duty calculator available here.

Queensland

Stamp duty rates in Queensland are based on the engine type of the car you are buying.

Hybrid and electric vehicles - 2 per cent ($2 per $100)
1 to 4 cylinders, 2 rotors or a steam vehicle - 3 per cent ($3 per $100)
5 to 6 cylinders, 3 rotors - 3.5 per cent ($3.50 per $100)
7 or more cylinders - 4 per cent ($4 per $100)

South Australia

For private vehicles, the rates of stamp duty in South Australia are based on the price of the car.

Up to $1000 - 1 per cent ($1 per $100), with a minimum payment of $5.
$1001 - $2000 - $10 plus 2 per cent ($2 per $100) for every dollar over $1000
$2001 - $3000 - $30 plus 3 per cent ($3 per $100) for every dollar over $2000
More than $3001 - $60 plus 4 per cent ($4 per $100) for every dollar over $3000.

For commercial vehicles, the same rates apply up to $2000. If the value of the vehicle exceeds $2000 the rate of stamp duty is $30 plus 3 per cent ($3 per $100) for every dollar over $2000.

The SARevenue website has calculators available for both private and commercial vehicles.

Tasmania

Stamp duty rates for the Apple Isle are based on the vehicle's market value.

Up to $600 - $20 flat rate.
$600 - $34,999 - 3 per cent ($3 per $100).
$35,000 - $39,999 - $1050 plus 11 per cent ($11 per $100) for every dollar over $35,000.
$45,000 and over - 4 per cent ($4 per $100)

Victoria

In Victoria, different stamp duty rates apply depending on whether the car you are buying is new or used and is charged on either the market value of the car or the purchase price (whichever is greater).

For new vehicles
Up to $61,884 - 3.2 per cent ($1.30 per $100)
Over $61,885 - 5.7 per cent ($5.20 per $100)

For non-passenger new vehicles, stamp duty is charged a flat rate of 2.7 per cent ($2.60 per $100).

If you are buying a used car, the rate of stamp duty is 4.2 per cent ($4.20 per $100) across the board.

Unlike some other states, the stamp duty is collected by the dealer, whereas if you are buying privately it is paid directly to VicRoads by the purchaser.

Western Australia

WA charges stamp duty based on the 'dutiable value' of the vehicle, which is either the manufacturers' list price (for new vehicles) or a reasonable market value (for used cars).

Up to $25,000 - 2.75 per cent ($2.75 per $100)
$25,001 - $50,000 - 2.75 per cent plus an additional rate calculated on the price of the car above $25,000.
Over $50,000 - 6.5 per cent ($6.50 per $100)

The WA Department of Finance has a stamp duty calculator available here.

Australian Capital Territory

In the ACT, stamp duty is based on a combination of a car's price and how it is rated by the federal government's Green Vehicle Guide.

Cars are broken up into four classes: A, B, C, and D. Class A is for the "greenest" models and Class D is the other end of the spectrum. Cars not rated by the Green Vehicle Guide are classified as Class C.

For vehicles valued at $45,000 or less
Class A - No stamp duty payable
Class B - 2 per cent ($2 per $100)
Class C - 3 per cent ($3 per $100)
Class D - 4 per cent ($4 per $100)

For vehicles valued over $45,000
Class A - No stamp duty payable
Class B - $900 plus 4 per cent ($4 per $100) for every dollar over $45,000
Class C - $1350 plus 5 per cent ($5 per $100) for every dollar over $45,000
Class D - $1800 plus 6 per cent ($6 per $100) for every dollar over $45,000

The ACT Revenue Office provides a stamp duty calculator here.

Northern Territory

For cars in the Northern Territory, stamp duty is calculated at a rate of 3 per cent ($3 per $100) of the dutiable value of the car.

A stamp duty calculator is provided by the NT Department of Treasury and Finance here.

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