Stamp duty for cars explained
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There is only one way to truly guarantee getting out of paying a parking fine, and it doesn't involve concocting an awesome excuse, recruiting a crack team of expensive legal experts or scrunching up said fine and hurling it at whoever put it on your windscreen in the first place.
Nope, the only way to ensure you definitely won't be paying a fine isn't half as exciting as any of those options. It's not getting fined in the first place.
Now, that's easier said than done, and millions upon millions in parking fine dollars flow into council coffers around the country each year. So in the interests of keeping your hard-earned cash safely tucked away in your bank account, instead of your local council’s pocket, we present our guide to parking rules you should know.
The following is a general breakdown, but it’s always worth checking with your local council to see what, if any, specific rules apply. We haven't listed every rule, and nor have we listed the obvious ones (as in, the ones where the parking sign tells you exactly what to do). But we have tried to pinpoint some of the less-common, state-specific rules you should really be across.
Parking pain in NSW is greater than anywhere else in Australia. Not only is finding a spot in Australia’s most populated state harder than it is anywhere else, but should you break the rules, you’ll be paying a fine up to three times higher than in Victoria.
In the 2014/15 financial year, for example, NSW motorists paid more than $31 million just for parking in no stopping zones. That joins the $27 million paid for parking longer than permitted, the $20 million for parking without displaying a ticket, and the $9 million for parking incorrectly in a loading zone.
All up, $180 million poured into state and council coffers thanks to parking fines. And to rub extra salt into the wound, certain offences in NSW now also carry hefty demerit point penalties, too.
And you don’t want to be adding to the budgets, do you? Exactly. So here are the rules you might not know in NSW. You can’t stop your vehicle, whether you stay in the car or not, if you are:
On or across a driveway (unless you are dropping off or picking up, then you get two minutes). Be warned this also applies to your own driveway - as this author once found out the hard way.
The fines might, on average, be lower than in neighbouring NSW, but that doesn’t mean Victorian rangers are any more sympathetic. While most Victorian councils don’t clearly separate the money raised from fines and from parking fees in their annual reports, a survey of 21 major council areas found they’d raised a combined $257 million in the 2014/15 financial year, with fines thought to have made up the bulk of that number.
So let's not add to it. Here are the parking rules you might not know in Victoria. You can’t stop your vehicle if you are:
Queensland. Beautiful one day, $48 million in annual parking revenue from Brisbane City Council alone the next. That’s how much fell into council coffers in the 2014/15 financial year. To be fair, that number was down a clean million dollars on the year before, but we’d like to see it fall a little further.
Here are the parking rules you might not know in Queensland. You can't stop your car:
If there’s such a thing as a good parking ticket, you’ll find it in Adelaide, where fines start at just $52. Less good, however, is the trigger-happy parking inspectors: a newspaper’s Freedom of Information request found that, in a year, $443,460 in fines were issued to people whose parking tickets had expired by less than 10 minutes.
But forewarned is forearmed, so here are some rules you might not know in South Australia. You can’t stop your vehicle if you are:
Perth is the parking fine capital of WA, with rangers issuing more than $10 million in parking fines in the 2015/16 financial year in the Perth council area alone. That’s more than 275 very unhappy parkers every single day.
So to prevent that becoming 276, here’s a quick guide to parking in Perth:
Rangers in Darwin issued more than 25,000 fines in 2015, and have recently rolled out a series of parking zones across the CBD, with free parking obliterated. And that can only mean fine numbers will be climbing.
The result, though, is a significantly easier system, with parking costing more the closer you get to the middle of town. That said, the 'more' they speak of maxes out at $2.50 per hour - peanuts compared to the cost of parking in Sydney.
Be warned, though, if you go over your limit, a ticket is coming your way. Ignore it for 24 hours and your car can be deemed 'abandoned.' And that means it might not be there when you get back.
The ACT Government issued 100,000 parking fines in the 2015/2016 financial year. The good news? At least some of those were bound to be issued to politicians. But with, on average, 15 inspectors patrolling the ACT every day, each is issuing about 18 tickets per day.
So it pays to know the rules, then. Here are a few of the lesser-known parking rules in the ACT:
Hobart Council takes parking fine revenue seriously. So much so that it's called for tenders to roll out 1700 in-ground pressure sensors that will record the moment a driver pulls into a timed parking space, and then alert rangers as soon as it overstays its welcome.
So let’s level the playing field. Here are some of the lesser-known parking rules in Tasmania. You can’t stop your car: