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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.
Stamp duty is based on either the market value of your car, or what you paid for it - whichever is greater.
|Price paid:||$44,999 or less||$45,000 or more|
|Duty payable:||$3 for every $100 or part of $100||$1350 plus $5 per $100 or part of $100|
Stamp duty rates in Queensland are based on the engine type of the car you are buying or how much you paid for it.
|Under $100,000||Over $100,000|
|Hybrid and electric vehicles||$2 per $100 or part of $100||$4 per $100 or part of $100|
|1 to 4 cylinders, 2 rotors or a steam vehicle||$3 per $100 or part of $100||$5 per $100 or part of $100|
|5 to 6 cylinders, 3 rotors||$3.5 per $100 or part of $100||$5.50 per $100 or part of $100|
|7 or more cylinders||$4 per $100 or part of $100||$6 per $100 or part of $100|
QueenslandNSW Office of State Revenue has a stamp duty calculator available here.
For private vehicles, the rates of stamp duty in South Australia are based on the price of the car.
|Price paid:||Up to $1000||$1001 - $2000||$2001 - $3000||More than $3001|
|Duty payable:||1 per $100 or part of $100, with a minimum payment of $5||$10 plus $2 per $100 or part of $100||$30 plus $3 per $100 or part of $100||$60 plus $4 per $100 or part of $100|
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 $100 or part of $100 over $2000.
Stamp duty rates for the Apple Isle are based on the vehicle's market value.
|Price paid:||Up to $600||$600 - $34,999||$35,000 - $39,999||$40,000 and over|
|Duty payable:||$20 flat rate||$3 per $100 or part of $100||$1050 plus $11 per $100 or part of $100||$4 per $100 or part of $100|
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).
|New or ex-demo||Used|
|Price - up to $66,331||$8.40 per $200 or part therof||$8.40 per $200 or part therof|
|Price - over $66,331||$10.40 per $200 or part therof||$8.40 per $200 or part therof|
Non-passenger vehicle – New vehicle: $5.40 per $200 or part therof – Used vehicle: $8.40 per $200 or part therof.
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.
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).
|Price paid:||Up to $25,000||$25,001 - $50,000||Over $50,000|
|Duty payable:||2.75% of price||R% of the dutiable value where R = [2.75 + ((dutiable value – 25000)/6666.66)]||6.5% of price|
To demonstrate the $25,001 - $50,000 brakcet: For a new vehicle with a value of $30,000 this would be [2.75 + ((30000 – 25000)/6666.66)] which equals 3.5%. Therefore the duty payable is 3.5% of $30,000 or $1050.
The WA Department of Finance has a stamp duty calculator available here.
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.
|Green vehicle Class:||Class A||Class B||Class C||Class D|
|Price up to $45,000:||No stamp duty payable||$1 for every $100 or part of $100 of the dutiable value||$3 for every $100 or part of $100 of the dutiable value||$4 for every $100 or part of $100 of the dutiable value|
|Price over $45,000:||No stamp duty payable||$450 plus $2 for every $100 or part of $100 of the dutiable value||$1350 plus $5 for every $100 or part of $100 of the dutiable value||$1800 plus $6 for every $100 or part of $100 of the dutiable value|
The ACT Revenue Office provides a stamp duty calculator here.
For cars in the Northern Territory, stamp duty is calculated at a rate of 3 per cent of the dutiable value of the vehicle plus a $17 transfer of ownership fee.
A stamp duty calculator is provided by the NT Department of Treasury and Finance here.
Editors note: This story was originally posted in Febuary 2015 and has now been updated.
Have you been caught off-guard by stamp duty before? Tell us your experience in the comments below.