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How do you calculate stamp duty on a car?

Vidhu Bajaj avatar
Vidhu Bajaj
- 10 min read
How do you calculate stamp duty on a car?

Stamp duty is a tax levied by state and territory governments on selling or transferring various personal and business-related assets, including vehicles. Because the duty is charged by the state and territory governments, the duty payable is calculated differently across each state and territory. 

Additionally, the amount of duty payable will likely depend on whether you’re buying a new or used vehicle, its price and the environmental friendliness of the vehicle. These factors will also depend on the state or territory.

How much stamp duty do I have to pay?

The stamp duty payable on a car varies between each state and territory. Still, it can be as much as a few hundred dollars depending on the vehicle you purchase and some or all of the factors we mentioned above. 

Looking at the stamp duty payable on a car broken down state by state, here’s what you’ll need to pay depending on where you make the purchase.

Australian Capital Territory

The stamp duty tax payable on your car in the ACT depends on its value and environmental-friendliness. The ACT uses the Federal Government Green Vehicle rating to rate the environmentally-friendliness of the vehicles. This means vehicles are categorised into four classes - A, B, C and D. The vehicles with the best environmental performance fall under category A. The government charges no stamp duty on these vehicles in most cases to encourage users to purchase more environmentally-friendly cars

This performance rating is only provided to new cars. Non-rated vehicles, which have previously been registered or aren’t rated under the Green Vehicle Guide, are taxed the same as those rated Class C. Vehicles with a below-average environmental performance are categorised D. These vehicles attract the highest amount of duty.

Rating

Environmental Performance 

CO2 Emissions (g) /Km

 A

Environmental leading-edge models

0–130

 B

Models with significantly above-average environmental performance

131–175

 C

Models with average environmental performance

176–220

 D

Models with below-average environmental performance

221 and above

Using the dutiable value of your car and its Green Vehicle Guide rating, check out the following table to calculate the stamp duty tax you’ll need to pay in the ACT. The dutiable value is the total value of a new car or the market value or purchase price of a used car (whichever is greater).

Green vehicle Class

Class A

Class B

Class C

Class D

Price < $45,000

No stamp duty payable

$1 for every $100 or part of $100 of the vehicle’s dutiable value

$3.05 for every $100 or part of $100 of the dutiable value

$4.25 for every $100 or part of $100 of the dutiable value

Price > $45,000

No stamp duty payable

$450 + $2 for every $100 or part of $100 of the vehicle’s dutiable value in excess of $45,000

$1370.50 + $5.11 for every $100 or part of $100 of the dutiable value in excess of $45,000

$1910.60 + $6.82 for every $100 or part of $100 of the dutiable value in excess of $45,000

Source: ACT Revenue Office (Disclaimer: Rates are verified and updated on 16 April 2024.)

If you don’t want to do the maths, you can get a fair idea of the stamp duty payable using the handy car stamp duty calculator provided by the ACT government.

New South Wales

To calculate the stamp duty on your car in NSW, you’ll take either the total market value or the purchase price and use the below figures to calculate it.

Value/Price Paid

Duty Payable

$44,999 or less

$3 for every $100

$45,000 or more (with seating for up to 9 occupants)

$1350 + $5 for every $100

Source: RevenueNSW (Disclaimer: Rates are verified and updated on 16 April 2024.)

If you want to avoid the maths, you can use the car stamp duty calculator provided by the NSW state government to work out the stamp duty payable on your vehicle. 

Northern Territory

If you’re buying or selling a car located in the NT, you’ll be paying 3% of the purchase price as stamp duty tax.

Queensland

The stamp duty rates in Queensland are based on what you pay for your vehicle and the type of engine it runs. You can use the car stamp duty calculator on the state website to estimate the stamp duty payable or work it out using the details in the table below.

Type of Engine

Value

Stamp Duty Payable

Hybrid and electric vehicles

Under $100,000

$2 per $100 or part of $100

Over $100,000 

$4 per $100 or part of $100

1 to 4 cylinders, 2 rotors, or a steam vehicle

Under $100,000

$3 per $100 or part of $100

Over $100,000 

$5 per $100 or part of $100

5 or 6 cylinders, 3 rotors

Under $100,000

$3.5 per $100 or part of $100

Over $100,000 

$5.50 per $100 or part of $100

7 or more cylinders

Under $100,000

$4 per $100 or part of $100

Over $100,000 

$6 per $100 or part of $100

Source: Queensland Government (Disclaimer: Rates are verified and updated on 16 April 2024.)

South Australia

In South Australia, the stamp duty payable on your car is calculated according to its price (the higher number between the purchase price or market value). You may use the following table to estimate the stamp duty costs for your non-commercial vehicle in SA.

Value

Stamp Duty Payable

Doesn’t exceed $1,000

$1 for every $100 or part of $100, with a minimum of $5 payable in all cases

Exceeds $1,000 but not $2,000

$10 plus $2 for every $100 or part of $100 over $1,000

Exceeds $2,000 but not $3,000

$30 plus $3 for every $100 or part of $100 over $2,000

More than $3,000

$60 plus $4 for every $100 or part of $100 over $3,000

Source: RevenueSA (Disclaimer: Rates are verified and updated on 16 April 2024.)

The same stamp duty rates apply for commercial vehicles up to $2,000. For commercial vehicles valued at over $2,000, the rate is capped at $30. In addition, you need to pay $3 per $100 or part of $100 over $2,000. You can also use the SA government's car stamp duty calculator to crunch the numbers when planning your car purchase.  

Tasmania

Calculating the stamp duty on your car in Tasmania is pretty straightforward. It’s based on the purchase price of a new vehicle or the market value of a used vehicle. Here are some figures to help you see what you’ll pay in stamp duty on your car according to its price in Tasmania: 

Value

Stamp Duty Payable

Up to $600

A flat rate of $20

$600 - $35,000

$3 per $100, or part of $100, of the vehicle’s value

$35,001 - $40,000

A flat $1,050 + $11 per $100, or part of $100, that the value exceeds $35,000

Over $40,000

$4 per $100, or part of $100, of the vehicle’s value

Source: Transport Services Tasmania (Disclaimer: Rates are verified and updated on 16 April 2024.)

You may also use the state car stamp duty calculator to estimate the stamp duty payable on your purchase. 

Victoria

Victoria is the only state that applies different stamp duty rates for new and used vehicles in some cases. You'll also pay a different rate of duty based on the vehicle's market value or dutiable value. However, if you’re purchasing a green car, which is a car with carbon emissions below a set amount or is an electric car, you’ll be paying a flat rate of $8.40 per $200, or part of $200, regardless of the price of the vehicle.

Type of Vehicle

Value

Stamp Duty Payable

Green passenger cars that emit less than 120g CO2/km

Any value

$8.40 per $200 or part thereof

Primary producer passenger cars

Any value

$8.40 per $200 or part thereof

Other passenger cars (new or used)

$0-$76,950

$8.40 per $200 or part thereof

Other passenger cars (new or used)

$76,950.01 - $100,000

$10.40 per $200 or part thereof

Other passenger cars (new or used)

$100,000.01 - $150,000

$14.00 per $200 or part thereof

Other passenger cars (new or used)

More than $150,000

$18.00 per $200 or part thereof

Source: State Revenue Office Victoria (Disclaimer: Rates are verified and updated on 16 April 2024.)

The state also provides an easy to use car stamp duty calculator online to help you with the calculation.

Western Australia

In Western Australia, you pay a vehicle license duty (another term for stamp duty) on any car purchase. However, calculating the amount of duty payable on your car purchase could be a mind-boggling exercise unless you love playing with numbers. Thankfully, the state website provides an easy to use vehicle duty calculator that does the math for you! You can also see the relevant stamp duty rates that are current in the state in the following table:

Dutiable Value

Vehicle Licensing Duty Payable

Up to $25,000

2.75% of dutiable value

Between $25,001 and $50,000

R% of the dutiable value, where R = [2.75 + ((dutiable value - 25,000)/ 6,666.66)] rounded to 2 decimal places

More than $50,000

6.5% of dutiable value

Source: WA Government (Disclaimer: Rates are verified and updated on 16 April 2024.)

These are all the general stamp duty rates applicable in various states and territories. Suppose you want to calculate the stamp duty for a car you're planning to purchase. In that case, it's best to check your local state or territory government website for the latest information. It’s also worth checking if there are any available stamp duty exemptions in your area. 

Are there any exemptions for stamp duty when purchasing a car?

There are some circumstances where you’ll likely not be required to pay stamp duty when purchasing or transferring the ownership of a car. Usually, you’re not required to pay any stamp duty on a car if it’s left to you in a will or awarded as part of a divorce settlement. 

You might also be exempt from paying stamp duty on a car in most areas if you’re a war veteran or if you’ll be using the vehicle to transport a disabled or handicapped individual. But it’s wise to remember all states and territories have different eligibility rules for stamp duty on vehicles. 

Contact the revenue office in your state or territory for the latest information if you have any questions.

Note:

All the figures on the page are correct as of the date of the latest update (16 April 2024). Please visit the relevant websites for the latest information in case of any updates.


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This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Alex Ritchie before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.