Tax | Stamp Duty | Inspection Report | Rego | Legal | Warranties
Car buying in Australia is more expensive than it might first appear.
When you buy a car in Australia, you usually need to pay tax on the purchase price – and this is often not added by the seller until after you have bought the car.
How to Buy a Car
Purchasing a car in Australia is similar to most other countries – you can buy a new car from a dealer or buy a used car from a dealer, auction, or a private individual.
Shopping around is likely to save you significant amounts of money. Organisations such as the Australian RAC will carry out inspections of any vehicle you are interested in, if you engage their services.
When you buy a used car from a licensed dealer you are guaranteed title/ownership and you are protected by the Motor Dealers Compensation Fund.
The length of warranty required by law varies from state to state.
A three month / 5000 km warranty for vehicles under 10 years old that have covered less than 160,000 km is normal.
For older / high mileage cars, a short warranty or no warranty may be provided for by law.
If you choose to buy your car at auction or from a private individual you should check the Personal Property Securities Register, or PPSR.
This will inform you if there is any money owing on the vehicle.
Checking your car through PPSR costs $25. This prevents repossession by a financier if someone else still owes money on the vehicle.
You can read tips and advicefor buying a vehicle in Australia on the PPSR website.
When you buy a car, state governments levy taxes on the purchase price. These taxes are as follows and are often referred to as Rego (abbreviation of registration):
1. The Registration Transfer Fee – this is currently $32 in New South Wales if paid within 14 days of buying the vehicle.
2. Stamp Duty – typical payments are shown below
Stamp Duty / Vehicle Registration Duty on Car Purchases
|Value of Car / Private Motor Vehicle|
|New South Wales||$300||$600||$1200||$3100|
|Victoria (New Cars)||$320||$640||$1280||$4160|
|Victoria (Used Cars)||$420||$840||$1680||$3360|
|Queensland (1 to 4 cylinders)||$300||$600||$1200||$2400|
|Queensland (Hybrid vehicle, electric vehicle )||$200||$400||$800||$1600|
3. Motor Vehicle Tax – this is paid annually on all vehicles.
If it’s due on the vehicle you buy, you will need to renew it. Currently this would cost $236 for a medium car and $289 for a large car in New South Wales.
4. Compulsory Third Party Insurance or ‘greenslip’, as it’s most commonly known as in NSW – This is, as its name suggests, compulsory and covers injuries you may cause to other people. In Western Australia, for example, this is currently around $410 per annum.
Luxury Car Tax
If you buy a car from a dealer for more than $64,132, in addition to the Stamp Duty, you will also have to pay Luxury Car Tax. A higher threshold of $75,526 applies for fuel-efficient vehicles.
Cars with a luxury car tax (LCT) value over the LCT threshold attract an LCT rate of 33 percent.
For example, Luxury Car Tax of $5,225 will be payable on an $80,000 car and almost $10,000 tax will be payable on a $100,000 car.
No Luxury Car Tax is due if you buy a car from a private individual.