Motor vehicle duty
Motor vehicle duty is a tax you pay when registering a motor vehicle or transferring the registration of a motor vehicle in the ACT.
You pay motor vehicle duty when:
- you register a motor vehicle for the first time
- the registration of a vehicle transfers into your name
- you first register an imported second-hand vehicle
You do not need to pay duty on your vehicle if you have already paid it in another state or territory and that registration remains in your name.
Access Canberra collects motor vehicle duty on behalf of the ACT Revenue Office.
You must apply to transfer your motor vehicle’s registration and pay the duty liability within 14 days of acquiring a vehicle. Access Canberra will charge a penalty fee for applications after the 14-day deadline. You can pay motor vehicle registration fees and duty at the following Access Canberra locations:
For additional information about motor vehicle registration, please visit Access Canberra.
Amount of duty
The amount of duty payable depends on the type of vehicle you have and its dutiable value – the higher of the purchase price and the market value of the vehicle. Please note, this value includes the goods and services tax (GST) and the luxury car tax (LCT), if applicable.
The Vehicle Emission Reduction Scheme
The Vehicle Emission Reduction Scheme is an environmental initiative of the ACT Government aimed at reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions emitted by the transport sector. The scheme applies to new cars, motorcycles, utes, and light commercial vehicles, and provides financial incentives for those people purchasing vehicles with lower operating emissions.
The Australian Government’s Green Vehicle Guide sets out the CO2 emissions for different vehicles. Based on these emission levels, new vehicles receive a Vehicle Performance Rating of A, B, C or D.
Motor vehicles with a Performance Rating
A Performance Rating is only provided to new motor vehicles (including motorcycles) that have not been previously registered in the ACT, in another State or Territory, or in another country. The emissions thresholds and resulting duty payable for vehicles with a Performance Rating is calculated in accordance with tables 1 and 2 below.
Under the Scheme, new light vehicles will be provided a Performance Rating of A, B, C or D based on their CO2 emissions (grams emitted per kilometre, Table 1). ‘New’ motor vehicles include demonstrator vehicles that licensed dealers dispose of within one year of the date the vehicle was first registered in the ACT, but excludes demonstrators registered outside the ACT.
Motor vehicles with no Performance Rating
Non-rated vehicles are those that are currently registered or have previously been registered, or those that are not rated under the Green Vehicle Guide. The duty payable for these vehicles is the same as C-rated motor vehicles in Table 2 below. This includes motorcycles that have been previously registered.
Motorcycles generally have lower emissions than cars but they are not covered by the Green Vehicle Guide. Under the Scheme, new motorcycles are given a Vehicle Performance Rating of B to match their average environmental performance.
Table 1: Vehicle performance ratings under the Vehicle Emission Reduction Scheme
Vehicle performance rating
Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in grams per kilometre (g/km)
Environmental leading-edge models
Models with significantly above-average environmental performance
Models with average environmental performance
Models with below-average environmental performance
221 and above
Table 2: Duty amounts payable
Vehicle performance rating
Duty amount payable for vehicles valued below $ 45,000.00
Duty amount payable for vehicles valued at $45,000 or more
$1 for every $100, or part of $100, of the dutiable value.
$450, plus $2 for every $100, or part of $100, of the dutiable value.
C and non-rated vehicles
$3 for each $100, or part of $100, of the dutiable value.
$1,350, plus $5 for every $100, or part of $100, of the dutiable value.
$4 for each $100, or part of $100, of the dutiable value.
$1,800, plus $6 for every $100, or part of $100, of the dutiable value.
Motor vehicle duty calculator
To estimate your duty liability, please use the calculator below. Please note this calculator serves as a guide only.
In certain circumstances, motor vehicle duty may not be payable. To determine whether you’re eligible for a duty exemption, please refer to the Motor Vehicle Registration Duty—Exemptions circular (DAA009.2).
Motor vehicle duty refunds are processed by applying to the ACT Revenue Office directly. Please include the following with your refund application:
- a written request stating the reason for the motor vehicle duty refund
- the contract to purchase the vehicle
- the registration certificate
- the cancellation certificate (if required)
- any other supporting documents, such as your proof of payment.
For a refund requested by a dealership on behalf of a taxpayer, please also include a completed Authority to Act form along with the items listed above.
You can submit your application in a number of ways:
- by email through the Contact us page
- by post to ACT Revenue Office, PO Box 293, Civic Square ACT 2608
- in person at Access Canberra shopfronts.
For further information on motor vehicle duty, please refer to the Motor Vehicle Registration Duty circular (DAA005.5).