Stamp Duty on Motor Vehicles

Calculation and Compliance

Enquiries

see also
Exemptions and Refunds
Motor Vehicle Dealer
Heavy Vehicles

Who is affected ?

Any person or firm applying to register or transfer the registration of a motor vehicle.

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What is Defined as a Motor Vehicle?

As per the Motor Vehicles Act 1959, a motor vehicle means a vehicle that is built to be propelled by a motor that forms part of the vehicle. 

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What is Involved?

Stamp duty is payable on an Application to Register a new motor vehicle or an Application to Transfer the Registration of a second hand motor vehicle within 14 days of purchase and is payable by the person or firm applying to have the vehicle registered or transferred into their name.

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Where do I pay Stamp Duty on my Vehicle?

The total amount of stamp duty is payable at the time of registration (or transfer of registration) to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles (Service SA Customer Service Centres). Stamp duty is calculated on the value of the motor vehicle, which must be declared on the application. The Compliance Services Branch is regularly auditing motor vehicle dealers and investigating low values.

Where a motor vehicle forms part of the assets in a contract for the sale or purchase of a business, the stamp duty payable is assessed at the time the contract is submitted to RevenueSA for stamping. Please note that a Registration Transfer Fee is payable.

Please note that a Registration Transfer Fee is payable.

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Commercial or Non-commercial Vehicle Classification

Different rates apply according to whether a vehicle is classified as being a commercial or non-commercial vehicle. 

A commercial vehicle is defined in the Motor Vehicles Act 1959 as a motor vehicle constructed or adapted solely or mainly for the carriage of goods.  This includes vehicles such as utilities, panel vans, vans and heavy vehicles. All other vehicles are classified as non-commercial.

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Rate of Stamp Duty

The rate of duty is based on the value of the vehicle and is shown in the following table:

Value Non-commercial Vehicle
Does not exceed $1000 $1 for every $100 or part of $100 with a minimum of $5 payable in all cases
Exceeds $1000 but not $2000 $10 plus $2 for every $100 or part of $100 over $1000
Exceeds $2000 but not $3000 $30 plus $3 for every $100 or part of $100 over $2000
Exceeds $3000 $60 plus $4 for every $100 or part of $100 over $3000
Value Commercial Vehicle
Does not exceed $1000 $1 for every $100 or part of $100 with a minimum of $5 payable in all cases
Exceeds $1000 but not $2000 $10 plus $2 for every $100 or part of $100 over $1000
Exceeds $2000 $30 plus $3 for every $100 or part of $100 over $2000

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Online Calculators

On-line calculator for Non-commercial Vehicles
On-line calculator for Commercial Vehicles

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New Motor Vehicle Declared Value

The value of a new motor vehicle is the recommended retail price or manufacturer's list price (including GST and luxury car tax , where applicable) issued by the manufacturer. This value will be applicable for all new motor vehicles of the same make and model at a given date.

The value of any additional equipment or features not included by the manufacturer in the list price of a new motor vehicle may or may not need to be added to the list price for calculating stamp duty.

The Act specifically identifies two items of optional equipment as being dutiable - "power steering" and "a particular type of transmission (for example, automatic transmission) ".

Where additional equipment or features are part of the vehicle as it is released to the public, the list price includes these items. Therefore, stamp duty is payable on the "'price fixed" by the manufacturer as defined in the Stamp Duties Act 1923 (see example below).

Example
A customer purchases a new vehicle for $44 000. This vehicle comes with the following features:

  • automatic Transmission
  • rear Spoiler
  • air Conditioning
  • cruise Control
  • sports Steering Wheel
  • CD Player

As the vehicle is released by the manufacturer with this equipment, stamp duty is payable on the total value of the car, including the equipment.
Where additional equipment or features are added to the motor vehicle and were not originally included in the list price as specified by the manufacturer, the value of these items are NOT required to be taken into consideration for the purposes of calculating stamp duty.

Example

A customer purchases a new vehicle for $30 000.  This amount is made up of the following:

  • list price $27 500
  • automatic Transmission $2500

The customer asks the dealer for the following items to be added to the car prior to taking delivery:

  • air Conditioning $2500
  • tow Bar $350

The air conditioning and tow bar that are added by the dealer are not part of the standard vehicle as issued by the manufacturer and are therefore not included in the calculation of stamp duty.

If RevenueSA is not satisfied with the value declared a reassessment of stamp duty can be made.

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Used Motor Vehicle Declared Value

The value to declare for a second hand motor vehicle is calculated on the higher of either the purchase price or the market value, including any improvements. The applicant must declare the value of the motor vehicle as at the date of the Application to Transfer Registration.

The onus is on the person making the declaration to ensure that the value stated is a true representation of the value of the motor vehicle. Organisations such as the Motor Trade Association, Redbook and the RAA can provide assistance when determining the value of a motor vehicle. If RevenueSA is not satisfied with the value declared, a reassessment of stamp duty can be made.

RevenueSA does not provide any valuation services.

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Trade-Ins Or Dealer Discounts

In calculating the value to be declared for stamp duty, negotiated prices to take into account trade-ins or any other special deals cannot be deducted from the purchase price of the motor vehicle.

Discounts given by motor vehicle manufacturers to their staff or discounts given to fleet buyers or vehicles sold for "mates rates" are not considered to be reductions in the price of the motor vehicle for stamp duty purposes. Under these circumstances, the vehicle value, as applicable to the general public, must be used to calculate the stamp duty payable.

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Run-Out List Price Vehicle Value

A run-out list price issued by the manufacturer (not an individual dealer or small group of dealers), can be used as the value to calculate stamp duty.
Where an individual or small group of dealers issues a vehicle run-out special, the original list price, as issued by the manufacturer must be used as the value for the calculation of stamp duty.

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Compliance

The Compliance Services Branch is regularly auditing motor vehicle dealers and private transactions to investigate low values and non transfers.

Any assessments issued by the Compliance Services Branch for under declaration of stamp duty must be paid direct to RevenueSA

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Contact Details

Enquiries should be directed to: Taxation Services – Returns Branch

Post to:
GPO Box 1353
ADELAIDE  SA  5001.

Telephone: (08) 8204 9888 or email: returns@sa.gov.au

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