Car registration costs in Queensland

SHAY WARAKER
We break down the average costs of Queensland car registration, or rego, including what factors influence the price and registration-related fees. We’ll also reveal how you may be able to save money on your registration.

In this article we look at:

How is the cost of your Queensland car registration calculated?

According to the Queensland Government, the cost of car registration in Queensland depends on the following factors:

Type of registration

New:

You may need to apply for a new registration if:

  • you buy a new vehicle that has never been registered
  • you buy a used vehicle that is unregistered
  • you are moving to Queensland and your vehicle is registered interstate
  • your registration has been expired for more than three months

Renewal:

In Queensland, the Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR) sends a registration notice about four weeks before your registration expires, detailing how much it will cost and how you can pay. You must renew your registration on or before the due date so your vehicle can legally be driven. The DTMR advises that there is a fee for late payments.

Type of vehicle you’re registering

The cost of your registration will differ depending on the type of vehicle you register. For example, a light commercial vehicle or van generally costs more to register than a passenger car or motorcycle.

CTP insurance

All Queensland-registered motor vehicles must have Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance cover. You can choose to include CTP insurance in your registration cost, or you can pay for it separately.

If you choose to include CTP in your rego quote, all current CTP insurers available in Queensland will be displayed, along with their price. You can then select a provider from the list. The price for CTP insurance is usually very similar across providers, but may differ depending on the insurance class you have entered into the quote (i.e., your vehicle type and purpose of use). Price may not be the only consideration when choosing your CTP provider. For example, you may also want to check to see how much cover is available from each insurer and whether any of them offer add-on products or incentives before making a decision.

Purpose of vehicle

If you plan to use your vehicle for commercial purposes, for example as a taxi, limousine, rideshare or rental car, then the cost of your CTP insurance may be greater than if it is used for private purposes. If CTP is included in your registration costs, then the overall price for your registration may also increase.

Dutiable value of vehicle

The Queensland Government states that in addition to a registration fee, you may need to pay a registration duty (tax) when applying for a new registration for a new, used or modified vehicle, or when requesting that an existing registration of the vehicle be transferred to you. To work out the duty you may need to pay, you first need to work out the dutiable value of your car. This is the list price or market value of the vehicle, including any optional equipment such as tow bars or roof racks. The higher the dutiable value for your car, the more expensive your registration will likely be. It is worth noting the government’s advice that registration duty does not apply to renewals, and that there are circumstances where you may be able to apply for an exemption from having to pay the duty.

Vehicle specifications

Cylinders:

Cylinders are the power unit of an engine. Most petrol and diesel cars have four, six or eight-cylinder engines, with a greater number of cylinders typically producing greater power. As a general rule, the higher your cylinder number, the more expensive your registration will be.

Fuel type:

The fuel type of your vehicle affects how much registration duty is payable, meaning it will typically only impact the cost of new registrations. There are many fuel varieties, including petrol, diesel, electric, gas, and hybrid options (electric/petrol or electric/diesel). Electric cars tend to be cheaper than petrol, diesel and gas varieties when it comes to registration.

Registration period

Light vehicles:

6- or 12-month options

Heavy vehicles:

3-, 6- or 12-month options

Please note: A vehicle with a total mass of over 4.5 tonnes is considered a heavy vehicle. Vehicles below this weight are considered light.

According to the Queensland Government, there will be a surcharge if you select a 3- or 6-month option for registration. This surcharge covers updating the vehicle register and other costs associated with the production, manufacture and mailing of additional registration notices.

How much does car registration cost in Queensland?

Costs will differ based on the factors outlined above. For a list of approximate costs for registration of a light vehicle for private use in Queensland, at the time of writing, see the tables below.

New registration

Light passenger vehicle (for private use); fuel type – petrol; CTP insurance included.

    Cylinders
Registration period (months) Dutiable value ($) 4 6 8
6 10,000 $716.60 $865.80 $1,023.65
6 15,000 $866.60 $1,040.80 $1,223.65
6 20,000 $1,016.60 $1,215.80 $1,423.65
12 10,000 $1,083.35 $1,331.80 $1,597.50
12 15,000 $1,233.35 $1,506.80 $1,797.50
12 20,000 $1,383.30 $1,681.80 $1,997.50

Source: Department of Transport and Main Roads, 2021 – Registration Quote Tool

Registration renewal

Light passenger vehicle (for private use); fuel type – petrol; CTP insurance included.

  Cylinders

Registration period (months)

4 6

8

6 $384.60 $483.80 $591.65
12 $751.35 $949.80 $1,165.50

Source: Department of Transport and Main Roads, 2021 – Registration Quote Tool

What is included in car registration fees in Queensland?

Vehicle registration fees are made up of three components:

  1. the vehicle registration fee
  2. the traffic improvement fee
  3. a CTP insurance premium (if you choose to have it included in your registration, though note it is a legal requirement to have CTP coverage before you can drive your car)

Other related fees

There are other fees for your car that you may be required to pay, depending on your circumstances. These may include:

  • vehicle registration transfer fee for vehicle or plate – $29.70
  • personalised number plate transfer fee – $107.75
  • fee to issue or replace a standard number plate – $32.00
  • customised plate fee – $53.90
  • late payment renewal fee (for 3, 6 or 12 months) – $67.65

How do you register a car in Queensland?

If you are registering a vehicle (not renewing), and a motor dealer hasn’t organised this for you, you must visit a transport and motoring customer service centre. If you live in a rural area, you can alternatively visit a Queensland Government Agent Program (QGAP) office, Magistrates Court or police station, according to TMR. If you are attending a QGAP office, Magistrates Court or local police station that provides registration services, you’ll need to complete a vehicle registration application, which is available to download from TMR.

You are asked to take your vehicle with you as it may need to be inspected prior to registration. To drive an unregistered car to the relevant centre, you must ensure you have a CTP insurance certificate and remove number plates, and only drive to the centre.

If you are looking to renew your registration, you can log into your TMR or QGov account and select the registration you would like.

How could you save on your registration in Queensland?

You may be able to save on your vehicle’s registration fees in Queensland by considering the following:

  • Pay for a 12-month registration. There is a surcharge for the 3- or 6-month options, so in most cases, opting for the longer period will save you money over the year.
  • Opting for standard, rather than personalised, plates. When purchasing a new registration, you will have to pay for plate fees. Standard plate fees are cheaper than personalised versions.
  • See if you qualify for a registration concession. There are a range of concessions available in Queensland. Some may include those for seniors or pensioner concession card holders, local governments or charitable or community organisations.
  • Make sure you renew your vehicle registration before it expires – renewal fees are generally cheaper than paying for a new registration.

And, if you haven’t purchased your vehicle yet, you could consider the following:

  • Purchasing a lower-cylinder or electric vehicle. The lower the number of cylinders your car has, the cheaper the registration costs. Electric vehicles also come with lower registration costs.
  • Purchasing a lower-value vehicle. Lower-value cars cost less to register than those of a higher value.

If you’re considering car insurance policies, the comparison table below displays some of the policies currently available on Canstar’s database for a 30-39 year old male seeking comprehensive cover in NSW without cover for an extra driver under 25. Please note the table is sorted by Star Rating (highest to lowest) followed by provider name (alphabetical) and features links direct to the providers’ website. Use Canstar’s car insurance comparison selector to view a wider range of policies.

Original article by Elise Donaldson.

Cover image source: Mitchell Shen/Shutterstock.com


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