In this article we break down the average costs of a Victorian vehicle registration, 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.
How is the cost of your Victorian car registration calculated?
According to VicRoads, the cost of car registration in Victoria depends on the following factors:
Type of registration
You may need to apply for a new registration in Victoria if:
- You buy an unregistered vehicle
- Your registration has been expired for more than three months
- You need to register an interstate vehicle
VicRoads will send out a registration notice in the mail a few 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.
Vehicle classification (type and use)
The classification of your vehicle (body type, intended use, seating/carrying capacity) will impact the amount you pay for compulsory third party insurance (CTP), included in the cost of your Victorian registration as part of the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) charge.
The TAC is the sole CTP insurance provider in the state, which pays for compensation for death or injuries resulting from a transport accident.
The TAC classifies vehicles in Victoria under the following categories:
- Passenger vehicles (sedan, station wagon, hatch, 4WD, SUV, ute, van, RV, bus)
- Goods carrying vehicles
- Miscellaneous motor vehicles (e.g. mobile crane, tractor, road making vehicle)
- Special purpose motor vehicles (e.g. fire trucks, police vehicles, tow trucks)
There are also sub-categories that specify the purpose of use for these vehicles and their carrying or seating capacity.
Generally, vehicles with a larger seating or carrying capacity or that are designed for carrying goods will pay a higher TAC charge, therefore costing more to register.
Garaged location – postcode
Another factor used to determine the TAC charge in Victoria is the address where your vehicle will be garaged. This location will fall into one of three risk zones: high, medium or low. These are assigned by the postcode in which you live –
High – Metropolitan.
Postcodes in this zone include 3000, 3094, 3174
Medium – Outer metropolitan.
Postcodes in this zone include 3024, 3788, 3980
Low – Rural.
Postcodes in this zone include 3340, 3350, 3797
The higher the risk zone, the more you will be charged by the TAC, and therefore the more you will pay to register your car.
Market value of vehicle (new registrations)
Motor vehicle duty is payable when you apply to register or transfer registration of a motor vehicle in Victoria.
The amount of motor vehicle duty you will pay is based on the market value of your car (the purchase price or the value of the vehicle on the open market, whichever is the highest of the two). Therefore, the higher the market value of your car, the more you will pay in duty and the more expensive your registration will likely be.
Motor vehicle duty does not apply to registration renewals.
There are also a number of other circumstances where you may be able to apply for an exemption from having to pay your vehicle’s duty, such as if your vehicle was last registered in your name in in another state or territory.
Fuel type of your vehicle
The fuel type of your vehicle will affect the cost of your registration fee. There are many fuel varieties, including petrol, diesel, electric and hybrid options (electric/petrol or electric/diesel).
Electric and hybrid cars tend to be cheaper than petrol and diesel varieties when it comes to registration in Victoria.
When registering your vehicle, you will be able to choose the period of time you would like to pay for:
Light and heavy vehicles: 12 months
Light and heavy vehicles: 3, 6 or 12 months
Please note: Short-term registration for three or six months isn’t available for light trailers or caravans.
According to VicRoads, if you choose a short-term registration period of three or six months for your light or heavy vehicle, an additional fee of $2.45 will apply for each renewal.
How much does car registration cost in Victoria?
Costs will differ based on the factors outlined above. For a list of approximate costs for registration of a car in Victoria, at the time of writing, see the tables below.
Light motor vehicle – private use, petrol-diesel-LPG, no concessions
Garaged location – risk zones
Registration period (months)
|Market value ($)||Low||Medium||
Source: VicRoads, initial registration fee calculator. Fees effective 1 July, 2018. Please note this calculation is for the registration fee to have an unregistered car put back on the road or to register an interstate vehicle in Victoria. Other factors specific to you may affect the actual fee payable. There is also a merchant fee of 0.54% applied to all VISA and Mastercard transactions.
Light motor vehicle – private use, petrol-diesel-LPG, no concessions
|Garaged location – risk zones|
|Registration period (months)||Low||Medium||High|
Source: VicRoads, renewal fee calculator. This calculator provides a fee estimate for registration renewal fees for the light motor vehicle – car category. This includes body types such as sedan, station wagon, 4WD, SUV, hatch, roadster, coupe, convertible, RV or mobile home. Heavy vehicles and heavy trailers are excluded. There is also a merchant fee of 0.54% applied to all VISA and Mastercard transactions.
What is included in car registration fees in Victoria?
Vehicle registration fees for a new registration in Victoria are made up of several components, including:
- Appointment fee with VicRoads
- Inspection fee (only for registration transfer of second-hand cars) by VicRoads
- Standard registration charge
- Number plate fee
- Transport Accident Commission (TAC) charge (to cover CTP insurance)
- Insurance duty (this is the duty applied to the TAC premium)
- Motor vehicle duty fee
Registration renewals are made up of the standard registration charge and TAC charge.
Other potential fees
There are other fees that you may be required to pay when registering your vehicle, depending on your circumstances. These may include:
Registration transfer fees
You may need to pay a transfer and motor vehicle duty transfer fee when you purchase a registered vehicle and transfer ownership into your name. These fees are payable when you submit the application for transfer form with VicRoads. If you’ve bought a vehicle from a dealer, they will be responsible for sending all paperwork to VicRoads.
Some transfer fee exemptions apply depending on the type of transfer and vehicle.
Private transfer for a motor vehicle: $39.70
Dealer transfer for a motor vehicle: $20.20
Motor vehicle duty transfer fee for a passenger car: $8.40 per $200 of the market value or part thereof
If you need to transfer the registration of a car into your name, you will have to apply through VicRoads within 14 days of that car coming into your possession. If you do not, late transfer fees may apply.
The fee for the issuance of new number plates ($37 for standard) is included in the cost for a new car registration. Other plate fees may include:
- Replacement plate fee – standard size: $34.20 per plate
- Slimline plates: $45 per plate
- Pop/change of colour: $170 for two plates
- Change of number: $37 for two plates
- Special interest plates – varies depending on plate type (see VicRoads’ plate fee section for more information)
- Custom number plates – varies depending on style and content (see vplates.com.au for more information)
How could you save on your registration in Victoria?
You may be able to save on your vehicle’s registration fees in Victoria by considering the following:
- Paying for a 12-month registration.
An additional fee of $2.45 applies when you choose to renew your registration for a three or six-month period.
- Checking if you qualify for a registration concession.
There are a range of concessions available in Victoria. Some of those who may be eligible for a concession include – pensioners, health care card holders, war widow (ers), incapacitated war veterans, primary producers, and charitable, benevolent or religious institutions. There may also be registration discounts for trade apprentices using their car for work and for owners of hybrid or electric vehicles. A vehicle modified for wheelchair use may also carry a registration concession.
- Garaging your vehicle in a medium or low-risk zone.
Garaging your car in a high-risk metropolitan area will mean you will be charged more by the TAC, and therefore pay more to register your car. While moving home may not be a realistic option for many, it is worth keeping in mind if you have the opportunity to instead garage your vehicle in a medium (outer metropolitan) or low (rural) risk zone, you could save money on your registration.
And if you haven’t purchased your vehicle yet, you could consider the following:
- Purchasing a lower-value vehicle.
Lower-value cars usually cost less to register than those of a higher value.
- Opting for standard rather than custom or special interest number plates.
When purchasing a new registration, you will have to pay for plate fees. Standard plate fees are generally cheaper than customised or special interest versions.
- Purchasing an electric or hybrid vehicle that may qualify for a registration discount.
Hybrid and electric passenger vehicles currently receive a $100 discount in Victoria off their annual registration. This discount is automatically deducted from and will appear on your registration renewal notice.
- If suitable, purchasing a vehicle with smaller seating or carrying capacity.
Vehicles with smaller seating or carrying capacity generally pay a reduced rate for the TAC charge. The less you pay in TAC the cheaper your registration is likely to cost.
Cover image source: Taras Vyshnya (Shutterstock)