The ACT's Vehicle Registration Revolution starts 1 July 2024.

Embracing Emissions-Based Fees for a better future!

Starting from next Monday - July 1, 2024, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) will implement a ground breaking change in its vehicle registration system, transitioning from a weight-based to an emissions-based model. This shift aims to better align registration costs with environmental impact, encouraging the adoption of cleaner vehicles and supporting the ACT's ambitious climate goals.

Current System

Under the current weight-based registration system, heavier vehicles incur higher fees. This approach, while straightforward, has inadvertently penalised some heavier but lower-emitting vehicles, including many electric vehicles (EVs). As a result, owners of cleaner, heavier vehicles have been paying more than those with lighter, higher-emitting vehicles.

The New Emissions-Based System

From July 1, 2024, the ACT will transition to an emissions-based registration system for light vehicles. This new system will calculate registration fees based on the vehicle's emissions rather than its weight. The primary goal is to incentivise the use of low-emission and zero-emission vehicles by reducing their registration costs.

Key Changes

  1. Fee Structure: Registration fees will be determined by the vehicle's emissions output. Lower-emission vehicles will benefit from reduced fees, while higher-emission vehicles will face higher costs.
  2. Concessions: From July 1, 2023, holders of ACT Service Access cards and Australian Low Income Health Care cards will qualify for free vehicle registration.
  3. Discounts for EVs: New and used zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) that previously enjoyed two years of free registration will transition to the lowest fee category once their free period ends. Additionally, new and used plug-in hybrid (PHEVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) will receive 12 months of registration discounts.
  4. Stamp Duty Waiver: The stamp duty waiver for passenger vehicles will be extended to include second-hand PHEVs and HEVs with tailpipe emissions under 130 grams of CO2 per kilometres.

Impact on Electric Vehicles

The new system is particularly beneficial for electric vehicle owners:
  1. Lower Registration Fees: EVs, which produce zero emissions, will fall into the lowest fee category. For example, the registration fee for an electric Hyundai Kona will decrease from $661 under the weight-based system to $363 under the new emissions-based system, saving approximately $298 annually.
  2. Extended Incentives: The ACT government offered two years of free registration for new and used ZEVs purchased between May 24, 2021, and June 30, 2024. From 1 July 2024, these vehicles will transition to the lowest fee category.
  3. Overall Savings: The first stage of the transition, including changes to registration fees, stamp duty, and concessions, is projected to save motorists $6.6 million over four years.

Environmental and Economic Benefits

The shift to an emissions-based registration system is a strategic move to reduce the ACT's carbon footprint:
  1. Transport Emissions: Transport accounts for more than 60% of the ACT's emissions, with private vehicle use responsible for about 70% of that share. By incentivising low-emission vehicles, the new system aims to significantly cut these emissions.
  2. EV Adoption: The ACT is already leading the nation in electric vehicle uptake, The new registration system is expected to further accelerate this trend.
  3. Long-Term Goals: The ACT aims to phase out light internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035 and achieve 80-90% zero-emission light vehicle sales by 2030.
By aligning registration costs with environmental impact, the ACT government is making a clear statement: choosing a lower-emission vehicle not only benefits the environment but also leads to significant financial savings. This innovative approach positions the ACT at the forefront of Australia's transition to a more sustainable transportation future.

That’s good news for the planet and your pocket!

To find out how much your car will cost to register under the new system visit Access Canberra