Transfer duty on Motorhomes

Submitted: Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 12:43
ThreadID: 85380 Views:12518 Replies:11 FollowUps:6
This Thread has been Archived
Hi, I live in WA and am looking at buying a $100,000 motorhome. It is a 1988 Fuso bus that has been converted to a motorhome. Does anyone know how transfer or stampo duty is calculated for this???
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Dan - Yal - Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 14:06

Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 14:06
Hi Julia,
transfer duty is a state based tax so you'll need to look on the website for the Office of State Revenue.
They have calculators on their site which will give you an estimate of what to expect to pay.
Make sure your sitting down at the time, the result might be a bit of a shock.

AnswerID: 450077

Reply By: juliaharwood - Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 14:34

Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 14:34
I have done that, I was wondering if you have to state the full value of the motorhome or just the value of the bus, seems wrong paying stamp duty on beds and fridges etc. Do they have a special catogory for motorhomes?
AnswerID: 450080

Follow Up By: Patrol22 - Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 15:14

Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 15:14
You are supposed to state how much you paid for the rig.........and the person selling it to you is "supposed" to declare the price in the transfer documents. That said, this rarely happens and is almost never long as the price stated is in the ball park of reasonableness in terms of the price of the vehicle.
FollowupID: 722548

Follow Up By: get outmore - Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 16:16

Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 16:16
it definitly can be checked

i and a person i worked with were both contacted with a please explain after buying cars in SA

someone is payed to cross check car ads and the advertised price with the declared price once bought

guy i work with had to pay extra stamp duty but even though i had done a bit of a swifty i also had some work done on the car after buying it and submitted the reciepts to show its true worth had been lower than the advertised price

this was accepted
FollowupID: 722552

Reply By: rocco2010 - Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 15:13

Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 15:13

No duty on the beds and fridge ... you could give it a try but you are dealing with professional tax collectors here and I am sure they will have it covered.

The transfer form asks you to list the "value" and the "purchase price" and if they are vastly different i am sure it would ring an alarm bell.

Lots of people look for loopholes in the tax laws and the people who find them are usually billionaires with an army of lawyers and accountants to help them out.

Good luck and let us know how you get on I am sure there is an army of owners out there who would love to know if you are successfull


AnswerID: 450085

Reply By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 16:42

Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 16:42
As a settlement agent in WA, I have a reasonably good working knowledge of the Duties Act as it applies to property and imagine the same concepts apply to vehicles. The dutiable value is generally current MARKET value, ie not necessarily the price you paid. That's why they look at related party dealings so carefully.

There are frequent audits and heavy penalties which need to be balanced against any savings you might make in reducing the duty. According to the OSR website (, the duty on a $100,000 heavy vehicle (ie GVM >4500kg) is 3% or $3,000.It's considerably higher on a light vehicle.

So, if you claim the vehicle is only worth $75k instead of $100k (which I'm not recommending you do) you will save $750 against the risk of a fine of upto 100% of the evaded duty plus the evaded duty plus the prospect of other penalties on top, and they'll then go through you with a fine tooth comb and investigate any other dutiable transactions (shares, property, business purchases, vehicles etc etc) you might've had in the past 5 years.

$750 is probably insignificant in a $100,000 purchase. Better to save the $750 somewhere else IMHO.

Cheers, Paul B
AnswerID: 450098

Follow Up By: juliaharwood - Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 17:57

Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 17:57
I agree, I don't want to do anything illegal, I have always made sure to pay exactly what I am required to, don't want to get on the wrong side of the tax office! I just wondered if they took special consideration of motohomes as they have a caravan section and then only trucks, but from what you're saying it seems we fall under the truck catagory and so yes have to pay duty on the full amount. Funny how in WA Caravans pay nil and yet they don't make allowances for motorhomes. The truck by itself would only be about $40000 it is the motorhome fittings that lift the value to $100000.
FollowupID: 722562

Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 17:50

Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 17:50
its $40 per thousand in Vic, so $4000 for your 23 yr old bus
Time is an illusion produced by the passage of history

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 450103

Reply By: Neil & Pauline - Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 18:18

Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 18:18
What I would do is have the price you pay separated. That is the motor home and anything removable that could be excluded from the duty calculation.
$100,000 will cost you $6500.
Just think of the good cause it is going to when you pay and it will make you feel better about it. I couldn't think of a cause when I paid mine though.

AnswerID: 450105

Reply By: ao767brad - Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 18:45

Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 18:45
Is it feasable to transfer it into your name in another state such as NSW where they have abolished stamp duty on caravans/motorhomes and then transfer the rego to WA where there is no transfer fee if you already own the vechile? Talk to someone in the know as I have only heard people talk about it on the road.
AnswerID: 450109

Reply By: Ron N - Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 20:52

Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 20:52
You can only register a vehicle in the State in which you reside, and in which State your MDL is recorded, and in which state the vehicle is primarily garaged. You can register a vehicle in another State in a company name, if the company has a registered office in that State.

The only viable alternative is to move to NSW, change your residential address to NSW, and change your MDL accordingly, to a NSW MDL. Then you can register the vehicle in the State of NSW.
If you have a vehicle under 4500kg GVM registered in your name in another State for 12 mths, you can move to W.A. and register the vehicle in W.A. without paying stamp duty or having to undergo inspection.

However, as the inspection regulations are limited to vehicles of less than 4500kg GVM, and I'd expect a 1988 Fuso would be more than 4500kg, you'd have to pay for re-inspection prior to licencing the Fuso in W.A.
You would not have to pay stamp duty again, if stamp duty has been paid in another State, or if the vehicle has been registered in another State. Stamp duty is only payable on change of ownership.
AnswerID: 450116

Follow Up By: TLC 001 - Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 21:52

Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 21:52
Hello Ron,

I don't think this information is quite correct. A year or so ago, I was contracting in Sydney and decided it was better to buy a car than hire one. I was flying back and forth to Melbourne each week. I purchased a NSW registered car and transferred the rego to me, with the address of the hotel I was staying at as my place of garage in Sydney.My home address was my Melbourne address. So it is possible. I still retain a NSW RTA etag account and have VIC registered cars on the account.

In the instance mentioned above, I notice the exemption relates to caravans and camper trailers, no mention of motor homes. so the stamp duty would still be around 5%. Perhaps there is another state with a better rate?

I still find it ridiculous that we have different laws and taxes in our different states, and do hope the OP finds a way to minimise legally their taxation obligations.


FollowupID: 722581

Reply By: Ron N - Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 23:22

Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 23:22
TLC 001 - Well, every State has differences in rego laws and I can only go on my personal experience. I reside in W.A., have a W.A. MDL, and bought a ute in Vic. (from a dealer) in Sept 2005.
I went over and picked it up, and they require the MDL of the buyer on the transfer form. VicRoads refused to transfer the vehicle to my name with Victorian registration, because they stated, that "I was not resident in the State". I still have that letter.
I had to drive it home on the residual rego (about a month), without the Victorian transfer taking place - return the Vic plates, and then register it in W.A.
I have since determined by inquiry, to the Victorian, S.A., N.T. and W.A. DOT's, that you cannot purchase and register a vehicle in any of those 4 States, without having your MDL and residential address in those States.
QLD and NSW must have different laws, but these rego/residence laws in the abovementioned 4 States, are in place to help prevent car-rebirthing. I guess that NSW, being the home of car-rebirthing, doesn't see any problem. [:-)
AnswerID: 450127

Follow Up By: fisho64 - Sunday, Apr 03, 2011 at 01:38

Sunday, Apr 03, 2011 at 01:38
Queensland in fact does not discourage you, as I guess they worked out that its better they have the stamp duty.
On a $50K car it is less than a 1/3 of WA and you need only sign an undertaking that you will transfer rego in your home state at earliest opportunity.
FollowupID: 722589

Reply By: Ron N - Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 23:43

Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 23:43
I might add, I supplied VicRoads with a mates address in Wantirna for a Victorian residence address for the ute registration/transfer (he'd agreed to it), but VicRoads refused to acknowledge that address, as it conflicted with my MDL address.
AnswerID: 450128

Follow Up By: TLC 001 - Sunday, Apr 03, 2011 at 16:27

Sunday, Apr 03, 2011 at 16:27
Ho Ron,

I thought the transfer form had provision for your MDL address (primary residence) and also the garage address (if different). Many people I know have vehicles registered in other states that their primary residence.

FollowupID: 722672

Reply By: Ron N - Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 23:58

Saturday, Apr 02, 2011 at 23:58
Julia - Many years ago (1993), I purchased a Mack truck in Victoria and drove it to QLD (on the dealers plates, with his permission), whereby I registered it in that State, using a mates address there.
The amount of savings in stamp duty on the $110,000 Mack was enormous, due to the QLD stamp duty rate being much cheaper than W.A.

A mate in W.A. did something similar about 3 yrs ago. He went to QLD and bought a new diesel Peugeot 407 and registered it in QLD, using a friends address. Once he drove back to W.A., he cancelled the QLD rego and returned the plates for the rego refund, and re-registered the Peugeot in W.A.

This has been a common stunt for many years, for many vehicle buyers in W.A. to save on stamp duty, and it is legal. However, whether it can still be done, is something to inquire about.

I do know that States are always tightening up regulations to prevent car-rebirthing and reduce cross-border theft, but they cannot do anything about the stamp duty angle, because any attempt to enforce additional stamp duty in your state of regular residence, is against the free-trade provisions of the Constitution.

Thus, if stamp duty is paid in one State, any other State cannot demand additional duty, as duty has already been paid in the State where you did the transfer. The only downside with registering a truck/bus in QLD is the need to get a Machinery Certificate, which can be costly for a large vehicle.
AnswerID: 450129

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (11)