Your car’s licence, sometimes called car registration, is made up of a number of fees and charges. If you check your account form, under the section that shows the optional payment periods of three, six and 12 months, you’ll see a fee breakdown.
This breakdown includes Motor Injury Insurance, plus 10% GST on that insurance and a 10% insurance duty, which together make up the largest proportion of the total.
There is also a licence fee, the second largest fee on your car rego, and a recording or administrative fee which is $10.30 per light vehicle (as at July2021).
Calculating the licence fee
The licence fee is a calculation based on the weight of your car, so the lighter the car, the cheaper it is to licence.
WA is the only Australian state to use weight in the calculation of individual light vehicle licence fees.
For passenger cars, SUVs and light commercial vehicles, which are all referred to as ‘light vehicles’, you pay $24.56 per 100kg.
So, if your car weighed 1,300kg, your licence fee would be $319.28 (as at July 2021).
You then need to add what the Department of Transport call a ‘prescribed flat fee’. This is added to the total of your licence fee. As at July 2021, that fee is $6.60 for 12-month renewals (50% discount applied to 12 month option), $6.60 for 6-month renewals and $3.30 for 3-month renewals.
So, the total the licence fee for the example above, if it were renewed for 12 months, would be $325.88. Remember, this is only the licence fee proportion of your total car rego costs.
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The type of weight measurement applied for light cars to calculate the licence fee is the Tare mass. This is the weight of the car with 10 litres of fuel in the tank and all of its other fluids such as oil, but no other cargo on board.
You can find the Tare mass of your car by checking your owner’s manual. You can also find it printed on the placard just inside the driver’s-side door.
If you want to check the Tare mass of a car you’re thinking of buying, search for it on redbook.com.au. You should find the Tare mass under the Dimensions section for each car. If you can’t find the Tare mass, using the Kerb weight will still give you a good idea of costs.
Here are some examples of licence fees you’d typically pay on 25 popular light passenger cars for a 12-month renewal. (Note: these calculations are based on exact vehicle tare mass, however Department of Transport calculations are rounded up to the nearest 100kg)
|Vehicle||Tare mass kg||Licence fee $24.56/100kg|
|BMW 3 Series||1458||$358.08|
|Mercedes Benz S-Class||2133||$523.86|
|Land Rover Range Rover Sport||2142||$526.07|
*Indicative Tare mass only. Please note: Tare weights used are for 2021 year models. Tare weights may vary according to model variant. Calculations using Tare mass are as specified in the Road Traffic Vehicle Regulations 2014, section 57.
Remember, in addition to the car licence fee above, you'll also need to add the 'prescribed flat fee' which is $6.60 for 12 months, the Motor Injury Insurance (see below), GST on that insurance plus an insurance duty, and also the $10.30 per light vehicle recording fee.
Motor Injury Insurance on your driver’s licence
The insurance fee on your car licence account refers to the Motor Injury Insurance (MII) that all WA vehicle owners must pay.
MII covers anyone involved in a crash where they sustain catastrophic injuries enabling them to make a personal injury insurance claim for ongoing medical costs or rehabilitation. In 2015, the MII scheme, previously known as Compulsory Third Party insurance, was changed from an ‘at-fault’ scheme to ‘no-fault’. This meant that anyone who sustained catastrophic injuries in a road crash could now make a claim under the scheme even when they were involved in a crash where there was no other ‘at fault’ driver, such as collisions with animals or running into a tree.
Currently for regular passenger cars used for private or business purposes, MII for 12 months totals $457.55 (including GST and duty). And for commercial vehicles, such as utes and vans used for private or, business purposes it’s $425.75 for 12 months.
The full rego cost breakdown
So, here’s a breakdown of all the fees on your car rego:
|Licence fee||$24.56 per 100kg vehicle Tare mass|
|Motor Injury Insurance||$457.55 passenger vehicle|
|$425.75 commercial vehicle|
Motor Injury Insurance fee above includes 10% GST and 10% duty. Fees and charges are as at July 2021.
No more ‘Business rate’ option
From July 2016 there is no longer a ‘business rate’ option included on car licence accounts in WA. This was previously an option for those who used their vehicle as part of their work and would claim its use at tax time. The rate was higher for business use largely because the premium charged for Motor Injury Insurance (MII) on business-use vehicles was higher than the MII fee for personal use. However, the government recognised that claims between private and business class vehicles were similar so the business-use option was dropped.
Other vehicle licence fees per 100/kg
|Caravan - motor propelled||$24.56|
|Caravan - trailer type||$6.14|
|Motorcycle - under 250cc||$49.12|
|Motorcycle - power to weight ratio under 150 kW/t||$49.12|
|Motorcycle - power to weight ratio over 150 kW/t||$73.68|
To find the licence fees per 100kg for other vehicle classes, visit Western Australia's Department of Transport.
Note: Some Department of Transport licence fee tables use Gross Vehicle Mass, however Tare mass is the correct measure as specified in the Road Traffic Vehicle Regulations 2014, section 57.
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Last updated July 2021