Registration charges for heavy vehicles

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Heavy vehicle charges aim to recover heavy vehicle related expenditure on roads from heavy vehicle operators. This allows governments to invest in building and maintaining productive and safer roads.

Charges are a combination of an annual registration and fuel-based road user charges.

The revenue raised by registration charges is collected by state and territory governments. The revenue from the fuel-based road user charge is collected by the Commonwealth Government.

The regulatory component of the registration charge is passed onto the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator by participating states and territories.

Current registration charges for heavy vehicles

Registration charges applicable from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2021 (inclusive of both the roads and regulatory components of the charges).

If you believe you have been charged the wrong amount, please contact the road agency in your state or territory.

The total registration charges shown below include the roads and regulatory components. Read more about the separate components.   

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Division 1—Load carrying vehicles ($)
Vehicle type 2 axle 3 axle 4 axle 5 or more
axles
Trucks        
Truck (type 1) 607 950 965 965
Truck (type 2) 975 1,142 1,163 1,163
Short combination truck 1,005 1,179 2,042 2,042
Medium combination truck 9,554 9,554 10,320 10,320
Long combination truck 13,208 13,208 13,208 13,208
Prime movers        
Short combination prime mover  1,124 4,512 4,820 4,820
Multi-combination prime mover  11,333 11,333 12,466 12,466
Division 2—Load carrying trailers ($)
Charges per axle Single Tandem
axle group
Tri-axle
group
Quad-axle group
and above
Trailer type        
Pig trailer 667 640 630 626
Dog trailer 667 640 630 626
Semi trailer 667 806 571 429
B-double lead trailer and B-triple lead and middle trailers 667 806 571 429
Converter dolly or low loader dolly 55 28 18 14
Division 3—Buses ($)
Bus type 2 axles 3 axles 4 or more axles
Bus (type 1) 513    
Bus (type 2) 643 2,674 2,674
Articulated bus   640 640
Division 4—Special purpose vehicles ($)

Special purpose vehicle (type P) = No charge

Special purpose vehicle (type T) = 502

Special purpose vehicle (type O) = Calculated using the formula: 577+(375 x number of axles over 2)


Notes:

  • Truck (type 1) means a rigid truck not exceeding a Mass Rating for Charging (MRC) of 12 tonnes (2 axles), 16.5 tonnes (3 axles) or 20 tonnes (4 or more axles)
  • Truck (type 2) means a rigid truck exceeding a MRC of 12 tonnes (2 axles), 16.5 tonnes (3 axles) or 20 tonnes (4 or more axles)
  • Short combination truck means a truck nominated to haul one trailer where, according to the nomination: (a) the combination has 6 axles or fewer; and (b) the maximum total mass that is legally allowable for the combination is 42.5 tonnes or less.
  • See the Heavy Vehicle Charges Model Law for complete definitions of vehicle types.
  • All axles on a dog trailer are treated as part of one group for registration charging purposes. For example, a dog trailer with a single axle at the front and a tandem axle at the rear is treated as a tri-axle group for charging purposes.
 

Determining heavy vehicle charges

We calculate and recommend heavy vehicle registration and road user charges to the Transport and Infrastructure Council (the Council) based on the pricing principles set by the Council and the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

The principles are:

  • full recovery of allocated infrastructure costs while minimising both the over and under recovery from any class of vehicle
  • cost effectiveness of pricing instruments
  • transparency
  • the need to balance administrative simplicity, efficiency and equity (e.g. impact on regional and remote communities/access)
  • the need to have regard to other pricing applications such as light vehicle charges, tolling and congestion
  • ongoing cost recovery in aggregate
  • the removal of cross subsidies between vehicle classes.
Annual adjustments

To ensure that heavy vehicle charges keep pace with road spending programs, an annual adjustment formula is applied in July to the previous year’s registration and road user charges. This formula is contained in the Heavy Vehicle Charges Model Law.

Determinations

In some years, we recommend a new set of charges to the Council based on updated methodologies and data. These recommendations are called ‘determinations’. A determination sets a new baseline upon which the annual adjustment formula can be applied to in future years.

Council decisions

On 22 November 2019, the Council identified a preference for charges to rise by 2.5 per cent in 2020–21 and 2.5 per cent in 2021–22, subject to consideration by governments where necessary.

The Council also directed the NTC to undertake a determination to review the method for calculating heavy vehicle charges.

Following public consultation, the Council decided on 5 May 2020 that heavy vehicle charges in 2020–21 would remain unchanged. The Council made this decision in light of the extraordinary contraction in economic activity and income expected for the June quarter, and in recognition that some operators are working hard under tight margins to keep essential goods moving during the COVID-19 pandemic, while others are experiencing a severe downturn in work.

The PAYGO model

Australia uses a pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) model which determines annual registration and fuel-based road user charges. PAYGO was introduced in Australia in 1992 to:

  • help recover the marginal or attributable costs of road wear and tear for each heavy vehicle type
  • recover a share of common road costs which benefit all road users, such as street lighting, rest bays and signage
  • ensure heavy vehicles pay their share of road spending.

Revenue recovered through heavy vehicle charges helps governments provide better and safer roads.

Around 40 per cent of heavy vehicle costs are recovered as state and territory registration fees, with the balance paid through a fuel-based road user charge which is collected by the Commonwealth Government.

To calculate heavy vehicle charges using the PAYGO model, we use the latest heavy vehicle and trailer population data as well as seven year averages for both road expenditure and vehicle usage data. This data averaging ensures that charges do not change significantly in response to short-term changes in expenditure or vehicle use.

For more information, see the PAYGO model user manual.

Application of charges to vehicle types

Two axle rigid truck
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Two axle rigid truck

Up to 12.0t
$607 

Over 12.0t
$975


Two axle short combination truck with a two axle dog trailer
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Two axle short combo truck with two axle dog trailer

Up to 42.5t
$1,005 + $1,280 = $2,285


Three axle rigid truck
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Three axle rigid truck

Up to 16.5t
$950

Over 16.5t
$1,142


Three axle short or medium combination truck with a three axle dog trailer

Up to 42.5t
$1,179 + $1,890 = $3,069

Over 42.5t
$9,554 + $1,890 = $11,444


Three axle medium combination truck with a four axle dog trailer
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Three axle medium combination truck with four axle dog trailer

Over 42.5t
$9,554 + $2,504 = $12,058


Four axle twin steer rigid truck

Up to 20.0t
$965

Over 20.0t
$1,163


Two axle bus

Up to 12.0t
$513

Over 12.0t
$643


Three axle bus
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Three axle bus

$2,674


Six axle semi-trailer

$4,512 + $1,713 = $6,225


Nine axle B-double
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Nine axle b-double

$11,333 + $3,426 = $14,759


Double road train
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Double road train

$11,333 + $3,482 = $14,815


Triple road train

$11,333 + $5,251 = $16,584