Caravan Registration Rip-off

caravan registration

Caravan registration. One question comes to mind: why is it so darn expensive?

Let’s face it: your caravan is likely to spend much more time off the road than on it – unless you’re one of those lucky full-timers – and certainly less time than your tow vehicle.

So why the ridiculous fees?

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Fortunately, not all states impose the same ridiculous van registration fees as others. New South Wales, however, is the worst offender. Fancy paying $650 to register your van? No? I don’t blame you. Here’s a breakdown of what it costs to register a caravan in our six states and two territories for 12 months…


Without a doubt, New South Wales is the worst offender. Surely the fees associated with registering a van in this state acts as a disincentive to ownership or, at the very least, they encourage New South Wales caravan owners to register their vans interstate.

Now, I’m not condoning that as, no doubt, it would be frowned upon by certain authorities. But, let’s get real, the cost to register the average tandem-axle caravan in New South Wales is about what it will cost to register a 4WD in Victoria.

And again, considering the van is unlikely to spend the same amount of time on the road as the tow vehicle, the cost seems illogical if not downright unfair.

New South Wales employs a bracket system for determining caravan/trailer rego fees, determined by the Tare weight. These are the most relevant weight brackets and associated rego costs…

  • 1155kg-1504kg: $270
  • 1505kg-2504kg: $413
  • 2505kg-2794kg: $650
  • 2795kg-3054kg: $739
  • 3055kg-3304kg: $880

Note: the above figures are for caravan/trailers registered for private use only. If you want to register a van in New South Wales for business purposes, the costs increase dramatically.


Things start to look a little more reasonable in the Sunshine State. In Queensland, the registration fee is calculated on the caravan’s Aggregate Trailer Mass (ATM); however, unlike New South Wales, the registration brackets are much more generous and, some might say, a little unfair.

  • Up to 1020kg: $102.60
  • 1021kg-4500kg: $195.35

Why, for example, should a van with an ATM of, say 2500kg, cost the same to register as a van with an ATM of close to 4500kg? Furthermore, is it fair that a difference of 1kg (ATM), which would amount to a couple of bottles of beer packed in the pantry, adds more than $90 to your rego bill?


Western Australia adopts a more streamlined approach to the registration of all vehicles, from mobile cranes, to cars and tractors. When it comes to caravans, the fee is a fairly reasonable $5.12 per 100kg (or part thereof) of weight.

This means an average caravan with, say, a Tare of 2200kg will cost $112.64.

Unquestionably, it’s a fairer system than Queensland’s as it means caravan owners with substantially lighter rigs aren’t paying a disproportionate amount.


South Australia’s caravan registration system is cumbersome. It takes into account many variables, including the value of the caravan and the weight. Strangely, SA’s Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure requests the Gross Vehicle Mass of the caravan when calculating the fee. But, as you know, GVM doesn’t apply to caravans (motorhomes, yes). Presumably, the department means ATM.

In any case, to register a tandem-axle caravan for the first time in South Australia, with a Tare of 2200kg and ‘GVM’ of 2600kg, costs $93.

Due to the variables involved with registering a van in South Australia, it’s difficult to be any more specific. But the good news is that for the ‘average’ caravan, as described above, the fee is quite reasonable.


The Apple Isle has a lot going for it. But a sensible caravan registration system is not one of them.

The rego renewal fee on a trailer (including a caravan) of equal to or less than 500kg GVM (again, we assume Tassie’s Transport department means ATM) is $78.60 or $96.19 when registering the vehicle for the first time.

Considering caravans that have an ATM of 500kg or less are non-existent, the next most relevant bracket is for vans that have a ‘GVM’ equal to or less than 4500kg. The renewal fee is $137.60 or $155.19 when registering the van for the first time.

Like with Queensland’s system, why should a caravan owner whose van has an ATM of, say, 2300kg, cost the same as a van with an ATM of 4500kg?


The Northern Territory’s system for caravan/trailer registration is better than that of Tasmania and Queensland in that it is bracketed according to the Tare weight. It’s still expensive, though. Here are the most relevant weights and associated fees…

  • 1001kg-1200kg: $162.05
  • 1201kg-1400kg: $176.05
  • 1401kg-1600kg: $190.05
  • 1601kg-1800kg: $204.05
  • 1801kg-2000kg: $218.05
  • 2001kg-3000kg: $280.05
  • 3001kg-4000kg: $346.05
  • 4001kg-4500kg: $413.05


To register a caravan in the ACT is gob-smackingly expensive. The renewal costs aren’t advertised but the costs to register a van for the first time are. I hope you’re sitting down.

Similar to some of the other states, the registration fees are determined according to the Tare weight of the caravan/trailer. Here, I’ve picked out the most relevant categories…

  • 1155kg-1504kg: $372.90
  • 1505kg-2499kg: $531
  • 2500kg-2504kg: $812 (yes, the ACT government actually advertises a price bracket for 2500kg-2504kg)
  • 2505kg-2794kg: $1280.90
  • 2795kg-3054kg: $1447.80
  • 3055kg-3304: $1579
  • 3305-3564kg: $1708.90
  • 3565kg-3814kg: 1830.60

It goes on, costing more than $2200 for trailers with a Tare of over 4325kg. The lesson: don’t register your van in the ACT. Unbelievable.


Finally, Victoria, the state in which to live if you would like to pay next to nothing to register your caravan. In fact, a ‘light trailer’, a classification which in Victoria includes caravans and camper trailers, costs a mere $56.90 to register. You read that correctly.

Victoria doesn’t even distinguish between whether or not the trailer is used for private, commercial or government use.

Bless you, Victoria.


  1. Sssshhhhh, don’t tell Victorian government they’re cheaper than the rest of the country, or they’ll fix that up quick smart….

  2. I have heard that the insurance of your tow vehicle covers what ever is attached to it, or being towed by it. Can you, or somebody verify this. God Bless Victoria !!!

  3. Fantastic article. The wife and I travelled Australia for a year, buying a new van and selling it when we came back, only due to the cost of registration and insurance. All up in NSW the cheapest quotes I could get made it over a $1000 a year to basically have it for the odd weekend away. Basically working hard to pay for that trip means no long trips in the near future.

  4. Kevin the insurance is ownly while it is attached to your car on the road .
    If it catches fire in a caravan park an it damages near by vans then your libile to some nasty costs


  5. god bless Victoria. I have a caravan 19.6ft with rego of $74.70 per year
    an off road camper trailer with rego of $58.10 per year
    a 5.2 metre boat and trailer with seperate rego totalling $140 per year
    a tandem car trailer with rego of $58 per year
    and a 4wd with rego of $655 per year
    I couldn’t afford to have my toys in any other state
    JUST WISH I COULD AFFORD THE ELECTRICITY AND GAS BILLS AT HOME,Victoria knows how to stuff that side up thou.

  6. Like all registrations, licence fees and even Australian and NZ standards and Australian road rules in this country you wouldn’t know we where all in the same country with every state and territory bureaucrat thinking they know better than Oz as a whole. they tamper and alter everything they can just so they can justify their jobs. It is about time that all state governments in our wonderful country where pulled into line and made to comply to all Au / NZ standards. We should only have one Australian vehicle registration, one Australian licence and one Australian road rules.
    Next thing these state government will come up with is we will need passports to move from state to state and pay entry fees.
    We are one country, AUSTRALIA

    • It would be nice if Australia became one country instead of 8 little countries with each state and territory wanting its own little dung hill.

  7. I belong to a Caravan Club who took up a petition regarding the cost of Rego. They got around 12,000 signitures and gave it to the local member who presented it to Duncan Gay whom the club representitives met with but nothing. If it was cheaper rego then all the vans that reside in NSW but have Regos in Queensland and Victoria would then register their van in NSW. We have also complained to the Minister for Tourism,
    Adam Marshall.

  8. The ACT Gov announced huge saving for caravan owners in Oct 2016, as an election promise.
    Costs were reduced significantly – to match NSW, the next most expensive in the country by a mile.
    Quote from the article: “It currently costs $1280 a year to register a caravan with a tare weight of 2505 – 2795 kilos in the ACT – this would drop to $640 per annum.”

    Prices for all ACT vehicle registrations increased in July 2017, so the ACT remains the most expensive.
    The justification – because the roads are so much better. But, if you live in the ACT & use your caravan for a holiday, you actually leave the territory and use roads where registration costs less!
    Renewals for caravans registered in the ACT as at Oct 2017 are:
    Up to 250 kg $29.80 $49.70 $77.90
    From 251 kg to 764 kg $60.40 $110.90 $197.80
    From 765 kg to 975 kg $77.70 $145.50 $265.50
    From 976 kg to 1,154 kg $84.50 $159.00 $292.00
    From 1,155 kg to 1,504 kg $93.50 $177.00 $327.30
    From 1,505 kg to 2,499 kg $129.20 $248.50 $467.40
    From 2,500 kg to 2,504 kg $188.50 $367.00 $699.70
    From 2,505 kg to 2,794 kg $188.50 $367.00 $699.70
    From 2,795 kg to 3,054 kg $210.70 $411.50 $786.90
    From 3,055 kg to 3,304 kg $246.00 $482.00 $925.10
    From 3,305 kg to 3,564 kg $246.00 $482.00 $925.10
    From 3,565 kg to 3,814 kg $262.20 $514.50 $988.80
    From 3,815 kg to 4,064 kg $280.00 $550.00 $1,058.40
    From 4,065 kg to 4,324 kg $297.00 $584.00 $1,125.00
    From 4,325 kg to 4,500 kg $314.50 $619.00 $1,193.60

  9. New South Wales residents get riped off by their govenment all the time in many ways they can solve this with people power that is their choice.

  10. I can’t believe the difference from state to state.
    I think you made a mistake with the Queensland caravan rego, our van has an ATM of 3500kg and we pay around $380.00 not $195.35. ????


  11. It was on Duncan Gay’s list to look at this unfortunately he was not re-elected. Why can’t we have what the historical/custom cars in NSW have, say limited 90 Day rego plan of $123 doesn’t discriminate also include green slip weight? Only thing is you have to fill in a LOG BOOK ‘

  12. I love the way Canberra is charging so much. How many caravans do you see driving around Canberra destroying the roads. Lets go and do a tour of Canberra in our van. Ladies and Gents, you only drive into Canberra or out of Canberra, but they still are the dearest. Toy train payments???????

  13. I have just received the registration papers for our 1686 kg van and the NSW bushrangers state government want $486.00.
    They cannot possibly justify this charge as stated by all the other correspondents.

    • In NSW, if you move here from another state you are supposed to change addresses over after 3 months, do you think they do ?, not on your sweet bippy.

      Beats me how truckies get away with it, most of them are registered in SA.

  14. In NSW , i have been paying $65.00 for the registration and $116.00 for the weight tax for a pissy 250kg cub camper trailer.

    Like to know where the weight tax is spent ?, not on our roads, do you want to get ripped off on all charges and taxes – “MOVE HERE”

  15. Hi I live in NSW I have had my van registration in Vic since I bought it a few years ago

    All I had to do is have a garaging address in Vic and a Vic person with a Vic driving licence to OK it and they post the renewal to me in NSW now I have been told it is illegal to have a van registration in Vic towed by a car registration in NSW

    Can anyone advise on this

  16. In the N.T if the van is over 10 years old, your also responsible for getting a mechanic to cast his eye over the van, then pay for a Rwc which is a further cost.

  17. Does anybody know if you pay stamp duty on purchase price in Victoria? It seems like there might be 2.5% or there-abouts. Tassie used to have this too, but abolished it.