Caravan Registration Madness

Registration. It’s an unavoidable cost to factor in when considering buying a vehicle for use on public roads. Caravans are no different. The frustrating – and, some would say – unfair thing is that the cost to register your caravan varies wildly depending where you live.

For example, Victoria has long remained the cheapest state in which to register a caravan or trailer, while the Australian Capital Territory commits highway robbery with each caravan rego payment it accepts.

New South Wales is marginally better than the ACT but, along with the Northern Territory, it should hang its head in shame.

A few years ago, we looked at the price of van rego around the country and were shocked by the disparities. Have things improved at all? Before we get into it, I’ll note that the following figures only apply to renewing a van’s rego, not registering it for the first time. When registering any vehicle for the first time, a raft of other fees and conditions would apply. Some fees include compulsory third party insurance while others do not.


New South Wales is perhaps the most frustrating state in which to own and register a caravan. The state will sting you with a so-called ‘motor vehicle tax’ and what you pay to the government will depend on the Tare weight of your van.

caravan registration
How much you pay for your caravan registration entirely depends on the state in which you live.

It used to be that New South Wales advertised all weight brackets on its Service NSW website. However, trying to glean information for any caravan weighing more than 2504kg is like pulling teeth. And yes, we phoned. And phoned. And phoned. Penetrating the bureaucracy to bring you the information we wanted to proved too difficult.

We have, however, discerned that New South Wales charges the following fees for basic 12-month caravan rego renewal:

  • 255kg – 764kg: $74
  • 765kg – 975kg: $134
  • 976kg – 1154kg: $153
  • 1155kg – 1504kg: $176
  • 1505kg – 2504kg: $269

These fees take into account a ’40 per cent discount’ that has been implemented by New South Wales; however, this discount does not apply to motorhome and campervans. Owners of such vehicles would pay the following:

  • 255kg – 764kg: $123
  • 765kg – 975kg: $224
  • 976kg – 1154kg: $255
  • 1155kg – 1504kg: $294
  • 1505kg – 2504kg: $448

If your vehicle is over 4.5 tonnes GVM, you can opt to pay for a three or six-month registration term.

According to the Service NSW website, vans weighing 4.5 tonnes ATM or less have to undergo a safety inspection before they can be re-registered each year. Such a safety inspection is available for six months.

Finally, we will note that the motor vehicle tax applying to RVs appears to have been reduced in recent years.

Do you have a caravan registered in New South Wales? Write to GoRV to let us know how much you pay, especially if your van weighs more than 2504kg Tare. 


I hope you are sitting down. The ACT is… what’s the word I’m looking for? Ridiculous. The fees to register a van in our capital territory are gob-smacking. And yes, they have increased further since we last reported on rego prices around the country.

  • 1155kg – 1504kg: $368
  • 1505kg – 2499kg: $525.70
  • 2500kg – 2794kg: $787.10
  • 2795kg – 3054kg: $885.20
  • 3055kg – 3564kg: $1040.70
  • 3565kg – 3814kg: $1112.30
  • 3815kg – 4064kg: $1190.70
  • 4065kg – 4324kg: $1265.70
  • 4325kg – 4500kg: $1342.80

caravan registrationAs if that wasn’t burdensome enough, if your caravan or trailer has been unregistered for more than 12 months, you’ll need to have it inspected for roadworthiness.

Honestly, it’s as though the ACT doesn’t want you registering your van there at all.


South Australia has a fair and reasonable caravan registration system. It’s also simple. Registering a van up to 4500kg ATM for 12 months costs just $95, though the fine print indicates that some other minor fees and charges may apply.

In any event, to pay about $95 per year for caravan rego doesn’t seem overly burdensome.


The fee to register a van in Queensland depends on the ATM of the van. It starts at $119.25 for 12 months up to 1020kg ATM. 

Vans weighing from 1021kg ATM to 4500kg ATM cost $227.10 to register for a year. A caravan weighing more than 4500kg ATM is classed as a heavy vehicle and a new range of conditions and fees applies.

This system, on the face of it, seems just a little unfair. Why, for example, should a van with a weight rating of 2500kg ATM cost the same to register as one with an ATM of 4500kg?

Further, is it fair that a difference of 1kg (ATM) might add more than $100 to your rego bill? 


Unsurprisingly, the price to register a caravan in the Northern Territory has increased since we last looked at rego prices around the country. Like with the ACT and New South Wales, the Northern Territory uses a bracketing system based on the Tare of your van. You can also opt to pay for one, three, six or 12-month registration terms. The following are the 12-month rego rates: 

  • 1001kg – 1200kg: $202.80
  • 1201kg – 1400kg: $221.80
  • 1401kg – 1600kg: $240.80
  • 1601kg – 1800kg: $259.80
  • 1801kg – 2000kg: $278.80
  • 2001kg – 3000kg: $354.80
  • 3001kg – 4000kg: $443.80
  • 4001kg – 4500kg: $532.80


In Western Australia, caravans up to 4500kg GVM are considered ‘light vehicles’. Registering a van is known as ‘licensing’ and, before being registered for the first time, it needs to be inspected for roadworthiness.

caravan registrationBut in this article, we are looking at the basic cost to renew rego. This state has a streamlined system that applies to most vehicles in which you pay a fixed rate per 100kg. In the case of a ‘motor-propelled caravan’ (i.e., a motorhome), it’s $25.52 per 100kg. But caravans cost a reasonable $6.38 per 100kg to ‘license’ – rounded up to the nearest 100kg.

For example, if your van weighed 2400kg Tare, you’d be up for $153.12. However, there is a slight hitch: on top of this, there is a prescribed ‘flat fee’ of $13.20 that applies to 12-month renewals. But, on the whole, it appears to be a reasonably fair system.


The Apple Isle takes a much broader, simpler approach to most of its northern counterparts. If the caravan has an unladen mass of equal to or less than 500kg, 12-month rego renewal costs $89.42. But if the van has an unladen mass greater than 500kg but less than or equal to 4.5 tonnes GVM, it’s $180.32. This is the fee, of course, that would apply to the vast majority – if not all – of us.


Victoria continues to have the best, fairest, cheapest system for registering a trailer, including caravans. Regardless of the weight, size or number of axles, Victoria charges a flat rate of $62.40. And no one can argue with that.


Naturally, all states would require your van to be registered in the state in which you normally live; however, as you can see, how much you’ll fork over to re-register your van, and the hoops through which you have to jump, varies significantly from state to state.

A final word of advice. Because many states charge according to the weight of your van, it would be worth having it independently weighed to make sure you don’t pay more than required.


ADR 61/02 requires that all vans have provision for a registration plate to be secured to the rear of the van no higher than 1.3m from the ground. Police have been known to issue fines for non-compliant vans, so it might be worth getting out the measuring tape.

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