Luxury Car Tax (LCT)

  • Applies to vehicles valued above the LCT threshold
  • Novated leases on EVs and PHEVs are exempt from fringe benefits tax up to the LCT threshold

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Luxury Car Tax Explained
Luxury Car Tax Explained

LCT threshold

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If you’re buying a luxury car in Australia, there’s more to the total costs than just a hefty price tag or expensive repair work. Depending on the value of the vehicle you want to buy, you could be stung with a luxury car tax.

Luxury car tax isn’t the same as stamp duty, which is calculated individually by each state. Instead, the federal government sets a threshold limit for different vehicle types each financial year to determine how much extra you’ll have to pay on your expensive car.

Here’s the lowdown on how it works, and how much it might cost you at the dealership.

What is the luxury car tax?

The luxury car tax (LCT) is the tax you’ll pay when the cost of a vehicle you purchase exceeds what is called the LCT threshold. It applies to both new and used vehicles that were manufactured or imported less than two years ago.

  • Is calculated including GST on the car, but not other fees and charges
  • Only requires you to pay a percentage on the amount above the LCT Threshold
  • Is calculated differently for fuel-efficient vehicles and other vehicles
  • Is set by the Australian Taxation Office

The LCT threshold amounts can apply in other situations too.

For example, for electric vehicles (EVs) or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) below the LCT threshold, there is a fringe benefits tax exemption (e.g. if the car is acquired through an EV novated lease).

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Calculating your LCT

Calculating your LCT is relatively simple. You pay 33% of the amount that exceeds the LCT Threshold. Here’s how you can calculate it in a few minutes.

  • First, take the total purchase price of the car. This includes GST, but doesn’t include other things like stamp duty or registration or insurance.
  • Subtract the LCT Threshold amount to find the difference.
  • Divide this figure by 1.1 to subtract the GST portion from the threshold payment.
  • Multiply this by 33% to find your payable LCT.

Here’s a super quick example:

  • The car you are buying is $100,000, including GST. It is not fuel-efficient.
  • The LCT Threshold for this vehicle is $71,849. ($100,000 - $71,849 = $28,151)
  • Subtract the GST. $28,151 divided by 1.1 = $25,591.81
  • Find the payable LCT. $25,591.81 x 33% = $8,445.30

On a $100,000 vehicle which is not classed as fuel-efficient, your LCT will be $8,445.30

When and how do you pay LCT?

LCT will almost always be included in the quoted price of the vehicle when buying from a dealership. The dealership will pay the LCT to the ATO on your behalf as part of the sale process.

Refunds can be claimed by the individual or business through the ATO.

Individual buyers who import a vehicle privately may also need to pay LCT if the vehicle's value is above the threshold.

Are there LCT exemptions?

There are a few ways that you can save on paying LCT.

The first is to claim a refund on your LCT if you are eligible to do so. Primary producers and tourism operators may be able to claim up to $3,000 on their LCT.

The second is to buy a fuel-efficient vehicle. The LCT Threshold for fuel-efficient vehicles is significantly higher than for non-fuel-efficient vehicles, so if you’re looking to do your part for the planet and save on cash, then this is an option to consider.

Lastly, if the vehicle you are buying isn’t a passenger vehicle, or is a modified vehicle designed for specific use (e.g. transporting wheelchair passengers) then the vehicle may be exempt from LCT.

Car Loans guides and resources

Where to next? Read our other car loan guides to understand more about your options for financing your next car.

Written by

Shaun McGowan founder

Loans Expert

Shaun McGowan

Reviewed by

Sean Callery Editor


Sean Callery