A state-by-state guide for on-road costs before your next adventure

We love travelling around Australia, but it comes at a cost, and sometimes it’s not the obvious things such as fuel and accommodation.

Just setting yourself up for a good holiday with all the regos and permits can cost thousands, and it’s a budget item often overlooked.

At the suggestion of a YourLifeChoices reader, we have rounded up a state-by-state guide to the cost of registering your vehicles and thrown in fishing licences for good measure. 


Car registration: find the schedule of fees here. Discounts for veterans, Health Care Card holders, Pensioner Concession card holders and cars modified for wheelchair use. Find out more here.

Boat registration: find the registration fee schedule here, and how to register a boat here. A registration renewal is required every 12 months.

Trailer/caravan registration: Victorian’s rules for registering a trailer and caravan are the same. You will need to register through VicRoads and the fees are extensive. You may have to pay for a vehicle inspection. Find out more here.

Fishing licence: licence not needed for over 70s, Victorian or instate equivalent of a Seniors Card, Veterans Card and certain Commonwealth Pension Concession Card holders. For everyone else, three-day licence, $10; 28-day licence, $22.70; one-year licence, $39.90 ($2.40 saving when bought online); three-year licence, $108.10 ($5.70 saving online). 


Car registration: NSW bases car registration on a few variables, but you can find the schedule of fees here. Pensioner discounts are available for one vehicle per person. Check your eligibility here. Tax concessions available for low emissions vehicles, wheelchair-modified vehicles and if you receive a Commonwealth Carer Payment or Carer Allowance. Discover more here.

Boat registration: cost based on boat length. Find the schedule of fees here. Concessions are available for NSW Pensioner Concession Card holders, veteran Gold Card holders and certain injured veterans. 

Caravan/trailer registration: the vehicle tax on private caravans and camper trailers has been reduced by 40 per cent. Find the schedule of fees and taxes here. Vehicles under 254kg in the class are not taxed, but must still be registered. Motorhomes and campervans are not eligible for the reduction.

Fishing licence: licence fees are: $7 for three days; $14 for one month; $35 for one year; $85 for three years. Free for Pensioner Concession Card holders, veterans Gold card holders. 


Car/Caravan/boat/trailer registration: from 16 September 2024, registration fees for light vehicles, including trailers will be decreased by 20 per cent for one year to ease cost-of-living pressures.

In a nifty development, the government has an online calculator registration fee quote option for most domestic vehicles and boats here. Information about concessions available for seniors and pensioners are also available here

Fishing licence: no licence is needed for recreational fishing in tidal waters, but you may need a licence to fish in some artificially stocked inland waters. Find the cost and dams covered under the legislation here.

Northern Territory

Car/trailer/caravan registration: find the schedule of fees here. For the full schedule of concessions available to Northern Territory drivers, visit here. If you are over 60, you can also receive a further discount on your motor vehicle registration through the Senior’s Discount Card.

Boat registration: the NT is different, isn’t it? You don’t need to hold a licence or register your recreational boat in the NT. 

Fishing licence: no licence is needed for recreational fishing in the Northern Territory, but according to the government you should probably learn about crocodile safety before you cast a line. Like I said, the NT is different. There are also plenty of rules about what you can take and where you can take it. Find out more here.

Western Australia

While the vehicle registration fee schedules for Western Australia are relatively simple, the fee concessions available are many and varied. Rather than repeating them for all vehicles, the full list is available here

Car registration: find the schedule of fees here.

Boat registration: find the schedule of fees here.

Trailer registration: find the schedule of fees here.

Caravan/camper trailer registration: find the schedule of fees here.

Fishing licence: fishing licence costs in WA depend on what you are catching. Find a guide here. Half fees are available if you hold a Seniors Card, are an age, disability support widows pension recipient or spouse, veteran or veteran’s widow.  

South Australia

Car/caravan/trailer/boat registration: once again, a nifty little calculator for most vehicles, from armoured transport vehicle to a taxi. Find out the concessions for pensioners and carers here.

Boat registration: find the schedule of fees here.

Fishing licence: you do not need a licence for recreational fishing in South Australia. However, you will need a permit when fishing in certain reservoirs. Find out more here


Car/caravan/trailer/boat registration: find the schedule of fees here. Concessions available for Pension, Healthcare and Veterans white or gold card holders. 

Boat registration: wow, it’s complicated. Marine and Safety Tasmania (MAST) have a bunch of forms and several other fees as well as your registration fee, such as a duplicate certificate fee and mooring fees. For a full rundown on the fee and licensing schedules, visit here

Fishing licence: once again, complicated, as there’s a program one for inland and one for sea. For the full schedule of inland fees visit here. Concessions available for older Australians are in the schedule. For sea fishing, visit here, and concessions are available for Commonwealth Pension card holders, veterans and Senior Card holders. 


Caravan/car/trailer: another calculation tool. Begin your estimates here. Concessions are available for ACT Seniors Card holders, Age Pensioners, Low Income Health Care Card holders, veterans and ACT Services Access Card holders.  

Boat registration: not required for the ACT, but if you want to pilot a boat over 10 knots you will have to have a valid licence from another state or territory. No hooning around Lake Burley Griffin without the proper piece of paper apparently. 

Fishing licence: no licence required, but plenty of rules, find out more here.

Do you think these fees are fair? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?

Also read: Eight ways you can void your travel insurance

Jan Fisher
Jan Fisherhttp://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/author/JanFisher
Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.
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