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Questions and answers about the transport accident charge

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Q. Why is there a transport accident charge?
A. The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) is a Victorian Government-owned organisation which pays for treatment and support services for people injured in transport accidents. The Commission is governed by Victorian legislation that sets out the types of services it can pay and any conditions that apply. The TAC is also involved in promoting road safety across Victoria.

The TAC performs these functions through funding from payments made by Victorian motorists when they register their vehicles with VicRoads each year.

Q. How is the TAC charge calculated?
The TAC charge is calculated according to the:

  • Type of vehicle
  • Location that the vehicle is garaged
  • Registered owner (pensioner concessions may apply)

In calculating the cost of larger or commercial vehicles such as a bus, consideration will be given to the intended use, seating and carrying capacity.

The location that the vehicle is garaged will be in one of three risk zones: high, medium or low.  Risk zones are assigned by postcode. The TAC charge is determined by the risk zone in which the car is garaged.

Q. Why doesn't the TAC consider the driving record or skill of the owner?

A. The registered owner of a vehicle may not be the person using the vehicle. This means that people with bad driving records could simply register their vehicles under the name of their partner or the family member with the best record to pay a reduced TAC charge.  It would become unfair for honest people and business vehicles owners who will end up paying even more to cover the revenue lost by providing discounts to people who should not have been entitled.

Rewards for good driving should be given to the person who performs the good driving.  Giving rewards or discounts to owners can provide recognition to the wrong person.

Q. Why has my TAC charge increased?
The Transport Accident Act 1986 states that TAC charges are to be automatically indexed by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) on 1 July each year.

The following factors can increase your TAC charge:

  • The TAC charge being indexed by CPI. This annual increase will cover the rising costs of treatment and benefits paid to TAC clients
  • Moving house. If your vehicle is now garaged in a suburb with a postcode in a higher risk zone, your TAC charge will increase
  • Purchasing a different type of vehicle
  • Upgrading a motorcycle to one with a higher engine capacity

Sometimes a vehicle might not be correctly classified by VicRoads. For example, if a person buys a passenger vehicle from an auction and the vehicle was formerly registered for commercial purposes, such as a courier.  In this situation the new owner needs to contact VicRoads to have the registration changed to a passenger vehicle.

Q. Why do I have to pay for all my vehicles when I can only use one at a time?
The amount the TAC pays for treatment and services is calculated per vehicle. If the TAC charge applied to each owner of a vehicle, the charge would be much higher and people who own fewer vehicles would be disadvantaged.

Q. What is the insurance duty?
Insurance duty is imposed by the State Government and collected by the State Revenue Office. This revenue does not go into the TAC fund.  See also: www.sro.vic.gov.au

Q. Why do I have to pay GST and Stamp Duty?
GST and Stamp Duty are Commonwealth and State Government charges. Refer to the Australian Taxation Office and State Revenue Office for further information.

Q. Why is my big utility cheaper than my small sedan?
A utility is classed as a goods-carrying vehicle. These vehicles are generally used for business purposes. Also, utilities are generally limited to two occupants, whereas a passenger vehicle can carry up to five people, sometimes more.

Q. Why do my neighbours pay less than me?
There are several possible reasons why your charge may be different:

  • Your neighbour might live in a different post code area. For example, compare Narre Warren and Cranbourne. Narre Warren is classed as a high risk zone; Cranbourne is classed as a medium risk zone. These zones have been in place since the TAC scheme started in 1986
  • Council re-zoning of postal boundaries may affect the TAC charge. The TAC has no control over council re-zoning
  • The size and type of your vehicle might be different to your neighbour's vehicle.
  • You or your neighbour may be entitled to a pensioner concession
  • One of your vehicles may have been misclassified, contact VicRoads for clarification

Q. What type of vehicles do not need to be registered?
The VicRoads website outlines the types of vehicles that do not need to be registered.

Further Information

For further information about the TAC charge contact the TAC on 1300 654 329.

Alternatively, email policy@tac.vic.gov.au