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Caravans are in demand but why such high rego?

Going away in a caravan is becoming very popular and it’s no longer just the grey nomads who are doing it. Latest figures show people 30-54, often families, are taking to the road in their caravans too. In the year to June 2016, two records were broken:

  • Australians took 11.6 million caravanning and camping trips, up 13% on last year
  • Total caravan and camping nights in Australia were up 13% to 49.2 million.

While grey nomads took slightly more nights in their caravans than anyone else (41% of the total), younger groups were not far behind:

  • 30-54 year olds took 40% of caravanning and camping nights and 46% of trips in Australia
  • 20-29 year olds took 18% of trips in Australia, up 19% on the year before.

The Caravan Industry Association of Australia thinks Australians are excited about outdoor experiences and opportunities for healthy, active living. Combined with low fuel prices, flat interest rates and a declining dollar, caravanning in Australia is looking particularly appealing.

Expensive rego

So why is the cost of registering a caravan so expensive in NSW and so different all over Australia?

As Caravan World noted in 2015, “a blue-collar worker from western Sydney is paying far more to register his caravan than a van owner from well-to-do Toorak in Melbourne”. Unfortunately, not much has changed since 2015:

  • Queensland has the most registered caravans (26%) and rego is $224
  • Victoria has 25.3% of registered caravans and rego is $56.90!
  • NSW has 22.2% of registered caravans and rego is $407
  • ACT has only 0.8% of registered caravans and rego is $531*.

*Note, actual rego in each state varies with the size of the caravan.

Transport for NSW proposed in a 2014 report to adopt a new charging method for caravans to reflect the fact they are used less often than light vehicles. While this would have reduced charges by 5-45%, depending on weight, nothing has happened. Caravanners have a right to feel aggrieved, considering most vans are on the road for only a few weeks each year.

While registration of caravans is expensive in NSW, caravans don’t need CTP green slips. You need to buy a green slip only for the vehicle doing the towing.

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