Freeze rego to help drivers with COVID-19 money woes: RACQ

The State’s peak motoring body has renewed its call for a freeze on rego fee increases after a slump in car registrations revealed the potential problem Queenslanders have affording to keep their vehicle on the road.

The Courier Mail reported there was an extra 75,300 vehicles registered in Queensland last financial year which was the smallest increase since 1999.

RACQ’s Head of Public Policy Dr Rebecca Michael said some Queenslanders may no longer have older vehicles on the road due to the costs of registration. 

“Owning and running a car in Queensland is incredibly expensive, with the State having one of the highest costs in the country,” Dr Michael said. 

“We’re calling on the State Government to ease some of the financial burden for drivers already struggling in today’s climate and freeze in registration increases for three years. 

“In a recent survey, Queensland households told us they’re already paying around $1300 for registration across all vehicles. No one can afford to see that price increase.”

Dr Michael said the decrease in vehicle registrations could also have been due to drivers deregistering their cars after the State Government waived cancellation fees due to COVID-19. 

“Many people have been looking at their financial situation and opting to take advantage of the waived cancellation fees recognising it was no longer affordable to have a car sitting in the driveway,” she said. 

Dr Michael said financial uncertainty due to the pandemic had also impacted new car sales.

“While this is beginning to bounce back, many Queenslanders are reducing their debt levels by trading in higher priced models and choosing to buy a used car instead of a new car,” she said.

“New models often have better safety features, so it is preferable for drivers to be in the safest car they can afford – which is why we want the Government to eliminate stamp duty on new cars.

“Queenslanders have long paid too much to keep their cars in good condition and on the road and the current state of the world has only compounded that pressure. It’s time for our leaders to step in and offer real relief to drivers’ bottom line.”