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Luxury Hire Cars Information Sheet

  1. General Information
     
  2. About The Vehicle
    a. Is my vehicle a Luxury Hire Car?
    b. What work can my Luxury Hire Car undertake?
    c. What makes and models can I licence as a Luxury Hire Car?
    d. Can my vehicle be declared to be Luxury Hire Car?
     
  3. Licensing
    a. Can I apply for a new Luxury Hire Car Licence?
    b. Can my Luxury Hire Car Licence be transferred to other persons?
    c. Can my Luxury Hire Car Licence be transferred between vehicles?
     
  4. Accreditation
    a. Am I Required to be accredited to operate a Luxury Hire Car?
     
  5. Inspections
    a. Does my Luxury Hire Car need to be inspected regularly?
     
  6. Application Forms/Fees
    a. New Luxury Hire Car Licences
    b. Transfer of a Luxury Hire Car Licences
    c. Annual administration fee
     
  7. Fares
     
  8. Like Further Information?

PDF Version of this information sheet, (PDF)

 

1. General Information

Under the Taxi and Luxury Hire Car Industries Act 2008, the Transport Commission can issue luxury hire car licences for the operation of luxury hire cars. There is no limit on the number of luxury hire car licences available for issue, and unless otherwise restricted by conditions, licences enable operation on a Statewide basis.

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2. About The Vehicle

a. Is my vehicle a Luxury Hire Car?

A luxury hire car can only operate under the authority of a Luxury Hire Car licence. To be approved as a Luxury Hire Car, your vehicle must comply with the requirements of the Act and supporting Luxury Hire Car Industry Regulations 2008.

b. What work can my Luxury Hire Car undertake?

Your Luxury Hire Car can undertake any pre-booked hiring of the vehicle with a driver, including pre-booked tours. However, Luxury Hire Cars cannot stand or ply for hire on a taxi zone or in a public street.

As an example, a Luxury Hire Car can be pre-booked by phone to pick up a person from a particular location such as a hotel or private dwelling for transport to the local airport. Once the passenger has disembarked, the Luxury Hire Car would need to return to base until another booking is received, or await dispatch to another pre-booked job.

A Luxury Hire Car cannot stand on an airport taxi zone or in other on-street parking areas in order to obtain an "off the street" return fare, nor can the operator display signs indicating the vehicle is available for immediate 'walk-up' hire.

c. What makes and models can I licence as a Luxury Hire Car?

Certain makes and models of vehicles may be approved as luxury hire cars. The legislation does not detail actual vehicle makes and models that may be approved, but instead groups vehicle types according to certain requirements and specifications that must be met.

Therefore, an operator can determine the type of vehicle which is most suitable to their operation.  For example, a people mover or four-wheel drive may be approved as long as it meets the criteria.  Note that vehicles which are not small passenger vehicles (seating capacity of less than 13 adults), are not eligible. That is, vehicles which are buses will not be approved for use as a luxury hire car, even where seats are removed.

The following table shows those requirements, together with the maximum age at the time of approval and the maximum age to which a luxury hire car can operate::

Vehicle

Maximum Age

GROUP 1

  • small passenger vehicle
  • minimum wheelbase of 2 800 mm
  • value equal to or greater than the luxury car tax threshold as determined by the Australian Taxation Office for the year of manufacture of the vehicle

Maximum operating age - 7 years

GROUP 1A

  • stretched or modified version of a Group 1 vehicle
  • classified as a small passenger vehicle (seating capacity of less than 13 adults) after stretching
  • minimum wheelbase of 2 800 mm (before stretching) 
  • value equal to or greater than the luxury car tax threshold as determined by the Australian Taxation Office for the year of manufacture of the vehicle

Maximum age when approved - 7 years
Maximum operating age - 12 years

GROUP 2

  • small passenger vehicle
  • minimum wheelbase of 2 800 mm
  • value equal to or greater than a multiple of two times the luxury car tax threshold as determined by the Australian Taxation Office for the year of manufacture of the vehicle

Maximum age when approved - 7 years
Maximum operating age - 15 years

GROUP 2A

  • stretched or modified version of a Group 2 vehicle
  • classified as a small passenger vehicle (seating capacity of less than 13 adults) after stretching
  • minimum wheelbase of 2 800 mm (before stretching)
  • value equal to or greater than a multiple of two times the luxury car tax threshold as determined by the Australian Taxation Office for the year of manufacture of the vehicle

Maximum age when approved - 7 years
Maximum operating age - 20 years

Note that when approval is sought from the Commission to use a vehicle as a luxury hire car, there is no discretion in the legislation to allow a vehicle which exceeds the Maximum Age Limit When Approved to be considered.  Similarly, once a vehicle exceeds the Maximum Operating Age, there is no power in the legislation to allow that vehicle to continue operating as a luxury hire car, regardless of factors such as the condition of the vehicle or the odometer reading.

Where a vehicle has been approved for use as a luxury hire car in another State or Territory, this has no relevance to its suitability for use as a luxury hire car in Tasmania.

When assessing the cost of a vehicle when new, reference is made to the manufacturer?s recommended retail price without optional extras or on road coats.  This information is available from the Redbook website: www.redbook.com.au.  It is not necessary to know the amount that was actually paid for the car when it was new.  Similarly, the price paid for a vehicle second-hand does not impact on whether it can be approved as a luxury hire car.

The Australian Taxation Office luxury tax threshold is shown in the table below.  To select the relevant threshold amount, you will need to know the date of manufacture of the vehicle.  This information is on the vehicle?s compliance plate.

Year Luxury Car Tax
Threshold ($)
2009/10 57,180
2008/09 57,180
2007/08 57,123
2006/07 57,009
2005/06 57,009
2004/05 57,009
2003/04 57,009
2002/03 55,134
2001/02 55,134
2000/01 55,134
Source: Australian Taxation Office

It is recommended that prior to purchasing a vehicle, you contact the Vehicle Operations Branch on (03) 6233 5396 for advice as to whether a particular vehicle is able to be approved for use as a luxury hire car.

EXAMPLE

A 2007, Ford LTD BF Sports Auto 6sp 5.4i, compliance plate 07/07.  Purchase price second hand $34,000.

From the Redbook website:

  • Seating capacity:  5
  • Wheelbase:  2,919mm
  • Price guide:  $75,525

ATO luxury car tax threshold (from the table above) at the time of the vehicle?s manufacture (07/07):

  • July 2007:  $57,123

The seating capacity of this vehicle (5) meets the requirement for a small passenger vehicle (seating capacity of less than 13 adults).  The wheelbase of this vehicle (2,919mm) exceeds the minimum wheelbase requirement (2,800mm).  The recommended retail price of the vehicle when new ($75,525), exceeds the luxury car tax threshold relevant at the time of the vehicle?s manufacture ($57,123).  The vehicle is eligible as a Group 1 vehicle (no maximum entry age requirement).  The vehicle is suitable for approval as a luxury hire car.

This vehicle, once approved, is eligible to provide a luxury hire car service under the authority of a luxury hire car licence until 31 July 2014 (maximum operating age 7 years).

d. Can my luxury vehicle be declared be a luxury hire car?

The Commission may approve a vehicle for use as a luxury hire car if the vehicle meets the prescribed criteria. Note that if your vehicle does not meet the criteria, there is no discretion for it to be approved.

An application for approval of a vehicle for use as a luxury hire car is to be made in a form approved by the Commission.  Typically, an applicant would need to;

  • Apply in writing to the Transport Commission. The application must provide full details of the subject vehicle;
  • Arrange for the vehicle to be available for inspection if requested by the Commission;
  • the inspection must be performed by an Approved Inspection Station in the relevant region;
  • You will be notified of the decision in writing.

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3. Licensing

a. Can I apply for a new Luxury Hire Car Licence?

If you are the registered owner of an appropriate vehicle you may apply for a licence to operate that vehicle as a Luxury Hire Car. You will need to fill out the appropriate form and pay the relevant fees.

A Luxury Hire Car licence is issued in the form of a certificate. It will contain your name and address, your licence number, the registration number of the licensed vehicle and any conditions that might apply.

You will also be issued with a licence number plate to be attached adjacent to the front registration number plate of the vehicle. Luxury hire car plates have a prefix ?LHC? followed by a number, for example, LHC88.

Luxury hire car licences cannot be leased.  Further, in the event of a serious breach, the licence can be suspended or even cancelled without compensation.  Licences are subject to an annual administration fee.  Failure to pay the fee will cause a licence to lapse.  A luxury hire car service cannot be provided under a lapsed licence.

b. Can my Luxury Hire Car Licence be transferred to other persons?

Yes, Luxury Hire Car licences can be transferred from one person to another. You will need to apply to the Transport Commission using the transfer form for this purpose for application to transfer the licence. The approval will be approved if the proposed owner is accredited to provide a luxury hire car service and is the registered operator of the vehicle operating under the authority of the licence.

If the Commission believes the vehicle does not meet the requirements for a luxury hire car above, or that the proposed owner will not be the operator of the licence or is not accredited to provide a luxury hire car service (see section 4), the application will not be approved.

You must not transfer the licence until you have been notified that the Commission has approved the transfer. If you sell the licence to another person and the Commission refuses the transfer, you will still be recorded as the licence holder and you will continue to be legally responsible for the operation of the licence.

c. Can my Luxury Hire Car Licence be transferred between vehicles?

Yes, you may transfer a licence from one vehicle to another. You will need to apply to the Transport Commission using the transfer form for this purpose for approval to transfer the licence. 

The licensee must demonstrate that the new vehicle is a luxury vehicle in accordance with legislation. The vehicle must also be under a current public passenger vehicle inspection - see section 5 below.

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4. Accreditation

a. Am I required to be accredited to operate a Luxury Hire Car?

Yes - anyone who proposes to operate a Luxury Hire Car must be accredited by the Transport Commission before they can provide a luxury hire car service.

For further information on operator accreditation, please refer to the Public Passenger Vehicles Operator Accreditation information sheet.

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5. Inspections

a. Does my Luxury Hire Car need to be inspected regularly?

Yes, Luxury Hire Cars must be inspected every 6 months. Vehicle inspections are carried out by Approved Inspection Stations.

Following inspection, the vehicle examiner will affix an inspection label to the vehicle which shows the month and year of the next scheduled inspection. Inspection reminder notices are not sent to operators.

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6. Application Forms and Fees

All Application forms are available through the Transport Website or from Service Tasmania shops. All applicable fees are found at the Transport Website and are payable at Service Tasmania shops.  Completed application forms should be returned to the Transport Operator Accreditation section of the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources at GPO Box 936, Hobart 7001.

a. New Luxury Hire Car Licences purchased from the Commission

If you have an approved vehicle - see above - you should attach to your application a copy of your Luxury Hire Car inspection certificate from an Approved Inspection Station, which verifies that the vehicle is a luxury vehicle in accordance with legislation.

A licence fee of $5 000 is payable at Service Tasmania. This fee may be paid following Commission approval of your application. Licences are available at any time to accredited operators.

b. Transfer of Luxury Hire Car Licences

  • If you are transferring the licence to another vehicle:

You must attach to your application a copy of the Luxury Hire Car inspection certificate from an Approved Inspection Station, which verifies that the proposed vehicle is a luxury vehicle in accordance with legislation.  Remember, the Commission must first approve the application.

The luxury hire car licence number plate must be affixed to the new vehicle;

A transfer fee must be submitted with the application.

  • If you are transferring the ownership of the licence to another person:

A licence certificate in the name of the new owner will be issued if the new owner is accredited to provide a luxury hire car service and is the registered operator of the vehicle operating under the authority of the licence.
The luxury hire car licence number plate must be delivered to the new owner.  Remember the Commission must first approve the application before the licence can be legally transferred.

A transfer fee must be submitted with the application.

c. Annual administration fee for a luxury hire car licences

An annual fee will apply to each licence due in April each year. The Commission will issue invoices for the fee.

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7. Fares

Fares for luxury hire car services are not regulated. However, the fare must be agreed with the passenger before the start of the journey.  Luxury hire cars cannot be fitted with a taxi meter, so some other means of determining the fare is required. The operator of the service may have a schedule of fares or they may wish to negotiate on a case by case basis with the passenger.

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8. Like Further Information?

This paper is one in a series of Information Sheets that provide further detail on a range of public passenger vehicle and accreditation matters. This information can be accessed from the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources' website.

Information on the legislation relevant to Public Passenger Vehicles (listed below) can be found on the Tasmanian Government's legislation website or you can obtain a copy from the Print Applied Technology Bookshop at 123 Collins Street, Hobart 7000, telephone 1 800 030 940.

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