Roads minister flags rego cost changes

Drivers of safer, environmentally friendly cars could save more than $100 in registration fees under a proposal put forward by the NSW government.

The "Vehicle Registration Initiatives" were tagged by Roads Minister Duncan Gay as the biggest proposed changes to NSW vehicle registration in almost a century.

"Our registration system, which dates back to 1924, is based almost solely on calculating registration fees by vehicle weight," Mr Gay said.

"Just consider how much the fleet on NSW roads has changed in 90 years, from the early vintage classics to the big-bodied muscle cars of the '70s and the hybrids of recent years."

Under the proposed changes outlined in the discussion paper, the owner of a hybrid would pay less than the muscle-car owner to register it.

Rather than calculating registration costs based on the weight of a car, the paper proposes breaking it into three segments - 50 per cent on weight, 35 per cent vehicle safety and 15 per cent on environmental credentials.

"Under the new system, a new vehicle with higher safety and environmental credentials would cost less to register than a new vehicle of similar weight with lower safety and environmental credentials," the paper states.

This would initially apply to new cars before being rolled out across all light vehicles, to encourage the adoption of safer, greener cars.

The discussion paper gives examples of the cost saving for various vehicles.

A large four-wheel drive with a high safety and environment rating would cost $134 less to register, an SUV with the same ratings $76 less and a small vehicle $39 less.

By contrast, vehicles with lower safety and environment ratings would see their registration costs rise by as much as $26.

Safety and environmental ratings could also be introduced to green slips.

"The inclusion of safety criteria within CTP insurance charges would provide additional financial incentives for the purchase of safer vehicles," the paper says.

Registration discounts are also proposed for motorcycles and caravans and light trailers.

Details of the proposed changes are on transport.nsw.gov.au.

People have until July 24 to comment.

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