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Australian taxi drivers welcome new $3,000 wheelchair accessible taxi exemption

Image credit: LEVC

Australian taxi drivers have welcomed in a new exemption on wheelchair accessible taxis that will save them $3,000 on new vehicles.

The State Taxation and Treasury Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 introduced a new motor vehicle exemption for wheelchair-accessible commercial passenger vehicles, which will save operators $3,000 off their next vehicle as of 1 July 2022.

The exemption means taxi drivers who are able to ply-for-hire and pick-up unbooked work can save thousands of dollars should they invest in a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) less than two years old.

Rod Barton MLC, Leader of the Transport Matters Party, said in Drive Now magazine: “These vehicles are crucial in our community and are relied upon by thousands of Victorians living with a disability – making this transition a big win for essential Wheelchair Accessible Taxi (WAT) vehicles in our State.

“Yes, these vehicles are costly and, in many cases, financially nonviable; we know this because taxi drivers and operators have been begging for assistance to keep this essential service on our roads. Unfortunately, the running of this service has relied heavily on cross- subsidisation, which means that an operator can only provide a WAT service if subsidised by more profitable work like a standard taxi sedan.

“This exemption is the result of me advocating directly with the Treasurer. Not only does it acknowledge the importance of our WATs and their essential role in our community, but it supports and provides value to the passengers utilising them.

“There are, however, requirements for this exemption - the vehicles must meet the requirements to provide unbooked work and must be less than two years old.”


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