Petrol tax

When you last bought petrol, nearly $1 per litre was collected by the government as fuel excise. Once GST is added, taxes form close to half the price per litre for petrol.

Motorists are charged GST on the fuel excise, which amounts to a tax on a tax. The AA has called for the GST on excise to be removed - a move that would reduce prices by near 15 cents per litre and help relieve the financial burden on New Zealanders.

Fuel excise (petrol)

The fuel excise portion includes:

Did you know?

It's now government policy for all petrol tax to be directed back into New Zealand's road and transport system. The AA lobbied hard on behalf of motorists to achieve this.

Previously, over a third of the tax collected on petrol was diverted by the government to other areas of spending.

  • 70.024 cents - National Land Transport Fund
  • 6 cents - ACC Motor Vehicle Account
  • 0.66 cents - Local Authorities Fuel Tax
  • 0.6 cents - Petroleum or Engine Fuels Monitoring Levy

In addition, GST is collected on the overall price of fuel, including the excise (which is essentially a "tax on a tax").

There are no excise taxes on diesel other than 0.33 cents Local Authorities Fuel Tax, and GST. Instead, diesel vehicles pay Road User Charges.

All fuels also pay an Emissions Trading Scheme levy, which has added between approx. 10-20 cents per litre depending on the price of ETS units (of which the price has varied between approx. $30-90 per tonne).

In Auckland, an additional 10 cent per litre Regional Fuel Tax is levied on all petrol and diesel sold in the Auckland region (since July 2018).

It is government policy for all of the petrol excise tax that motorists pay to be directed to the National Land Transport Fund for investment back into New Zealand's land transport system. The AA lobbied hard on behalf of motorists for many years to have all the taxes devoted to road building and maintenance, road safety education and enforcement, and subsidies for public transport.

Previously, about 19 cents per litre of the tax motorists paid on petrol was diverted by the government to non-road and transport related projects.

AA speaking up for motorists

The AA welcomed the decision to pledge all excise tax to the National Land Transport Programme from July 2008. For far too long there had been significant under-investment in the nation's road and transport network, and tax diversion has been unfair and at the expense of motorists.

Motorists must not be selectively taxed or treated as an easy source of tax revenue to pay for projects that would be more fairly funded by other sources such as rates or general taxation.

The AA has called for the GST component on the petrol excise tax to be removed - a move that would reduce prices by 14.6 cents per litre.

The AA thinks charging GST on the petrol excise is a tax on a tax, and the government collects more GST every time there's a price increase. The AA is calling on the government to remove this inequity because, in addition to being the fair thing to do, removing the GST on petrol tax is a way of easing the burden and offering some relief to New Zealanders who are facing steadily rising living costs and the effects of the recession.


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