Harden Electric Blog Rivian R1T – Cost in Australia

Rivian R1T – Cost in Australia

So there is a lot of talk about the Rivian R1T coming to Australia.

From this article on CarsGuide to this article on Driven.io discussing possible dates out to 2023, a lot of hype is being made about this company.

I myself am very excited about the Rivian, especially the 180kWh R1T coming to Australia, as a company that is specialising in Electric vehicles, this would be perfect.

From its estimated upper 500 mile range (the 314 mile range is coming first, through to it’s 11,000lb towing capacity (that’s 5,000kg, blitzing everything, including the venerable king of towing, the RAM 1500) it’s sure to be a “Game changer”

Now before we go much further, before people come out of the woodwork on the “Oh, I want to drive a billion kilometres on a single charge” or “I love to drive for hours on end”, I’d like to point you to a previous article we wrote called “How far would you drive on average?”

In this article we covered that the average person won’t drive beyond 4 hours, with a large amount of people doing less than that.

Plus given average road conditions in Australia, realistically you are looking at <350km of driving between rest stops.

I myself had a long career as an interstate heavy vehicle driver, and I can assure you, I wouldn’t want to drive for more than 5 hours at a time if I’m not being paid, and these days, I’m the boss, and I wouldn’t do that anyway. It’s hell on your body, it’s hell on your mental health, and it’s just ridiculous.

So honestly, if you’re the type of person that does >5, 6, 7 hours, really, you probably already have a high specialised vehicle for doing such without any stops, and fair cop, horses for courses, this car isn’t for you. Your car probably wasn’t for it either when you first got it.

That’s ok.

What do we know

Well the Rivian website allows you to Configure your R1T so it gives us some rough prices in USD or CAD (if you’re from America’s Queensland), nothing official has been released on what Australian pricing may look like.

Therefore this article is entirely, 100%, purely speculation. But it’s an educated guess. However we don’t have all the factors, including the biggest one.

Luxury car tax

Ahh yes, see, the Rivian is going to come into a Price bracket above the Luxury Car Tax Threshold or at least, more than likely.

Now as of the writing of this article, we are in FY21/22 and the Luxury Car Tax Threshold (I’ll call it LCT from here) is set for “Fuel Efficient Vehicles” at $79,659

How does it work?

Well LCT takes that initial $79,659 and says “That doesn’t matter”

But then for every dollar over that initial $79,659 you are charged an additional $0.33 or 33%

So for $79,660 driveway, you would actually pay $$79,660.33, or $0.33 LCT

But it’s not that simple

See LCT is calculated on:

  • Base Price of vehicle, plus;
  • Cost to ship, plus;
  • Cost of duties and port taxes

And as a duty is a form of tax, it’s a tax on a tax…

And then

Once your LCT is calculated, you get GST added, so it’s a tax…on a tax…on a tax…

And then…

You get your Stamp Duty to drive away….which is GST and LCT inclusive…so it’s a tax…on a tax…on a tax…on a tax


Remembering back to High School when your maths teacher was waffling on about compounding interest and compounding taxes, and how a small change at the bottom can make a big change at the top? Yeah I know you don’t, like me you probably were well into your nap by this point…

But knowing if we have to pay luxury car tax on the R1T will be important, so….do we?

When does LCT apply?

Well the ATO has an awesome page which tells you when LCT applies which states things like:

  • For LCT purposes, a car is a motor vehicle (but not a motorcycle) designed to carry a load of less than two tonnes and fewer than nine passengers.


When LCT doesn’t apply

To muddy the waters, the ATO has another page which tells you when LCT doesn’t apply and it has easy ones such as:

  • where the recipient has quoted an ABN in the approved format
  • where the car was manufactured in Australia more than two years before the sale
  • where the car was imported more than two years before the sale
  • to a car exported as a GST-free export
  • to a car that is (or is intended to be) registered for use as an emergency vehicle such as an ambulance, firefighting vehicle, police vehicle, or search and rescue vehicle
    • when an endorsed public institution (museum, gallery or library that is registered for GST and endorsed as a deductible gift recipient) eitherimports a car that is a work of art or collectors piece for the sole purpose of public display
    • sells a car that was purchased as a work of art or collectors piece for the sole purpose of public display to another endorsed public institution that also intends to use that car solely for public display.

However, there is one point that seems to cause some…shall we say… inconsistencies with how LCT is sometimes applied, and that point is:

  • to a motor home or campervan, or a commercial vehicle designed mainly for carrying goods and not passengers

Now, this is in direct contrast to the point above where LCT applies which states:

  • For LCT purposes, a car is a motor vehicle (but not a motorcycle) designed to carry a load of less than two tonnes and fewer than nine passengers.

A load less than 2 tonnes…the R1T payload is…

1,760 pounds

That works out to be around 800kg, which for those of you that are good at maths, that’s around 1,200kg shy of the cutoff point of 2 tonnes.


Cars that you don’t pay LCT on:

Being around cars, buying cars, selling cars, being a car “guy” and heavily into my 4WD’s, there are a number of cars you generally don’t pay LCT on.

However, at this point it is worth noting that for non-EV’s there is a lower luxury car tax Threshold listed on the ATO website which is only $69,152

Now cars that I have seen sold without the buyers (generally my mates) being charged luxury car tax on include, but are not limited to (and sometimes they are charged it) are:

  • 79 Series Landcruiser Single Cab – Payload 1,220kg – Price: $81,555
  • 79 Series Landcruiser Dual Cab – Payload 1,110kg – Price: $85,792

However, also, cars that can normally attract it, like a Toyota Landcruiser Wagon, which start at $96,609 can avoid this by getting it chopped into a ute.

However… recently I was speaking to a friend who bought a brand new RAM 1500 fully specced up and looking schmick, and he paid LCT on it, his old man also bought a 2500 and when he asked him, found out his old man paid LCT on that

So what does this mean?

Well, you could end up paying Luxury car tax on your Rivian R1T, because it seems the rules on when you pay LCT are applied inconsistently at best, so really, we don’t actually know.

Plus depending on the accessories you get could radically change the value, Rivian offers a $5,000USD upgrade for a camp kitchen for your R1T, there is the change that ticking this option could change the ATO classification from “LCT applicable car” to “LCT Exempt Campervan”

As you’ll see in a moment, picking the camp kitchen for $5,000 might save you tens of thousands in taxes.

Some ground rules

So we have to generalise with these sorts of calculations, and so I will not be including:

  • Stamp Duty (it varies by state, and exemptions do apply)
  • Registration costs (again, this varies by state, and in some states, taxable status, and work/personal use)

What you can do is go to the relevant state website and copy-paste the prices into the boxes and work out those prices for yourself (I will link the relevant pages at the end of the article)

What I will be assuming:

  1. That the cost to transport will even out to around $5,000 AUD per car to transport, renting a ship isn’t cheap
  2. That Rivian will become a GST registered entity in Australia, so although GST will be charged to Rivian at the Port, this will be zeroed off, as they will claim a rebate on this and then charge GST to the customer (GST laws are a whole other kettle of fish)
  3. That I will use today’s exchange rate with the USD, I’m fixing this at $1.00USD = $1.35AUD (actually $1.3526) given by https://www.xe.com/
  4. That Rivian may not come under one if the Free Trade Agreement rules either as a low volume importer or other such reason, so there will be duty payable on the import
  5. I will assume that LCT is payable on the vehicle, at worst, I’m wrong (I hope so), at best, the cars work out cheaper.

Now I am doing this to temper expectations on some people’s enthusiasm on what the cars will cost. Don’t get me wrong, I am super excited that these cars will be coming to Australia (at some stage) and if I am able to, I will more than likely get one (if I haven’t built a suitable conversion by then)

Now, the trims are as follows:

  • Explore – Base Model
  • Adventure – Top of the Line
  • Max – Long range battery pack = Extra $10,000
  • Paint – $1,500 if it’s not LA Silver or Glacier White

The table!

So you will see here I have given everything some nice neat columns, headings, and a breakdown, enjoy!

ModelBase Price (USD)AUDPort ValueDutyAfter DutyLCTLCT AddedGSTSticker Price
Explore Max$77,500.00$104,826.50$109,826.50$5,491.33$115,317.83$11,767.41$127,085.24$12,708.52$139,793.76
Adventure Max$83,000.00$112,265.80$117,265.80$5,863.29$123,129.09$14,345.13$137,474.22$13,747.42$151,221.64
Explore +Paint$69,000.00$93,329.40$98,329.40$4,916.47$103,245.87$7,783.67$111,029.54$11,102.95$122,132.49
Adventure + Paint$74,500.00$100,768.70$105,768.70$5,288.44$111,057.14$10,361.38$121,418.52$12,141.85$133,560.37
Explore Max + Paint$79,000.00$106,855.40$111,855.40$5,592.77$117,448.17$12,470.43$129,918.60$12,991.86$142,910.46
Adventure Max + Paint$84,500.00$114,294.70$119,294.70$5,964.74$125,259.44$15,048.14$140,307.58$14,030.76$154,338.34
My Spec$87,925.00$118,927.36$123,927.36$6,196.37$130,123.72$16,653.36$146,777.08$14,677.71$161,454.79

Now, to sum some things up, where I have said at the bottom for “mine”, this is how I personally would want the ute delivered.

The trim is as follows:

  • Explore Model – $67,500
  • Max Battery – $10,000
  • Rivian Blue – $1,500
  • 20″ All Terrain Wheels – $1,800
  • Full Size Spare – $800
  • Off-Road Upgrade – $2,000
  • Black Mountain Interior – Included
  • Gear Tunnel Shuttle – $1,500
  • Cargo Crossbars – 2 Pairs – $450/Pair – $900 Total
  • Floor Mats – $175
  • Recovery Kit – $600
  • Field Kit – $150

I would like to think that what I have set up as “My Trim” would be what an “average” owner would buy, a specced up “poverty pack” for going out and having fun.

Stamp Duty Calculators

So given this, with the specification that I personally wanted, I would incur an additional duty of $6,460.00 bringing my final value up to $167,914.79

So inclusive of:

  • Registration Fee of $290.25
  • Traffic Improvement Fee of $64.45
  • Compulsory Third Party Insurance of $399.60
  • Numberplate Fee of $32.00

This brings my final cost to…

$168,701.09 on road

12 thoughts on “Rivian R1T – Cost in Australia”

  1. If you keep the Rivian accessories that add to the kerb weight to under 90kg you should be able to avoid LCT. To qualify as a goods carrying vehicle multiply the number of passengers by 68kg and double that. If that number is under the payload figure you don’t need to pay LCT as you are buying a goods carrying vehicle. Some of those RAMs have fairly low payload figures, eg the 1500 limited crew cab is only 701kg, so if a buyer added more than 21kg of accessories they would be up for LCT, which makes those accessories incredibly expensive when you think about it.

      1. I think its a 1 tonne payload that changes the tax status, for both lct and the ability to write it off in a year for ABN holders…hence the hilux and ranger being our top selling cars

  2. Sorry just jumping in on this if you didn’t have to pay lct by adding accessories what would the price be. Take it alot less then 160k

    1. Definitely, using the Driveaway price is ridiculous.
      That said, some dealers do work around this by giving 3 invoices:
      1) Base car, for Rego
      2) Accessories by themselves
      3) Invoice of total for finance

      How dodgy this is….well…

  3. This is complete madness, double the price to save the environment, the Australian Govt have the priorities arse backwards. What a joke, they are never going to sell volume at that price. Meaning you are buying another white elephant brand, without any local support. Real shame because it looks awesome!

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