Voluntary buyback for taxi plate owners

Taxi plate owners will benefit from an end to unfair restrictions on their business and from the most generous buyback scheme in the country.

  Voluntary buyback for Perth taxi plate owners

Infographic of OdT reform - buyback
Infographic of OdT reform - buyback

The Transport (Road Passenger Services) Act 2018 (the Act) formally establishes the eligibility criteria, definitions, formulae and amounts that are to be used to calculate payments for the Voluntary Taxi Plate Buyback Payment Scheme (the Scheme) to eligible owners and former owners of metropolitan taxi plates issued under the Taxi Act 1994. This is part of the transition to a fully reformed industry.

  Buyback timeline

  • In late 2018, plate owners were sent a letter detailing the next steps to apply for the Scheme. This included a revised buyback offer. If the revised buyback offer differed from the previous estimate provided to you in November 2017, this was due to administrative rounding.
  • On 28 February 2019, the Department of Transport (DoT) sent plate owners an application package for the Scheme. Applications are open until Friday 31 May 2019 and will need to be made for each respective plate. In considering the buyback offer, it is greatly encouraged that plate owner(s) speaks with relevant family members, financial advisors and anyone with a financial interest in the plate(s).
  • Actual buyback payments are expected to be made in the first week of July 2019, once the relevant regulations have been made and applications have been assessed.
  • From mid-2019, owned Perth taxi plates will be converted to a Passenger Transport Vehicle authorisation - Rank or Hail category.

  Eligibility for the buyback

  • Current owners of a Perth metropolitan taxi plate or those who have sold their plate between 1 January 2016 and 2 November 2017 can apply for the Scheme and may receive an amount equivalent to their investment.
  • Previous taxi plate owners who sold their plates after 1 January 2016 and before 2 November 2017 may apply for a payment which will be based on the amounts offered for the various current plate owners, minus any proceeds from the sale (a net loss payment).

Country taxi-car licences

  • The buyback only relates to taxi plates sold or traded under the Taxi Act 1994. Country taxi licensees will not be offered a buyback payment.
  • The transfer of country taxi-car licences differs from the trading of a metropolitan taxi plate. The country taxi licence is to be transferred when the vehicle that the plate is attached to changes ownership.
  • Country taxi-car licences are generally transferred as part of a business sale, which often includes goods and chattels, and goodwill.

  What is the value of each taxi plate?

  • All eligible plate owners have been notified by mail with their individual buy-back offer and the terms for receiving the offer.
  • The estimated value of the buyback will vary according to each plate owner's particular circumstances, including how long they have owned the plate, the original price paid for it and how much the plate has earned over time.
  • Money already paid as part of the Transition Assistance Grant will be factored into the buyback offer, as will any outstanding taxi plate administration fees.
  • Plate owners will be offered a minimum amount for each plate owned, before deductions of any Hardship Fund paid and outstanding fees. The minimum buyback amounts are:
    • Perth metropolitan Conventional or Multi-Purpose taxi plate: $100,000.
    • Perth metropolitan Area Restricted plates: $40,000.
    • Perth metropolitan Peak Period plates: $28,000.

  How is the buyback calculated?

A. Purchase price - B. Profit - C. Transition Assistance Package = D. Estimated buyback amount *

Reference Action Description
A Purchase price Amount originally paid.
B Profit Profit earned under a controlled market. This is the estimated profit that DoT calculated could have been earned when a plate was owned based on taxi plate lease rates. It is calculated as: (Number of weeks from purchase date to 31 December 2015 x $355/week) + (Number of weeks from 1 January 2016 to 2 November 2017 x $225/week).
C Transition Assistance Package Payments made in 2016-17.
D Estimated buyback amount * Any hardship payment or outstanding fees will be deducted.

  How to complete the buyback application

Plate owners are encouraged to read their buyback letter and application package carefully. The letter contains information about the buyback offer per plate, how the offers are calculated and how to apply for the buyback.

Applications close 31 May 2019, with payment of the entire buyback amount to be made in the first week of July 2019.

Plate owners will also need to consider whether they wish transition their plate to a Passenger Transport Vehicle (PTV) authorisation. This will allow them to operate the vehicle as a taxi. The process and options depend on whether the owner intends to stay in the industry, and whether they own the vehicle that the taxi plates are attached to.

Buyback forms: ODT107A, ODT107B, ODT107C or ODT107D

The following tips may assist plate owners in completing their buyback application forms:

  • Ensure both sides of your form have been completed in full, including the provision of an ABN;
  • Ensure you have prepared the correct documentation to confirm the business structure, if applicable (i.e. a recent company extract - no more than three months old or a trust deed);
  • Supply copies of photographic identification (which include a signature), such as a passport or driver’s licence; and
  • Supply a bank statement or letter from the financial institution for the nominated bank account.

DoT cannot provide tax advice regarding the buyback; this is a discussion for plate owners to have with an accountant or the ATO.

ODT108: Taxi Vehicle Transition Form

This form allows the plate owner to specify arrangements for Passenger Transport Vehicle (PTV) authorisation transition.

The PTV authorisation for plate owners will be granted from 1 July 2019 to 1 September 2019 - more information will be available soon. After this, authorisation holders will be sent a renewal notice and need to pay the annual authorisation fee of approximately $115.00.

If the plate owner is the vehicle owner

  • If the plate owner also owns the vehicle, and they wish to continue in the industry, they will automatically be issued with a PTV authorisation and the ODT108 is to be completed and submitted.
  • If the plate owner also owns the vehicle, and they do not wish to continue in the industry, they will need to decommission the taxi and return the taxi plates to a DoT licensing centre by 30 June 2019.

If the plate owner is not the vehicle owner

  • The plate owner can ask the vehicle owner for consent to use the vehicle, allowing the plate owner to get the PTV authorisation, attached to the vehicle owner’s vehicle.
  • The plate owner can nominate an alternative vehicle to attach the PTV by filling out the Nominated Alternative Vehicle and Checklist and Application Declaration sections. The taxi plate must be put on the alternative vehicle and meet the requirements for a taxi vehicle as specified in Schedule 1: Metropolitan taxi vehicle standards (except PBT and MPT).
  • If the plate owner does not own the vehicle and wishes to exit the industry, the person who owns the vehicle that the plates are currently attached to, will be granted the PTV authorisation. The plate owner just needs to complete the Checklist and Application Declaration section.

It is important for taxi vehicle owners to understand the vehicle transition process as outlined in ODT108 prior to granting consent to the plate owner to use their vehicle. 

  What happens after the buyback?

  • Plate owners who wish to continue operating a taxi vehicle will be offered a Passenger Transport Vehicle authorisation for rank and hail taxi work.
  • Taxi plate owners and lessees will be able to continue to operate their taxi vehicle using the same plates, however the plate itself will hold no further value or meaning beyond it being a number plate for the identification of a taxi vehicle.
  • Buyback recipients may also choose to exit the industry. If they own the vehicle, they must decommission the taxi and return the plate to a DoT licensing centre by 30 June 2019.

If you require any further information regarding the buyback, contact DoT's dedicated hotline on 1300 471 834 during business hours or email ondemandtransport@transport.wa.gov.au


Page last updated: Fri Mar 15 2019 3:06:32 PM