Canberra-based vehicles: parliamentarians

Last updated
02 May 2024

The following office holders may contact MaPS to request a Canberra-based self-drive vehicle (SDV) to conduct their parliamentary business while they are in Canberra:

  • a senior office holder who is a member of the Opposition (i.e. the Leader or Deputy Leader of the Opposition in each House of the Parliament)
  • shadow ministers (the total number of vehicles provided to shadow ministers, including those provided to senior office holders, must not exceed the number of ministers) 
  • leader of a minority party
  • party whips.

SDVs are serviced, maintained, insured and fuelled at the expense of the Australian Government. Further information is available on the vehicle administration page.

Portfolio and parliamentary departments may provide Ministers, Assistant Ministers and Presiding Officers with a vehicle for use in Canberra.

Use of Canberra-based self-drive vehicles

Unlike private-plated vehicles (PPVs) which are provided as part of your remuneration, SDVs must be used for the dominant purpose of conducting your parliamentary business.

An SDV must not be used for a commercial purpose. It must be predominately used and garaged in Canberra. This does not prohibit you from using and garaging your SDV outside Canberra, however, you must ensure it is predominantly used and garaged in Canberra. There is no prescribed limit on how far outside Canberra the SDV can be used and garaged.

A B-class parking label is provided with a Canberra-based Commonwealth-leased vehicle that is registered in the ACT to enable use of parking spaces reserved for Commonwealth vehicles. To request a B-class parking label for your SDV contact the ACT Territory Manager.

Due to your value for money obligation, you cannot claim transport costs for travel in Canberra, such as COMCAR and taxis, in circumstances where you could reasonably use your SDV. This includes where you have made your SDV available to someone else for the conduct of your parliamentary business. Please contact the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA) for more information.

If you use your Canberra-based SDV other than for the dominant purpose of your parliamentary business, or if you contravene your value for money obligation or any condition pertaining to your Canberra-based SDV (such as the requirement that it be predominantly used and garaged in Canberra), you will be required to repay any related expense to the Commonwealth. Any amount not repaid within 28 days of the original claim attracts a 25 per cent penalty loading which is a debt due to the Commonwealth.

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