How to avoid the 400 per cent increase in proposed registration charges by the government

This proposed draft could affect the already slumping automobile sales in India but there is a silver lining to the entire process too

By: | Updated: July 27, 2019 1:46 PM
Auto Sales: Maruti Suzuki sales down 14 pc in June Image: Reuters

At a time when the industry leader Maruti Suzuki has reported a negative growth (it doesn't happen with MSIL), the Government of India has proposed an increase in vehicle registration fees. The Indian automobile sector, overall has seen a slump in sales and this move by the government could hit the industry right where it hurts the most. There however is a way to get around it. Before that, we want you to take a look at the proposed hike in registration fees.

The government plans to increase the registration fees of motorcycles to Rs 1,000. The previous applicable fees was around Rs 700. If you plan to re-register your motorcycle after a period of 15 years, then the fee has gone up to Rs 2,000. For a new three-wheeler or quadricycle (Qute), the registration fees will be Rs 5,000 while a renewal will cost double the amount. Similarly, the registration fees of a passenger four-wheeler will be increased to Rs 5,000 while a renewal of the same will be done at Rs 15,000. For a light transport motor vehicle, the fee will be Rs 10,000 for registration while that of renewal will be Rs 20,000. A medium goods or passenger vehicle like the Force Traveller will have to contend with a Rs 20,000 registration and Rs 40,000 renewal fee. The same is applicable for trucks.

If you thought that the cost of registering or re-registering an Alto or an S-Class is going to be the same, think again. The government clearly says in its proposal draft that imported four wheelers will have to pay a Rs 20,000 new vehicle registration fee while the renewal will cost double. For an imported motorcycle, the new registration fee is Rs 5,000 while the re-registration will cost Rs 10,000.

Moreover for public transport vehicles or private buses, there is a separate proposed rule for registration. If a bus is more than 15 years old, it has to undergo fitness tests every six months rather than the current a year policy. If the vehicle isn't 15 years old, then the fitness tests have to be done once every two years for buses less than eight years old. If the vehicle is older than that, then every year a fitness test has to be done. Moreover, placement of priority seats for the differently-abled, hand rails, wheel chair arrangement and more will be checked before issuing the fitness certificate.

All the re-registrations will cost Rs 200 extra if its a smart card format. Any delay post the stipulated registration date will cost an additional Rs 300/month and Rs 500/month for motorcycles and cars respectively.

Are electric vehicles affected by this?

The government is doing all this to promote green mobility as well as reduce pollution. The logic is simple; older the vehicle, the more it pollutes. Recycling components helps in a big way by not depleting the natural resources.  So, electric vehicles are exempted from the registration fee increase. The draft clearly mentions "Battery operated vehicles as defined in 2(u); of the categories given at sr. no. 4 of the below mentioned TABLE shall be exempted for the payment of fees for the purpose of issue or renewal of registration certificate and assignment of new registration mark."

Aside from the benefits EVs got from the recent budget, this is a definite boost. As it is, the government's advisory body Niti Aayog has proposed that all three-wheelers by 2023 should be electric whereas motorcycles below 150cc should also follow the same path. All two-wheeler makers have been asked to submit their electric mobility plan as soon as possible.

How do I get an exemption?

Simple. Buy an electric vehicle. If that's isn't up your alley, the other method is to scrap your existing vehicle. Take the scrappage certificate and show it at a showroom from where you want to purchase your next vehicle. The vehicle manufacturer has to then exempt you from paying the new car/motorcycle registration fees. Moreover, the certificate shouldn't have been used for a similar purpose before. Unfortunately, the scrap certificate-based registration fee exemption will only be valid if its done from an government-authorised centre. Moreover, at present, there is only one government-authorised scrapyard. It has been built in association with Mahindra and is called CERO. Currently, the facility is available only in Delhi-NCR while in the future, other states too will get separate centres.

Another bit that is a bit worrisome is that if you scrap your old Maruti 800, you're liable to only get an exemption on another new Maruti 800 or perhaps a Nano. The proposed documents line hint at the same; "the newly purchased Motor Vehicles of the categories given at sr. no. 4 of the below mentioned TABLE shall be exempted for the payment of fees for the purpose of issue of registration certificate and assignment of new registration mark subject to condition that motor vehicle is presented for the registration along with the scrapping certificate of the previously owned vehicle of same category."

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