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Travelling off public roads

Find out about fuel tax credits and travelling off public roads.

Last updated 21 February 2023

You can claim fuel tax credits for eligible fuels you use in heavy vehicles off public roads. This includes private roads, work sites (for example, construction sites and mines) and agricultural properties.

Examples of roads that are not public roads:  

  • Forestry, mining access and agricultural property roads.
  • Actual tramways and guided transport corridors that are not capable of normal vehicular movement are not public roads, for example the Adelaide O-Bahn. 

The fuel tax credit rate for this activity is not reduced by the road user charge. Use the rate for ‘All other business uses’ in the fuel tax credits rates.

Fuel tax credit tools can also help you to work out your fuel tax credits.

Incidental travel on public roads

Incidental travel is when a vehicle designed for use off public roads and not for the purpose of carrying goods or passengers, travels briefly on public roads.

Some of these vehicles can be treated as always used off public roads, even when they sometimes travel on public roads. For these vehicles, you don’t need to apportion on and off-road travel when calculating your fuel tax credits. You can claim all your fuel at the 'all other business uses' rate, which is not reduced by the road user charge.

Vehicle types treated as used fully off public roads:

  • grader
  • backhoe loader
  • front-end loader
  • wheeled excavator
  • forklift
  • wheeled bulldozer
  • fertiliser spreader
  • combine harvester
  • tractor.

For more information on incidental travel on public roads, see:

  • PCG 2016/4 Fuel tax credits – incidental travel on public roads by certain vehicles. This guideline sets out when the road user charge does not apply to a fair and reasonable apportionment for the listed vehicles.
  • FTR 2008/1 Fuel tax: vehicle's travel on a public road that is incidental to the vehicle's main use and the road user charge. This ruling explains when the when a vehicle’s travel on a public road is ‘incidental to the vehicle’s main use’ and other related terms.