Understanding business costs

Our rates and costs schedules set out the typical costs of running an owner driver business based on the type of vehicle a driver operates. They include variable costs such as fuel and tyres, and fixed costs such as registration, finance and insurance.

Owner drivers can use the schedules to get a better understanding of:

  • the factors that affect operating costs
  • the amount they could expect to earn as an employee doing the same kind of work

Rates and costs schedules do not set minimum rates of pay. They aim to help owner drivers and hirers understand the typical operating costs of an owner driver business. Owner drivers and hirers can use the schedules to assess whether an offer of work will:

  • cover their operating costs
  • provide a good return for the driver's labour
  • provide a good return on the owner driver’s investment

Specific rates and costs schedules are also available for the tip truck sector.

Obligation to provide schedules

Hirers that engage an owner driver for 30 days or more (or for a total period of at least 30 days in any 3-month period) are required to provide the owner driver with the rates and costs schedule that relates to their vehicle.

The relevant schedule must be given:

  • at least 3 business days before the owner driver is engaged, if the contract will be for a period of at least 30 days; or
  • on the 30th day, if the owner driver is engaged for a total period of at least 30 days in any three-month period.

A hirer must also provide any new versions of the relevant rates and costs schedules published by the Victorian Government to owner drivers as soon as possible after publication.

If an owner driver is engaged through a freight broker, then the freight broker must provide the relevant schedule.

These requirements also apply to tender situations.

Hirers and freight brokers may face penalties if they fail to meet these obligations. Learn more about the legal obligations of hirers and freight brokers.

2023-24 rates and costs schedules

Wage Inspectorate Victoria

Wage Inspectorate Victoria is responsible for monitoring compliance with the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005.

If you have any questions, Wage Inspectorate Victoria is available to provide information and answer queries. Please call the information line on 1800 287 287 or email odfc@dpc.vic.gov.au