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Best utes to buy with your $150k business tax write-off

How to best spend your $150k tax write-off on a ute

With the announcement of the $150,000 tax write-off, you might be wondering which ute (or utes) would best suit your business. Here are some of the best utes according to motoring journalists, current owners and our team.

Which utes qualify?

According to the Australian Tax Office, there are some conditions attached to the $150k asset write-off, when it comes to commercial vehicles.

The $150k asset write-off small print

In addition, if you purchase a car (a passenger vehicle, except a motor cycle or similar vehicle, designed to carry a load less than one tonne and fewer than nine passengers) for your business, the instant asset write-off is limited to the business portion of the car limit of $57,581 for the 2019–20 income tax year. For example, if you use your vehicle for 75% business use, the total you can claim under the instant asset write-off is 75% of $57,581, which equals $43,186.

To qualify for the full amount to be written off, the vehicle must:

  • Be able to carry over one tonne
  • Or, have a higher than nine-passengers capacity

You should absolutely talk with your accountant before making a purchase.

Best value ute

If you want to spend as a little as possible, then brands like Great Wall, Mitsubishi, Isuzu, LDV and Ssangyong will appeal.

Great Wall Steed

Picture not described

Great Wall Motors is a Chinese automotive manufacturer, who professes to be one of the country's most successful carmakers. The company was formed in 1984 and built its first independent vehicle in 1995. The Great Wall Steed, known as the Wingle in some global markets, is the lowest priced ute on the Australian car market today. Great Wall states the Steed is powered by a 2.0-litre turbo diesel, mated to a 6-speed manual and has four-wheel drive that runs through a BorgWarner transfer box.

Reviews for the low-cost, high-value ute aren't overwhelmingly positive. But nonetheless, car experts were more than surprised by its ride comfort, decent payload capacity, five-year warranty and the insanely low price.

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Mitsubishi Triton

Mitsubishi Triton

If you prefer a more widely known brand, Mitsubishi is currently offering their 4x2 Triton ute from $24,990. The Triton is held as an example of a great ute around town, a good value vehicle, a stylish pick-up and as a model with excellent safety assists. Also, you get a 7-year/150,000km warranty with a Triton, in addition to 3 years of capped service pricing.

Check out our Mitsubishi Triton finance guide as well as our Triton comparison review.

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Isuzu D-Max

Isuzu D-Max with tray

Isuzu's D-Max comes in from as little as $26,990. Car reviewers reckon it presents a good deal, with a grunty diesel engine, big payload and a long, six-year/150,000km warranty. Isuzu says that it's the lowest-priced diesel-powered ute on the market, with the largest capacity in its class.

Plus, included in the price, on top of the six-year warranty, you also get six-years of capped price servicing and seven years roadside assistance.

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Ssangyong Musso/Musso XLV

Ssangyong Musso ute

One of the cheapest 4x4 utes on the Aussie market is the Ssangyong Musso and the extended load bed XLV model. The Musso's drive-away cost starts from $30,490. Its name is the Korean word for rhinoceros. The Musso was received fairly positively by car testers. One tester described the interior as comfortable and luxurious, with a heap of active safety gadgets, a smooth and grunty donk and a long (seven-year) warranty. Overall, it seems to present reasonable value.

If that weren't enough, it has the longest in-class tray:

The new Musso XLV takes it up a notch, laying claim to the title of 'Capacity King' with a class-leading 19% longer tray delivering a massive 26% more load capacity.

On one site where verified owners are able to post reviews, a number of motorists said they felt it was a very luxurious ute, calling it the Rolls Royce of the ute world and a severely underrated vehicle.

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Ute entry prices by model compared

Base modelEligible for the full $150k asset write-off?Click entry drive-away price for repayments or find a deal
Ford Ranger 4x2Up to $57,581, unless it can carry over a 1,000kg payload$28,990*

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Ford Ranger 4x4Wildtrak X, Wildtrak X 3.2, FX4 2.0, FX4 3.2, XLT 2.0 and 3.2 appear to qualify$46,706

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Great Wall Steed 4x2All Great Walls appear to be able to at least carry 1,000kg$19,990**

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Great Wall Steed 4x4All Great Walls appear to be able to at least carry 1,000kg$21,990**

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Holden Colorado 4x2Holden states "All models except LTZ+ and Z71" have a one tonne payload$31,690***

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Holden Colorado 4x4Holden states "All models except LTZ+ and Z71" have a one tonne payload$39,690***

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Isuzu D-Max 4x2Yes, all D-Max models appear to have at least a 1,000kg payload$21,990*

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Isuzu D-Max 4x4Yes, all D-Max models appear to have at least a 1,000kg payload$21,990*

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Mazda BT-50 4x2All of the Mazda range appears to have a 1,000kg+ payload$30,840

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Mazda BT-50 4x4All of the Mazda range appears to have a 1,000kg+ payload$37,290

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Mercedes-Benz X-Class 4x2Up to $57,581, unless it can carry over a 1,000kg payload$51,555.85

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Mercedes-Benz X-Class 4x4The 250d Power, 250d Progressive, 350d Edition 1, 350d Power and 350d Progressive (as 4MATICS) should qualify$56,652.85

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Mitsubishi Triton 4x2Up to $57,581, unless it can carry over a 1,000kg payload$24,990

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Mitsubishi Triton 4x4Up to $57,581, unless it can carry over a 1,000kg payload$23,240

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Nissan Navara 4x2Up to $57,581, unless it can carry over a 1,000kg payload$28,690**

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Nissan Navara 4x4Up to $57,581, unless it can carry over a 1,000kg payload$40,457

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Toyota HiLux 4x2Up to $57,581, unless it can carry over a 1,000kg payload$28,319

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Toyota HiLux 4x4Up to $57,581, unless it can carry over a 1,000kg payload$44,657

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Volkswagen Amarok 4x2Up to $57,581, unless it can carry over a 1,000kg payload$38,490

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Volkswagen Amarok 4x4Up to $57,581, unless it can carry over a 1,000kg payload$42,990

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

LDV T60 4x4Yes$27,490

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Mercedes G-Wagen CC 4x4Professional models$277,766

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

RAM 1500 Express 4x4Up to $57,581, unless it can carry over a 1,000kg payload$89,950

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

RAM 1500 Laramie 4x4Up to $57,581, unless it can carry over a 1,000kg payload$109,950

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

RAM 2500Up to $57,581, unless it can carry over a 1,000kg payload$139,950

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

RAM 3500 Laramie 4x4Up to $57,581, unless it can carry over a 1,000kg payload$144,350

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Ssangyong MussoYes$30,490

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Ssangyong Musso XLV 4x4Yes$32,990*

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Toyota LandCruiser PU/CC 70 SeriesMost models, apart from the GXL five-seater, Workmate 4x4 and GXL variants.$76,659

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Toughest off-road work ute

Toyota Land Cruiser 70

If you need to take your ute into a mine, into some extreme off-road terrain or just generally want a super tough ute, then the Land Cruiser 70 Series is probably the ute to go for.

It has a massive 4.5-litre turbo diesel, producing 151kW at 3,400rpm, while it makes a very healthy 430Nm of torque with a decently low rev range of 1,200-3,200rpm. Ground clearance sits around the 230-235mm mark. Basically, it's packing some real punch as it comes from the factory and with traction control and a selection terrain response system, it'll go wherever you point it. The LandCruiser 70 will easily tow 3,500kg.

Plus, buying a Toyota, you get access to their 203 nation-wide dealership network. The LandCruiser 70's drive-away cost starts from $70,812.

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Ute with largest towing capacity

Picture not described

If you regularly tow large loads for your business, then few utes can touch the mind-boggling towing capacity of the Ram 1500 and 2500. The 1500 will happily tow up to 4.5 tonnes, while the 2500 can shift 6,942kg – nearly 7 tonnes! The 2500 has a jumbo 6.7-litre, 6-cylinder turbo diesel. The smaller 1500 will currently cost you from $79,950 on a special offer. The larger US-sourced 2500 truck starts from around $139,950.

HSV also sells another locally re-engineered US-import ute in the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and 2500. The 1500, with a 70mm tow ball, can haul up to 4,500kg. The beastly 2500 has a 6.6-litre turbo diesel V8, generates 332kW and a bonkers 1,234Nm. Consequently, it'll tow a 5.89 tonne trailer without sweating.

HSV Silverado 3500 LTZ

The Silverado 1500 costs from $113,990 plus ORCs. Interestingly, there are a few Silverado 3500s for sale that can tow up to 9,000kg with the proper tow hitch.

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Performance utes

If you're looking for a high-performance ute that will serve as both a work truck and a weekend getaway vehicle, there are a few to choose from.

Note, when you're using it for both business and leisure, you'll only be able to claim against the percentage of business use. Plus these utes don't necessarily qualify as commercial vehicles due to a sub-1,000kg payload!

One of the best known is the Ford Ranger Raptor. Ford engineers basically tortured the ute in gruelling environments to develop this thing to be tough as nails. Just looking through its Terrain Management System gives you an idea of its intentions. For example, it has a Baja Mode – a setting that dials in the ute for high-speed desert drives. It's damped by suspension from the world-renowned motorsport company, Fox Racing, and it is in a select club of factory utes that come with large 33-inch all-terrain tyres by BFGoodrich. According to this Ford video, the engine testing included pinning the throttle for 18 days solid.

The Ranger Raptor is more of a rallycross-inspired speed machine, while other ute builders have geared their most extreme 4x4s to slower, more hard-core off-roading. The Range Raptor starts from $76,290 (manufacturer's recommended list price).

Toyota builds the Rugged X, a top of the line HiLux, which gets underbody bash plates, rock rails, 17-inch Rugged alloys, an LED light bar, tow hooks and off-road bumpers. Toyota prices the Rugged X's drive-away cost from $68,031.

Picture not described

Volkswagen sells the Amarok V6 Ultimate 580, which has a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 under the bonnet. It has 190kW around 3,250rpm and a peak of 580Nm kicks in from 1,400rpm. It also has an 8-speed automatic transmission, 20-inch alloys, an underbody design element, sat-nav, a protective load bed coating and 14-way adjustable front passenger seats with heating elements.

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Nearest to $150k ute

HSV Silverado 3500

Want to write off up to $150,000 with just one purchase? You'd probably want to look to the Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD LTZ. There are a few for sale online, which are listed as "Enquire for price", but in 2018, HSV said it had a recommended retail pricing of $147,990.

It's essentially the largest ute you can buy, described by some journalists as a full-size truck. It's remanufactured by HSV in Clayton, Victoria. The specs are off the charts:

  • Power: 332kW
  • Torque: 1,234Nm
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic from Allison
  • Four disc brakes
  • Heavy-duty locking rear diff
  • Payload capacity: 2.2-tonnes
  • Towing: 9 tonnes
  • Luxury features like 10-way power-adjustable seats, dual-zone climate control, heated steering wheel, 8-inch touch screen, BOSE audio system and Apple CarPlay plus Android Auto
  • Safety assists like StabiliTrak, proactive roll avoidance, traction control with trailer sway control and hill start assist. Also, the Silverado has front and rear parking assist, a rear-view camera, forward collision alert, lane departure warning and other features

on OnlineAuto.com.au's website

Which ute is best?

The answer to that question depends on how you plan to use it. If you have a farm and want something that can haul as many bales of hay or as much livestock as possible, then look at a single cab with a tray – some can carry up to 1,300kg of stuff.

If you're a tradie and want to customise the back of your ute to carry materials and your tools, then a basic single cab or king cab might be the best to opt for.

According to our comparison of dozens of ute reviews, the Ford Ranger is the most highly rated ute, followed by the Volkswagen Amarok and the Mitsubishi Triton.

Getting the most for your money

If you want to save your money, here's how you do it.

Buy the lowest spec ute you can live with. There can be a difference of over $15,000 or more between the entry model and the top of line ute from the same range.

Go for a RWD. 4x2 models will save you thousands of dollars. You may not really need four-wheel drive if you never venture off of paved roads. Plus, a RWD should be more fuel-efficient due to the weight saving and fewer moving parts.

Do you need a high-rider? Hi-riding models, with more ground clearance, may look tough and let you travel comfortably off-road, but lo-riders are cheaper and work perfectly well on roads.

Do you really need a diesel? Most of the low price utes come fitted with petrol engines and five-speed manual gearboxes, opting for one of those, you'll save thousands.

Skip the options. Choose a free paint colour (usually a solid white or red) and resist adding optional extras.

Comparison: Car loan rates and repayments

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Name Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp. Rate (p.a.) Application Fee Monthly Fee Monthly Repayment
loans.com.au - New - Variable Rate Special
loans.com.au logo
Variable3 - 7 Years $5,000 - $150,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
6.24%
to 7.74%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
7.36%
to 8.85%
Application Fee
$400
Monthly Fee
$8
Monthly Repayment
$936.14
Go to siteMore Info
OurMoneyMarket New Car Loan
OurMoneyMarket logo
Fixed1 - 7 Years $2,001 - $75,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
6.57%
to 18.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
7.19%
to 21.78%
Application Fee
$250
min.
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
$934.23
Go to siteMore Info
NRMA New Car Loan
NRMA logo
Fixed1 - 7 Years $5,000 - $130,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
7.29%
to 16.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
8%
to 17.77%
Application Fee
$499
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
$945.77
Go to siteMore Info
Note: Take out a loan for an eligible electric vehicle and receive a 1.5% discount on your personalised interest rate (interest rates start from 5.79% p.a. and comparison rates from 6.49% p.a.)
Stratton Finance New Car Loan
Stratton Finance logo
Fixed1 - 7 Years $10,000 - $300,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
6.52%
to 18%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
6.95%
to 23%
Application Fee
$395
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
$931.85
Go to siteMore Info
You'll receive a fixed rate from 6.52% p.a. depending on the lender you are approved with.
Apply for up to $300,000 and use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit. Optional balloon payment available.
NRMA Used Car Loan
NRMA logo
Fixed1 - 7 Years $5,000 - $130,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
8.49%
to 16.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
9.21%
to 17.77%
Application Fee
$499
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
$962.64
Go to siteMore Info
You'll receive a fixed rate from 8.49% p.a.
Finance a used car with NRMA and benefit from a fixed rate term and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
Stratton Finance Used Car Loan
Stratton Finance logo
Fixed1 - 7 Years $10,000 - $300,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
6.52%
to 18%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
6.95%
to 23%
Application Fee
$395
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
$931.85
Go to siteMore Info
You'll receive a fixed rate loan from 6.52% p.a. with a comparison rate of 6.95% p.a.
A used car loan of up to $300,000 with quick approval times and balloon payment options.
RACV New Car Loans
RACV logo
Fixed1 - 7 Years $5,000 - $150,000
Interest Rate (p.a.)
7.29%
to 16.99%
Comp. Rate (p.a.)
8%
to 17.77%
Application Fee
$499
Monthly Fee
$0
Monthly Repayment
$945.77
Go to siteMore Info
You'll receive a fixed rate from 7.29% p.a.
A larger loan of $5,000 or more to help you buy a new or used car. 5-hour pre approval available and no ongoing fees.
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Showing 7 of 7 results

Compare ute insurance providers

1 - 10 of 40
Name Product Roadside assistance Accidental damage Storm Choice of repairer Agreed or Market Value
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary: Our data shows it’s the cheapest comprehensive policy. It just covers the basics such as damage to your car, theft and storms – it doesn’t go in for add-ons and extras.

Who it might be good for: Those wanting a low-cost, no-frills policy.
Youi Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: The 2023 winner of our Best Features Car Insurance award. Plus, it's one of the only insurers to automatically include roadside assistance.

Who it might be good for: Those who want good customer service with lots of inclusions.
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: The 2024 winner of our Best Value Car Insurance award. It's cheaper than most, plus you can lower costs by adding age restrictions.

⭐ Current offer: 15% off your first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Anyone who wants a good value policy.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You need car insurance so why not get one that lets you earn Qantas Points? It's good value too (it's underwritten by the same insurer as Budget Direct).

⭐ Current offer: Earn up to 40,000 Qantas Points with every car insured by 2 July. Plus save 15% on your 1st year's premium when you purchase online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who want more bang for their buck with Qantas Points.
Australia Post Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Covers a little more than other insurers. You don’t need to pay an excess for windscreen repairs and cover applies to anyone who uses your car.

⭐ Current offer: Get $100 off your first year's comprehensive car insurance premium when you buy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Multiple people using one car.
ROLLiN' Comprehensive
Agreed
Finder's summary: One of the most cost-effective insurers for under 25s, according to Finder research, with no aged-based excess.

Who it might be good for: Young drivers looking to keep costs down and anyone who’d like to get more flexibility from their car insurance.
QBE Comprehensive
Green Company
QBE Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Our best-rated Car Insurer for Customer Satisfaction in 2021/2022 and Green Insurer for the last 3 years.

⭐ Current offer: Save $75 when you purchase a new comprehensive policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Those who want a trustworthy insurer and more cover than other brands, such as 3-year new car replacement (e.g. they'll give you money for a new car for up to 3 years if yours is written off).
Kogan Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Kogan comes with all the perks that most comprehensive car insurance policies include, but you'll also be entitled to some benefits from its online store. This usually comes in the form of a gift voucher or discount if you buy online.

⭐ Current offer: Get $100 off first year premiums when you purchase Kogan Comprehensive Car Insurance online + $10 monthly kogan.com credit. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Kogan shoppers and those after a good range of policy options.
ahm Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Its "pay as you drive" cover can save you up to 30% compared to its standard comprehensive cover. There's also no excess to pay if you hit a Kanga or other animal.

⭐ Current offer: Get 12 months of roadside assistance included when you take out a new comprehensive car insurance policy. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Rural drivers and those who drive less than 15,000 km a year.
Club Comprehensive 4x4 Insurance
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: With Club 4X4, you can take advantage of Australia-wide cover for your 4WDs or 4x4. Importantly, insurance extends to modifications and accessories. Also, get peace of mind with personal effects cover of up to $2,000, plus, up to $1500 towards the cost of recovering your off-road vehicle if you get in trouble.

Who it might be good for: Drivers of 4WDs or 4x4s looking for wide-ranging protection ahead of their next driving adventure.
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Images: supplied

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Written by

Ben Gribbin

Ben Gribbin is an automotive writer at Finder. He is a life-long car enthusiast, bringing many years of experience working with and writing about cars. During his time, Ben has been a freelance writer, editor and reviewer for a number of leading publications across the UK. He was voted the Guild of Motoring Writers Breakthrough Blogger in 2015. See full profile

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