Seven methods of estimating or predicting phosphorus (P) sorption capacity were compared for 47 neutral to acid Western Australian soils. Two methods, the P buffer capacity (PBC) and the Fox and Kamprath procedure, provided reliable indices of P sorption from well defined P sorption isotherms, but they are not quick routine methods because several levels of P addition are required. The other five routine procedures included two versions of the P retention index (PRI), determined by adding one level of P, and three soil properties, oxalate extractable iron (oxalate Fe), oxalate extractable aluminium (oxalate Al), and pH measured in sodium fluoride [pH (F)], that are known to indicate P sorption capacity. All the indices were well related to one another. The oxalate Fe index was the least well related to PBC whereas oxalate Al, one of the PRI indices, and pH (F) were closely related to PBC and could be used as quick, economical procedures to assess the P sorption capacity of soils.