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    Taxes and Fees for New Car Purchases

    New Car Taxes and Fees

    Purchasing a new vehicle, whether it's new or used, is a huge investment. You must, before buying, be aware of all extra costs including insurance, maintenance, registration, titling, and new car fees and taxes. Otherwise, you risk receiving surprise bills, causing your carefully calculated car-budget to be compromised.

    Generally, purchasing or leasing a new car in any state will require:

    • Buying car insurance.
    • Transferring the title.
    • Paying registration fees.
    • Paying for a vehicle inspection/smog check/emissions test.
      AND
    • Sales taxes.

    For more information about some of the specific Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Department of Revenue (DOR), Secretary of State (SOS), Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), or county clerk fees in your state, visit our pages on the following topics:

    Additional, you can visit our car insurance center to shop around and compare policy quotes to find a car insurance policy that's right for you.

    If you have specific questions about any titling, registration, or inspection fees in your state, you can also contact your state's DMV, DOR, SOS, MVD, or county clerk directly.

    It's important to factor in all the costs that come with a vehicle purchase or lease, regardless or whether the car is new or used.

    Sales Taxes When Buying a Vehicle

    Surprising costs bear especially true with the often overlooked auto sales tax. Since it varies from from state to state, new and used car sales tax is difficult to pinpoint and follow.

    The sales tax rate may vary between new and used car purchases, however, along with the state tax, you may also be responsible for:

    • County taxes.
    • City taxes.
    • School district taxes.

    Certain states may also assess an annual property tax on your vehicle, which you'll need to pay before you can renew your registration.

    If you are unsure about the taxes you'll be responsible for when buying a new car, you can visit our tax and tag fee calculator & chart links page (see below) or contact your state's motor vehicle office.

    Vehicle Sales Tax and Fee Calculator

    Online sales tax and fee calculators will give you an estimate of what you'll pay when buying a new car. Keep in mind calculation factors vary by state. It's best to use a sales tax calculator specific to where you'll be purchasing the vehicle to ensure you budget properly.

    For many tax and tag calculators, you should be prepared to enter:

    • The vehicle's year, make, and model OR its vehicle identification number (VIN).
    • The purchase price of the vehicle.
    • The odometer/mileage reading on the vehicle when you bought it.
    • The date you purchased the vehicle.
    • The date the vehicle was or will be operated in the state.

    If your state offers a tax chart, it will often be broken down by model years or weight class.

    If have questions about interpreting a tax and tag calculator or chart in your state, contact the appropriate DMV, MVD, SOS, DOR, MVA, or county clerk office.