Vehicle Title, Tax, Insurance & Registration Costs
When you buy a new or used vehicle, you’re always going to pay more than the sticker price. That’s because your state government sees a vehicle purchase as a great opportunity to squeeze some money out of you.
The basic DMV fees, like the title, license plate, and registration fees, are no biggie. But the car dealer may charge their own fees, too. Then, there’s the vehicle sales tax — and yes, this applies to private-party sales too. Some states charge extra on top of that, calling it a wheelage tax, personal property tax, use fee, excise tax, privilege tax or (if they really want to sound fancy) an ad valorem tax.
We’ll go through all the costs to be aware of when purchasing a new or used vehicle. Remember that many states also require proof of auto insurance coverage when you’re registering your car. Need help finding the best deal on coverage? We can help you find the cheapest rates on car insurance.
Typical Costs When Purchasing a Vehicle
- Registration Fee: Your state will charge you a certain amount to register your vehicle under your name. As you can see here, vehicle registration fees are all over the map. Some states have a flat rate, while others base the fee on the weight, age or value of the vehicle. Don’t delay! Many states charge extra fees for late registration. One more thing: You might be able to get a vehicle registration tax deduction.
- License Plate Fee: The license plate cost might be included in your registration, or billed separately. Some states allow you to transfer license plates from your old car to your new one, while others require brand-new plates.
- Auto Insurance: The average cost of insurance can vary greatly from state to state and depends on a variety of rating factors such as your age, driving history, and insurance status. To make sure you’re saving the most on your policy, experts recommend getting at least 4 auto insurance quotes. With Compare.com, you get 4 or more locked in rates in just minutes..
- Title Transfer Fee: This is a legal document showing the owner of a vehicle. When you buy a car, you’ll need to transfer the title from the previous owner or dealer to you.
- Lien Recording Fee: If you have a lien on the car (aka a loan), the DMV may charge you to record that lien on the title.
- Documentation Fee: Auto dealers typically charge their own fees to do all the vehicle-purchase paperwork. Some states place a cap on these fees.
- Sales Tax: Most states charge sales tax on vehicles. Below, we list the state tax rate, although your city or county government may add its own sales tax as well.
- Personal Property Tax: Some states require you to pay an annual tax on the value of your vehicle. We’ll review the vehicle property tax for each state in the table below.
- Emissions/Inspection Fees: States typically require a vehicle to be inspected when you purchase it and may require emissions testing too.
- Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Fees: Because hybrid/EV owners pay few or no fuel taxes, many states charge them extra fees.
Vehicle Registration Fees, Insurance, and Other Costs by State for 2020
A few notes: These car registration fees are for passenger cars only; states charge different fees for RVs, trucks, antique cars, etc. The numbers we found are current as of 2020, but it’s smart to check the current numbers with your state department of motor vehicles.
|State||Registration Fee||License Plate Fee||Average Insurance Cost||Title Fee||Dealer Documentation Fees||Personal Property Tax / Vehicle License Fee||State Vehicle Sales Tax||Air Quality / Emissions Inspection||Other|
|Alabama||$15-$23 + $50 annually||$1.25 to transfer||$723||$18||No limit||N/A||2%||N/A||N/A|
|Alaska||$100||N/A||$872||$15||no limit; must be incl. in vehicle price||N/A||N/A||N/A||$15 lien recording|
|Arizona||$8 + $32 Public Safety Fee||$12 to transfer||$844||$4 (for new vehicles)||No limit||$2.80(new vehicles)/$2.89(used vehicles) for each $100 of the assesed value||5.6%||$1.50||N/A|
|Arkansas||$17-$30||$1||$736||$10||$129 cap||Varies by county||6.5%||N/A||$2.50 decal fee; 50-cent lien filing fee; extra $100 annual fee for registering a hybrid vehicle and $200 for an EV|
|California||$62 plus transportation improvement fee of $25-$175||$27||$841||$15||$80 cap||.65% of value, decreasing over time||7.5%||$8 smog transfer fee||$100 EV fee;$27 CHP fee|
|Colorado||Based on weight||Varies by county||$857||N/A||No limit||3-2.1% of value, based on age||2.9%||$$15-$25 emissions test fee||$50 annual fee for plug-in vehicles|
|Connecticut||$120 for a new registration, $80 to renew for two years||$5||$1,049||$25; $21 to transfer plates||No limit||Based on 70% of retail value||6.35%-7.75%||$10 clean air fee;$40 Emissions Exemption fee||$10 admin fee; $10 parks fee; $10 lien fee; $15 parks fee; $40 Emissions Exemption fee; $10 Greenhouse Gas fee|
|Delaware||$40||N/A||$1,146||$35-$55||4.25% of purchase price or NADA book value, whichever is greater||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Florida||$14.50-$32.50; $225 for new vehicle fee||$28 for new plates||$1,185||$77.25-$85.25||No limit||N/A||6%||N/A||N/A|
|Georgia||$20||N/A||$897||$18||No limit||Annual ad valorem tax for vehicles purchased before 3/12/13||6.6% title ad valorem tax (TAVT); 3% for new Georgia residents||$25 emissions inspection in Atlanta area||$200 annual alternative-fuel fee|
|Hawaii||$45 plus weight-based fee||$5||$765||$5||No limit||Based on weight||4.166% to 4.712%||N/A||$1 beautification fee; 50-cent emblem renewal|
|Idaho||$45-$69, depending on vehicle age||N/A||$574||$14||No limit||N/A||6% of value or purchase price||$11 emissions inspection (Kuna and Canyon County)||$140 annual EV fee;$75 plug-in hybrid fee; $5 VIN inspection|
|Illinois||$151||N/A||$804||$150||$300||N/A||6.25% and up||N/A||$251 annual EV fee|
|Indiana||$21.35-$30.35||N/A||$666||$15||No limit||N/A||7%||N/A||Transportation Infrastructure Improvement Fee of $15; excise tax of $12-$532;$150 EV fee; $50 hybrid fee|
|Iowa||Up to 1% of list price, depending on age; plus $0.40 per hundred pounds of vehicle weight||N/A||$666||$25 for replacement||No limit||N/A||N/A||N/A||$65 annual EV fee; $32.50 annual plug-in hybrid fee (both rise each year)|
|Kansas||$39-$49(depends on county)||N/A||$698||$10||No limit||Varies by county||7.5% and up||N/A||$20 inspection fee for new title|
|Kentucky||$21||N/A||$802||$9||No limit||45 cents per $100 of value||6%||N/A||$22 lien filing fee|
|Louisiana||$20-$82 depending on value||N/A||$1,232||$68.50||$200 cap||N/A||4%||N/A||Use taxes set by parish/county|
|Maine||$35||N/A||$618||$33||No limit||Annual excise tax (depends on age of vehicle)||5.5%||N/A||N/A|
|Maryland||$135-$187 for two years||$10 transfer||$1,017||$100||$300 cap||N/A||6%||$14 emissions inspection||$14.50 annual EMS fee|
|Massachusetts||$60 for two years||$25 transfer||$1,059||$75||No limit||$25 per $1000 of excise value||6.25%||$35 emissions/inspection fee|
|Michigan||Based on vehicle value||N/A||$1,231||$15||$220 cap; can’t exceed 5% of vehicle price||N/A||6%||N/A||$135-$235 annual EV fee;$47.50-$117.50 hybrid fee|
|Minnesota||$35 and up, based on vehicle value||$8 (double plates)||$788||$20.50 (with tax and technology surcharge)||$125||N/A||6.5%||N/A||$10 and up wheelage tax; $75 annual EV fee|
|Mississippi||$12.75 for renewals, $14 for first time registrations||N/A||$827||$9||No limit||Ad valorem taxes based on vehicle value and county||5%||N/A||%150 EV fee; $75 hybrid fee|
|Missouri||$21.75 and up (based on taxable horsepower) plus processing fee of $6-12||N/A||$745||$10.50||No limit||N/A||4.225%||$24 (St. Louis area only)||$75 annual fee for alt-fuel vehicles; $37.50 for plug-in hybrids|
|Montana||$28-$217, based on vehicle age, plus a 3% fee||N/A||$693||$10-$12||No limit||N/A||None||N/A||County option tax based on vehicle value; $10 Montana Highway Patrol fee|
|Nebraska||$20.50 including fees||$3.30 per plate||$682||$10||No limit||Mootor Vehicle Tax based on vehicle value||5.5.%||N/A||$5-$30 motor vehicle fee; $75 alt-fuel fee; $7 lien fee|
|Nevada||$33||$8||$985||$29.25||No limit||Governmental Services Tax based on vehicle value||8.1%||$50-$79||Supplemental Govermental Services Tax based on vehicle value|
|New Hampshire||$31.20 and up based on type and weight plus $10 transfer fee plus local fees||$8||$775||$25||No limit||N/A||none||Included in inspection cost||Local fees based on age and value of vehicle|
|New Jersey||$35.50-$84 based on weight||$6||$1,266||$60 or $85 with lien||No limit||N/A||6.625%||No charge||N/A|
|New Mexico||$27-$62 based on weight and model year||No cost||$763||$5||No limit||N/A||4%||$15-$25 (Bernalillo County only)||N/A|
|New York||$26-$140 based on weight||$25||$1,235||$50||$75 cap||N/A||4%||$11-$27||Vehicle use tax/MCTD fees (NYC and some counties)|
|North Carolina||$36-$67 based on weight||$20||$655||$52||No limit||Vehicle Property Tax based on value and locality||Highway use tax of 3% of vehicle value (max. $250 for new)||$16.40 for some vehicles/counties||$130 EVE fee; regional transportation tax in some counties|
|North Dakota||$49-$274 based n age and weight||No cost||$638||$5||No limit||N/A||N/A||5%||N/A|
|Ohio||$34.50||$6 to transfer; $13.25 for new plates||$703||$15||$250 or 10% of the sales contract price whichever is less||N/A||5.75%||No charge||$100 annual fee for hyrid car; $200 fee for EV; optional $5 permissive tax in some counties|
|Oklahoma||$96 for a new registration; decrease over time||N/A||$824||$11 plus $17 transfer fee||No limit||N/A||1.25%||N/A||Excise tax of 3.25% for a new vehicle; for used cars, $20 on the 1st $1,500 of value + 3.25% of the remainder; $10 lien processing fee|
|Oregon||$122-$306 (two years); for new cars, $268.50-$636.50||$24.50 for new plates, $6 to transfer||$828||$98-$187||$115-$150 max||N/A||0.5% privilege tax on new vehicle purchases||$10 in Medford, $21 in Portland||$110 annual fee for plug-in hybrid vehicles|
|Pennsylvania||$38||N/A||$878||$82||$120-$144||N/A||6% (7% for residents of Allegheny Count and 8% for Philadelphia residents)||Included in inspection cost||$26 lien fee|
|Rhode Island||Based on weight||$8||$1,148||$52.50||No limit||Excise tax based on vehicle value||7%||Included in $55 inspectionn cost||N/A|
|South Carolina||$40||N/A||$854||$15||No limit||Annual personal property tax based on vehicle value||5% Infrastructure Maintenance Fee ($500 max)||N/A||$46-$116 Gross Vehicle Weight Fee; $250 infrastructure fee if transferring registration; $60 biennial hybrid fee; $120 biennial EV fee|
|South Dakota||$25.20-$144, based on weight and model year||N/A||$616||$10||No limit||N/A||4%||N/A||Wheel tax (varies by county)|
|Tennessee||$76||Included||$738||No limit||N/A||N/A||7%||$9||$100 annual EV fee; wheel tax (varies by county)|
|Texas||$51.75 plus local fees||Included||$934||Varies by County||If over $150 dealer must notify the state||N/A||6.25% on new vehicles||Varies by County||$90 tax when moving vehicle to Texas|
|Utah||Based on model, weight and other factors; plus $2.50 driver ed fee and $1 uninsured motorist ID fee||Included||$784||$6||No limit||Uniform fee due annually based on vehicle age||Varies by city||Usually $20-$30||EV and hybrid fees (increase each year)|
|Vermont||$76-$132||Included||$680||$35||No limit||N/A||6%||Varies by city||N/A|
|Virginia||$40.75-$64, based on weight and type (plus $2 for emissions inspections in some localities)||Included||$751||$15||No limit||Personal property tax set by localities||4.15% of sales price, minimum charge $75||$28 max||$64 annual EV fee|
|Washington||$30 for vehicles 10,000 lbs. or less||$10 per plate||$884||$20.50 for title fee and service fee||$150||N/A||Varies by county, plus 0.3% motor vehicle sales/use tax||$15||$75 hybrid fee, $150 annual EV fee|
|Washington D.C.||$72-$155 based on weight/ $36 for hybrids/EVs||$7 tag transfer; $10 replacement||$1,190||$26||No limit||N/A||6-8% excise tax based on weight. Some vehicles may be exempted.||$10||N/A|
|West Virginia||$51.50||Included||$855||$15||No limit||Personal property tax set by localities||6% titling sales tax on vehicles over $500||N/A||$200 annual EV fee, $100 plug-in hybrid fee; $10 lien fee|
|Wisconsin||$85||Included||$665||$164.50||No limit||N/A||5%||No charge||$10-$30 wheel tax (varies by county);$100 annual EV fee, $75 hybrid fee|
|Wyoming||$30-$90, plus county fees||Included||$657||$15||No limit||N/A||4%||N/A||$200 EV fee|