How to Calculate California Car Tax

January 27, 2012

Calculating your California car tax could be a tricky proposition. As one to the most expensive states to purchase a new vehicle as far as taxes go, it will make you just a bit afraid of all the beautiful cars that you're looking at. We'll try to help you know what you are looking at as far as spending after the sale price of the car.

  • Depending on the county and city you live in, there will be different tax rates for each area. Some higher, some lower. The California DMV website that will help you figure what your rate is by the zip code or county you live in.
  • This will give you all the calculations you need as far as a new car, a used car or an out of state buyer.
  • At this site you will need the information about the vehicle you are buying. A lot of times you will get a tax break for more energy efficient vehicles, so keep that in mind when looking.
  • You will enter the date and type of car you purchased, followed by the purchase price, the city, county and zip code where you live. The site will then tell you what taxes you will have to pay.

Add up all the figures you have from taxes and registration. Don't forget to figure in your insurance. Remember, insurance rates will change for certain cars with more power, and other factors. Contact your insurance agency to be sure of what the cost will be. You may get a reduced rate. Taking this step before buying a car will not only make you a better shopper, but also a better investor in your future spending.

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