What is the total tax rate for a used car purchase registered in Phoenix?

Discussion in 'Arizona & New Mexico' started by ewright, May 13, 2011.

  1. ewright

    ewright Formula Junior

    Nov 17, 2003
    Hi everyone,

    I have been doing a lot of reading in an attempt to figure out the total taxes I will be paying when buying a used car (from an out of state car dealer) and registering the car in Phoenix. From my understanding, I will have to pay:

    1. Arizona sales tax (5.6%)
    2. Maricopa county sales tax (?%)
    3. Phoenix use tax (?%)

    Total tax: ? %

    Lastly, I am having some trouble calculating the vehicle licensing tax. It is stated as being $2.89 per $100 of 60% of the assessed value of the vehicle. For a $120,000 vehicle, this comes out to $2,080!!!!! Do I pay this amount annually? That doesn't seem like it could possibly be right....please tell me I am wrong.

    These taxes make maintenance look like a minor expenditure by comparison!
  2. To remove this ad click here.

  3. arizonaitalian

    arizonaitalian F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Oct 29, 2010
    #2 arizonaitalian, May 13, 2011
    Last edited: May 13, 2011
    Two quick points:

    1) There is a website (try a google search) that the city has that will help you find the correct sales tax rate. Also, IIRC, there is a unique tax rate for cars vs. regular goods. I suspect that it will be around 8% for you (IIRC that was what it was in scottsdale). Importanly if you buy the car from a private party there is no sales tax in AZ! (so i paid none on my CS). And, in AZ you only pay on the difference between the new car and your trade-in value (if you are making a trade). That cut the sales tax by 60% when I bought my Maserati last year. These are cool rules and pointedly different than the people's republic of california where I used to live.

    2) Re the registration/license. Yes that is the correct formula. However, they don't use the price you pay for the car. Rather there is some standard for each model which is somehow stored at the DMV (thus they know what the assessed value is). And, there is a schedule for how it "depreciates" over time from the year it was new for used cars (I am pushing my memory here, but I think it was 15% or thereabouts per year).

    My CS which stickered for $201k in 2004 cost $950 to register in March 2011 and I paid around the price that you quoted for it. That is because the value has been reduced by 15% for 7 years from the 200k original sticker. Thus you get a fee of around $1000 using the formula.

    Hope this helps.

    Is the car you are looking at new, or used?
  4. ewright

    ewright Formula Junior

    Nov 17, 2003

    thank you, this is very very helpful. im actually in the market for a used challenge stradale. do you know of any nice ones for sale by a private party? seems like that is the way to go!

  5. Challenge64

    Challenge64 F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jul 28, 2004
    Full Name:
    Back in 1994 when I bought a Ferrari 512TR new, the tax rate came out to over $5k PER YEAR!!! Those bandits... But what was funny, a few years later I bought a Mondial T cab ($120k list??) and went to DMV to get plates/title/inspection - as it was an out of state car. The annual tax came out to $60 per year or so. The DMV guy was actually pissed off that the tax was so low..and started calling up a bunch of car dealers to get "more information" about the car. (Perhaps in an effort to try to raise the rate? - no idea). Gotta love DMV in Arizona. Not.
  6. agup48

    agup48 Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 15, 2006
    Full Name:
    Oh how I love having Texas plates on my car :D

    It's still legal too :eek:
  7. To remove this ad click here.

  8. arizonaitalian

    arizonaitalian F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Oct 29, 2010
    #6 arizonaitalian, May 14, 2011
    Last edited: May 14, 2011
    PM DM1...not sure if he still has it or wants to sell, but he mentioned on here the other day that he would consider it...

    EDIT: Dan's car is listed on here:
  9. ewright

    ewright Formula Junior

    Nov 17, 2003
  10. SYake

    SYake Karting

    May 15, 2005
    I have had the following understanding on the annual AZ VLT. They start at 60% of the MRSP and then reduce it by 15-16% each year. If this is correct, it has nothing to do with value, but only how much when new and how old is it. When bringing a car in from out of state, they go to their big book of MRSPs to start the process.

    When I brought a 95 Land Rover Defender 90 Station Wagon into the state in 1998, since the model didn't appear in their big book (500 were imported), a brilliant DMV manager tried to convince me that they should treat it as a Range Rover ($30K new vs. 65K). I told him he was crazy and he should call the local Land Rover dealer. Eventually they did. Of course earlier in the conversation, I tried to convince them I paid $32K and when the dealer told them $27K (the price of a soft top) I just said, "I stand corrected" and walked out with a title and tags.

Share This Page