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What’s it like owning a car in AZ?

Discussion in 'Arizona & New Mexico' started by Ak Jim, Apr 24, 2021.

  1. Ak Jim

    Ak Jim F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 23, 2007
    5,518
    North Pole AK
    Just thinking about where I’d like to live someday if I ever leave AK. Owning a car here is very easy from a government perspective. Where I live no annual safety or emission inspections and after the car is more than 8 years old you get a permanent license plate and you no longer have to pay a registration fee. Thinking of areas outside of the bigger cities like Flagstaff or Payson. Thx!
     
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  3. Zanny1

    Zanny1 Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 19, 2003
    640
    Fountain Hills, Arizona
    Full Name:
    Mike
    We lived in Prescott for 6 years, before health issues moved me to the Phoenix area.
    Prescott had no emissions or safety testing. Phoenix does have emissions testing, which can be a PITA in owning a Ferrari.
    Don't know about Flagstaff or Payson, but an internet search will answer that question for you.
    We loved Prescott. Had 12 acres north of town and really enjoyed the vibe.
    Not too many Ferraris in the area, but loads of muscle cars and classics. The Prescott Antique Auto Club is first rate.
     
  4. TheMayor

    TheMayor Eight Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Feb 11, 2008
    83,524
    Vegas baby
    Flagstaff gets more snow each year than Buffalo. I agree with Prescott. The weather there is mild compared to Phoenix and its much less a big city vibe.

    Only Maricopa and Pima counties have emission testing.
     
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  5. GNALUZU

    GNALUZU Formula Junior

    Mar 23, 2004
    698
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Full Name:
    Adam
    In Arizona, the plate registration fee is based on the determined value of the car so be prepared for that.

    The vehicle license tax is based on the measured value of 60% of the vehicle's MSRP and reduced by 16.25% for each year since the initial registration. The rate is then calculated as $2.80 for new vehicles and $2.89 for used vehicles for every $100 of value.
     
  6. CSX55

    CSX55 Rookie

    Mar 30, 2021
    19
    Tucson, AZ
    Yep, be prepared to pay several thousands for plate fees - it'll take quite a few years of continuous registration in AZ before it finally gets down to a reasonable level.

    Tucson (Pima County) and Phoenix (Maricopa County) require annual or bi-annual emissions testing. For an OBDII car, it's super easy - they just plug in, ensure the battery hasn't been reset recently, make sure there are no CELs, and pressure test the gas cap. For a pre-OBD vehicle, it's a little more stringent - they visually inspect for factory smog equipment (cats, AIR pumps, etc) and then place sniffers in the exhaust and you have to run it on a dyno-type roller (~25 mph) so they can get an emissions reading under load.

    However, the near year-round ability to drive a vehicle here without the threat of snow, salt, tornado, etc, almost makes up for the ridiculous plate fees.
     
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  8. BMW.SauberF1Team

    BMW.SauberF1Team F1 World Champ

    Dec 4, 2004
    13,338
    I'm not sure if the last two posts are saying the car has to be registered in AZ for each year to get that 16.25% annual reduction, but they did not require that for my car when I registered it in AZ. My car was like 15 years old when I brought it into AZ and registered it. They took the age of the vehicle and applied that 16.25% reduction for each year of the car's age. Their website wording was confusing and I initially thought I'd pay fees as if it was new as it was never registered before in AZ, but that was not the case.
     
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  9. GNALUZU

    GNALUZU Formula Junior

    Mar 23, 2004
    698
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Full Name:
    Adam
    Your post is correct. The reduction is per year from when the car was new regardless of whether it was in AZ at the time or not. Sorry if my post was confusing, it was just a copy/paste. :)
     
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  10. CSX55

    CSX55 Rookie

    Mar 30, 2021
    19
    Tucson, AZ
    #8 CSX55, Apr 28, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2021
    Interesting - the ADOT verbage is pretty specific on "from first registration in AZ", and when I bought my last vehicle out of state (used, private party), I was definitely hit with the vehicle tax based on the below formula:

    Tax Paid = (MSRP * 0.6 * 2.89) / 100

    Where the MSRP * 60% in the numerator is the "assessed value" per the AZ rules (assuming no 16.25% reduction since it has been registered zero years in AZ).

    https://azdot.gov/sites/default/files/2019/08/AZ-registration-fees.pdf

    This is an independent calculator I found that I used to compare, the result comes out per my formula above:

    https://azvltcalculator.com/

    Where did you register? Through the DMV or one of the third party offices? I would love to be wrong and not pay $3000 to register my 360 Spider for the first time in AZ...
     
  11. BMW.SauberF1Team

    BMW.SauberF1Team F1 World Champ

    Dec 4, 2004
    13,338
    Through these people: https://azmotorexpress.com/

    Maybe it's because you didn't own the car from new? I had mine from new and registered and titled that way when I brought it in. That could be the difference.
     
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  13. CSX55

    CSX55 Rookie

    Mar 30, 2021
    19
    Tucson, AZ
    That's possible - the way I see it is, for a used vehicle purchased out of state, AZ wants to make sure it gets its "fair" share of the tax considering it wasn't sold here, so from that perspective and going strictly off the verbage on the ADOT site, term of ownership shouldn't matter, just how long it's been registered (or rather hasn't been) in AZ. I'll follow back up when my 30 day tag expires and I need to pony up.
     
  14. BMW.SauberF1Team

    BMW.SauberF1Team F1 World Champ

    Dec 4, 2004
    13,338
    Here are multiple people that had the same as me and the depreciation applied for the age of the car regardless where it was previously registered:

    http://www.city-data.com/forum/phoenix-area/3050755-auto-vlt-calculation-coming-out-state.html

    http://www.city-data.com/forum/arizona/2649849-vehicle-license-tax.html

    https://www.city-data.com/forum/arizona/3191879-moving-az-calculating-reg-fees.html
     
  15. Ingenere

    Ingenere F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Dec 11, 2001
    5,932
    On the Limit
    Full Name:
    Dino
    You'll like AZ. If you are outside Phoenix or Tucson, there aren't annual inspections. You will also like some of the best driving roads in the country. What you won't like is the confiscatory license plate fees.
     
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  16. sunghyun7

    sunghyun7 Rookie

    Oct 7, 2019
    13
    if you live outside of this map in AZ, you don't need emissions:
    https://gisweb.azdeq.gov/arcgis/veiareas/

    annual registration cost is some percentage of MSRP first year then about 16% discount per year every year afterwards. To give you an idea, my 2014 F12 costed me about $1800 to register for 2021. It'll continue to get cheaper every year.
     
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  17. arizonaitalian

    arizonaitalian F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Oct 29, 2010
    14,182
    Wyoming
    The registration/license fee/tax declines by the age of the car, regardless of where its been registered. Its purely based on age for the depreciated value.

    (fwiw, it works similarly in many states)
     
  18. Trouts10

    Trouts10 Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 2, 2015
    145
    Chino Valley, AZ
    Full Name:
    Richard Heilman
    We moved here to the Chino Valley area, about 15 miles north of Prescott, a few months ago after having lived in Santa Barbara, CA for nearly 30 years - the only thing we miss is the ocean, but things have just gotten just too crazy in that state for reasons I won't elaborate on. We have a good friends who live in Payson and love it, but it is definitely a small town away from any major amenities, whereas Prescott has everything you need (short of gourmet food items) but with that "small town vibe" than Phoenix or Tucson lack. And, yes, at 5000 feet you have a much better 4-season climate. The only downside I can see is that full or major Ferrari service is available only in the Phoenix area (about 100 miles or more from Prescott and Payson as an example) so you will need to plan for that. However, the areas around Prescott are booming, so hopefully that will change in the future. I need the dreaded belt service on my 2000 Modena, and am checking out various qualified mechanics, including the dealership, as I write this. Oh, one other downside is the fact the state is filled with both sheriffs and Highway patrol who love to routinely pass out speeding tickets. In CA, driving 10-15 mph over the freeway speed limits won't cause any police to bat an eye, but I wouldn't try that here :(
     
  19. Zanny1

    Zanny1 Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 19, 2003
    640
    Fountain Hills, Arizona
    Full Name:
    Mike
    Lived in the Prescott area for 6 years before moving to the Phoenix area 2 years ago.
    Lots of hot rodders in Prescott, but nobody I would trust to work on my 99 Modena.
    If you decide to have servicing done here in the Phoenix area, reach out to me via PM. I've had some good and some bad experiences with shops here.
     
  20. synchro

    synchro F1 Veteran

    Feb 14, 2005
    9,263
    CHNDLR
    Full Name:
    Scott
    Wait until you drive on the newly surfaced AZ highways with their new "quiet technology" asphalt compound incorporating micro-HNBR rubber bits in it.
    So quiet and smooth !
     
  21. WilyB

    WilyB Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed

    Feb 23, 2007
    2,473
    AZ
    I just registered a trio of 2007 BMW motorcycles with a MSRP of $14,500 when new and I paid ±$25 tax for each of them in March.

    Two years ago I also paid a pittance for registering my 1990 Mondial. I had to pass inspection but the technician there did their utmost to get it to pass (I have Hyperflow cats).

    As for older Ferrari maintenance, I use Ferrari Motor Service (FMS) in Fountain Hills: http://ferrariserviceaz.com/FMS_MotorSports/FMS_Ferrari_Service.html
     
  22. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 6, 2003
    22,688
    Las Vegas, NV
    Full Name:
    Ryan Alexander
    Expect some dash and leather issues when an old car changes climates.

    I brought a '97 355 from Charleston SC to Nevada and within 6 months of arrival it developed several areas of shrinkage and pull on the dash, instrument cluster, etc.
     
  23. CSX55

    CSX55 Rookie

    Mar 30, 2021
    19
    Tucson, AZ
    After having consulted the MVD I just want to confirm this as being 100% correct. The verbage in the MVD site makes it sound worse than it is - brand new, vehicle tax was $3000 but despite never having been registered in AZ previously, my 2004 360 will cost me a much more palatable $125 to register for the year :)
     
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  24. BMW.SauberF1Team

    BMW.SauberF1Team F1 World Champ

    Dec 4, 2004
    13,338
    Glad to hear they won't bill you as if it was new. :)
     

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