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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,944

    Default With nothing else to do, let's discuss the costs to own a vehicle

    What does it cost in fees to own a vehicle in your state?

    Missouri:

    License plates are ~ $60 for 2 years for cars and light trucks.
    Safety inspection is $12, required to renew plates, not required on vehicles 5 or less years old.
    Emissions inspection in the STL and KC metros is an additional $24.
    Inspections done by licensed garages.
    Annual personal property tax varies with county and age/value of vehicle, when I first moved here in 2007 my 4 year old F150, basic standard cab with 6 cylinder engine was ~ $80, last year it was ~ $20.
    Sales tax on vehicle purchase is NOT collected by the dealer, you have to pay that to the DMV yourself when titling it. This includes private party sales. If you buy it from a dealer with a tradein, it's calculated on the difference price.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    600

    Default

    Arizona:

    License plate (Registration) fees vary with the value of the vehicle. Arizona charges a VLT (Vehicle License Tax) instead of the Personal Property Tax, and it's all rolled together. A new vehicle worth, say, $25,000 will cost about $500 the first year, $420 the 2nd year, and $360 the 3rd year (approximately). The more expensive the vehicle, the higher the cost. You pay an extra $25 per year for any of two dozen "specialty plates," and another $25 per year for personalized plates.

    No emissions inspection is required until your vehicle is 5 years old, and then you have to be tested every two years. Current fee is $20 for vehicles 1981 and newer. Vehicles from 1967-1980 get tested every year, fee is $16. Pre-1967? If you can keep it running, no test required!

    Safety Inspections? What the heck are those? :-)

    Sales tax: varies by municipality. It's collected by the dealer and added to the price. No tax is collected on "casual sales between private parties."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,475

    Default

    California: Highway Robbery compared to MO and AZ.

    My pick up truck has to be licensed and registered in this state as a COMMERCIAL vehicle, even though it is privately owned and not used in any way for business. Most of the time it sits in our driveway except to go on our road trips, and I take it to work about every other week once. Cost? Last year, about $325. It has to be smogged (yes, a diesel has to be smogged) every other year, at about $50-65 depending on where you take it. Oh, it's 20 years old.

    Our next youngest vehicle -- well, we just got the bill for this year. About $150 plus has to be smogged every other year, once again $50-65. It's 18 years old.

    The newest vehicle -- I think I just paid about $170 or so. It's only 6 years old. It had to be smogged last year when we brought it into the state (it spent most of its first 5 years in the Valley of the Sun). I'm not sure if they're going to make us smog it every 2 years or every 5.

    A smog inspection means putting it on this machine, sticking something in the tailpiece and seeing what comes out. We had an old Subaru that started to fail the inspections, which gets expensive after awhile.

    Get me outta this state. Retirement can't come too soon.


    Donna

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,944

    Default

    Emissions inspections here (I was wrong earlier - it's only in the STL metro) for 1996 and newer vehicles only involves reading out the OBD2 diagnostics, if there are any stored trouble codes or if the check engine light is on it fails. 1995 and older vehicles are not required to be tested.

  5. #5

    Default

    In Maryland, the government-mandated recurring operating costs of ownership:
    - Vehicle registration renewal/tag fees, every two years, $135 to $187, depending upon weight (3,700 lbs); trucks and trailers vary but does not apply for me
    - Emissions fees, every two years, (in greater metro areas only), $14
    - Gas tax (a recurring cost of operating), 35.3 cents per gallon
    - Automobile insurance is mandatory

    - Inspection fee only upon sale (I only observe that in private sales, just the price of a trade-in if acquiring a new car)
    - There is a new vehicle sales tax (it might be the standard sales tax rate) and a fee for title transfer, but I do not consider those as a cost to operate but as an acquisition cost

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,943

    Default Delaware (Memories)

    Since Rick has already spoken to the situation with Arizona plates, I'm going to reach deep into my memory banks and discuss a few of my first memories about getting a car registered and licensed in Delaware. At the time Delaware required that all cars pass a safety inspection by going through one of three (count 'em - 3!) state run inspection stations. These were full-on inspections where they tested lights, emissions, brakes, required safety equipment (including bumpers - which I failed once). Now I realize that Delaware's a small state, but still you can imagine how long lines would have gotten, particularly near the end of any given month as tags expired.

    The other thing I remember about Delaware is that once you had a plate, it was yours and you could transfer it from car to car as you sold one and bought another. This meant that there were some very old plates in use. It became a status symbol to have one of the original white-on-black plates that simply said DEL and had a 5 digit (or less) number.

    Delaware also had a rather odd classification scheme. Your vehicle was either a passenger car (P, but nothing noted on the plate), a truck (Commercial and your plate number started with 'C'), or a station wagon (a combination of the two previous ones and your plate number started with a special 'character' that was a P and C stacked vertically).

    For a while Delaware actually had plates that were not stamped or embossed, but were made with several slots along the top and a corresponding set of slots along the bottom. You were issued a plate with numbers that had tabs that you put through the top and bottom slots and folded over to keep them on. Since there was nothing preventing you from mounting the numbers in the wrong order, or not using all the numbers given, or even stealing a number from someone else's plate, this experiment did not last long.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 04-25-2020 at 09:21 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    600

    Default Emissions test: Take 47

    Around about 1973, my wife (who was VERY young at the time ;-) bought a very slightly used 1971 Camaro; a Rally Sport Coupe, lime green in color, with a 350 V-8 that placed it squarely into muscle car territory.


    And now, here we are, almost half a century later, and my wife (who is still VERY young ;-) still owns that damned car! We don't drive it much anymore, but because it's a '71, in order to keep it registered, we have to take it through emissions every year. That's every single year since she bought it (without fail)!

    There was a recent discussion about the need to drive idle cars around the block once a week, in order to keep the battery charged? When you have a car sitting idle for decades, there's a lot more to worry about than the battery, especially if you need to keep it running well enough to pass emissions. Fluids dry up and turn to sludge, seals dry out and start to leak, rubber (tires, belts, hoses) everything dries out and cracks, moisture in the gas tank turns to rust that clogs the fuel lines and the carburetor (Remember carburetors? The average mechanic under the age of 50 doesn't know the first thing about them, so good luck getting it fixed!) The point being: there are maintenance costs associated with vehicle ownership, quite apart from the wear and tear that happens when you use them for transportation and drive them every day.

    When I do take the old girl out for a spin, two or three times a month, she never fails to turn heads at the stoplights. (What the heck is that thing?) That's just before she leaves them all in the dust when the light turns green! (350 V-8 + lightweight coupe + lead foot=rocket sled!)

    Rick

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,943

    Default On the Other Hand.....

    After I had moved to New Hampshire, my mother came to visit once and as we were headed out to some venue or other, I mentioned that I had to stop and renew my car registration. The groan from the passenger seat was very audible, but I held my tongue. We drove the couple of miles from my home to town hall and went inside and sat down at the town clerk's desk. She offered us a cups of coffee or tea, filled in a few forms and handed me my new plates (same number but changed color scheme, New Hampshire alternated between green-on-white and white-on-green). That was it, maybe ten minutes tops, no hassle, no inspection, nothing. Live Free or Die.

    AZBuck

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,944

    Default

    Buck, the "PC" on Delaware plates stands for Pleasure Commercial. In most states, the plates "belong" to the vehicle owner and can be transferred to a replacement vehicle. In some states the plates "belong" to the vehicle unless they are personalized/vanity plates. 2 off the top of my head that do this are CA and MN.

  10. #10

    Default

    Didn't see one for NY, but this is for a regular car (as best as I can put together):

    $55 for registration for 2 years (The last one I could find from a few years back - may have risen a bit since and is, I believe different based on the vehicle size/weights).

    $21 for inspection yearly (includes the emissions check - the first couple years for a new vehicle
    it is only $10 for the safety portion).

    $64.50 for the driver's license, but those last for 8 years now so not that much on a yearly basis.

    In terms of buying, all I see is the regular (8%) sales tax based on where you live, not the dealer's location and a small fee for transferring an existing registration that came out to about $20 (they collect $100 and then refunded $79 and change, since it could be higher - I had already paid the next 2 years on the old car before switching so all it was was the fee to transfer).

    No other sort of tax/fee yearly as some states have mentioned.

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