Calculating Tax, Title & License on a New Car in Texas

The local fees and application fees for a title application in Texas vary by county.
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If you've just purchased a new car in Texas, set aside some funds for initial fees. Texas residents must pay registration fees, any vehicle sales tax due and sometimes additional local fees when applying for a Texas title. Vehicle sales tax is generally a factor of the car purchase price, while registration fees are fixed depending on vehicle type and weight.


Sales Tax

According to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, car owners must pay a motor vehicle tax of 6.25 percent. To calculate the sales tax on a vehicle purchased from a dealership, multiply the vehicle purchase price by 6.25 percent (0.0625). For example, if you purchased a car with a sales price of $16,000, the tax on the vehicle is 16,000 multiplied by 6.25 percent, or $1,000. If the owner purchases a new vehicle from an individual, the owner should use the highest of 80 percent of the certified appraised value of the vehicle or the purchase price, or the vehicle's standard presumptive value. The standard presumptive value is the average used vehicle price based on Texas sales data .


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Annual Registration

Car buyers must pay the car's first registration along with the title application and annually thereafter. As of 2014, Texas residents had to pay an annual registration fee of $50.75 on passenger vehicles and trucks. Motorcycles and mopeds cost $30 annually to register. Residents must pay annual registration of $45 on trailers weighing 6,000 pounds or less and $54 on vehicles between 6,000 and 10,000 pounds.


Local Fees

Texas residents in certain counties must pay local county fees along with sales tax and registration. Local fees are due with registration and vary, with a maximum of $13.50 annually, as of 2014. In addition to local fees, some counties also charge a fee for processing your title application, which is required to transfer ownership of the vehicle. Your County Tax Assessor-Collector's website should list the fees for your jurisdiction.


Late Fees

If you don't square out your fees and pay them on time, you'll get hit with extra penalties. Owners whose sales tax payment is between one and 30 days late must pay an extra 5 percent of sales tax as a late penalty. Owners who pay more than 30 days late must pay an additional 10 percent of the original sales tax bill. Buyers in certain counties must pay late transfer penalties if they wait more than 30 days after the sales date to transfer the title.