California Tax, Tag, and Title Fees
In addition to your monthly payments on your car loan, there are some other costs you’ll need to consider when buying a vehicle in California.
Some of these costs are one-time fees, while others need to be paid annually to keep your car legal to drive.
The main fees to consider when buying a new or used car in California include:
- Title fees.
- Sales and use tax.
- License plate and registration fees.
- Smog inspections, safety inspections, and VIN verifications, if applicable.
Refer to the table below for a list of California DMV fees that may apply when you finance a vehicle.
|California Tax, Tag, and Title Fees||Estimated Cost*|
|Dealer Documentation Fees||up to $80|
|Registration Fee**||$60 – $220+ Based on vehicle type, age, and weight plus other fees|
|License Plate Fees||$23|
|Vehicle License Tax/Personal Property Tax||.65% of vehicle value|
|Emissions & Air Quality Fees||$8|
*Fees listed are estimates for informational purposes. Other fees may also apply. Tax, tag, title and other fees are subject to change and may vary by the county you live in and the type of vehicle you are registering. Be sure to check with the California DMV for the most accurate fees.
**California registration fees may vary based on the vehicle type and weight, the county where the vehicle is registered, special license plates, and other fees. Not all fees are shown in the table above. Other fees categories such as Emissions fees, Highway Patrol, transportation, EV, and other miscellaneous fees may be included in the Registration Fee cost or may be billed separately. Check with the California DMV for details.
Looking for more information about buying, selling, and registering a car in California, check out some more of our free guides here:
- Buying a car in California.
- Selling a car in California.
- California Bill of Sale requirements.
- Get new California license plates.
For the most up-to-date fees and other information, be sure to visit the official California Department of Motor Vehicles website: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/
California Car Insurance Cost
Additionally, you’ll need to think about how much your car insurance premiums will cost when you finance a vehicle in California.
While you’ll always need to carry a policy that meets the minimum amount of liability coverage, most auto lenders will also require that you have a full coverage policy on the vehicle for the duration of the loan.
A full coverage policy typically includes:
- Liability coverage.
- Comprehensive coverage.
- Collision coverage.
It can also be a smart idea to carry GAP insurance or Total Loss coverage.
These additional coverages will better protect you financially if your car gets damaged or stolen, but they will increase the price of your premiums.
On average, the annual cost of a full coverage policy in California is about $2,070, or $173 per month.
Note that this number is only an estimate.
California car insurance rates will vary depending on a variety of factors including:
- Your age.
- Your driving history.
- The type of vehicle you drive.
- How you drive.
- Where you live and store the vehicle.
- Your credit score.
- Other demographics.
Be sure to compare quotes from a few different providers when you need a new California auto insurance policy. This will ensure you get the coverage you need at the lowest price.
Car Payment Calculator for CA
Use the car loan calculator to estimate your monthly payments in California.
Enter the price of the vehicle, your down payment, any trade-ins you may have, and the loan details to get an estimated cost.
You can make adjustments to the loan term and interest rate to see what type of financing terms will work best for your budget.
Figuring out what your monthly payment on a car will be is a great way to start shopping for another vehicle. Small adjustments to the numbers above can have a significant impact on the interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan.
Be sure to select financing that matches your needs and your budget.
The estimated monthly payment above is for informational purposes only and does not include taxes, tag, and title fees or insurance premiums.
How To Calculate Your Monthly Car Payment
In order to calculate your estimated monthly car payment, you’ll need to know a few basic numbers, including:
- The total loan amount (the price of the car minus your down payment and any trade-ins or incentives).
- The APR (annual percentage rate) or interest rate. (i.e. the cost of borrowing)
- The loan term (how many months you will be repaying the loan over).
Those numbers will give you the total principal and interest for the car loan, which you’ll then divide by the length to get your estimated monthly payments.
You can play around with numbers in the calculator above to figure out what sort of financing will make the most sense for your budget.
We’ll break down each of the fields in the calculator above so you can better understand what goes into your monthly payment calculation.
|California Car Loan Variables||Description|
|Purchase price of the car||Final sale price of the vehicle.|
|Down payment||The cash you’ll put down to pay up front.|
|Trade-in value||The cash value of a trade-in vehicle you have to sell to a dealership.|
|Interest Rate||The APR of the loan. Rates offered can vary based on a variety of factors.|
|Loan Term||The length, in months, of the loan. This describes the number of monthly payments you’ll be making until the loan is paid off.|
Other fees to consider when financing a car:
|Dealership and Document Fees||Dealerships will charge extra fees for document preparation and signing. These are generally one-time fees when making the purchase.|
|State and Local Taxes||State and local sales/use taxes typically apply when buying a car. Annual taxes may also apply when you renew your registration.|
|California License Plate and Title Fees||Tag and title fees are paid to the California DMV in order to register the vehicle in your name. These are renewed annually in most states.|
|Insurance premiums||Finally, you’ll need to consider the cost to insure the car. Many lenders will require you to maintain full coverage (comprehensive and collision) for the duration of the loan term.|
Whether you’re buying or selling a car, VINvaquero.com has the free tools and resources to help get your started. Check them out below!