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Missouri Sales Tax On Cars: Quick And Simple Guide with Clement Group Dealership Experts

Missouri Sales Tax On Cars: Quick And Simple Guide with Clement Group Dealership Experts

Sales tax on cars in Missouri explained by specialists from Clement Pre-Owned, MO

The Clement Pre-Owned financial consultants collected this tax review to arm you with the knowledge to navigate the car tax legislation while purchasing a vehicle in Missouri.

What are Missouri's car buying tax laws?

  1. The state imposes a 4.225% sales tax on all car purchases, and there might be an extra local tax of up to 4.5%. However, the highest tax applied to any vehicle purchase is $725.
  2. In addition to sales tax, while buying a car, you will face other fees, including registration, title, and license plate.

How does Missouri's sales tax compare to other states?

Missouri's 4.225% sales tax is relatively moderate compared to other US states feez. For example, Indiana and Tennessee states impose a 7% sales tax on the car's total price during registration, and Texas – 6,25%. On the higher end, Nevada leads with a rate of 8.25%. In contrast, some states have lower sales tax rates, such as Alabama with 2.00% and Colorado with 2.9%.

How is the Missouri vehicle sales tax calculated?

In Missouri, you pay a tax of 4.225% on the actual sales price of your car or truck. If you traded in your old vehicle when buying a new one, you could subtract its value from the car  price to calculate the taxable amount. For example, if your car costs $35,000, and your trade-in was worth $5,000, you'll be taxed on 4.225% of $30,000, which equals $1,267.50 in sales tax.

How to register a car in Missouri?

When registering a car in Missouri, the whole process, including vehicle inspections, occurs at a local MO DMV licensing office. 

Here are the steps you need to follow to register a vehicle:

1. Ensure you have your driver's license and insurance prepared and on hand.

2. Schedule an appointment at a MO DMV office.

3. Provide your identification and residency.

4. Show proof of vehicle ownership, which can be in the form of a completed title certificate, a Manufacturer's Statement of Origin, or a notarized Notice of Lien, Lien Release, or Authorization to Add/Remove Name from Title (DOR-4809);

5. Fill out the Application for Missouri Title and License.

6. You may need to provide additional inspections or disclosures, such as an odometer reading (if the vehicle is under 10 years old and weighs less than 16,000lbs), emissions and safety inspections, or a VIN inspection for out-of-state vehicles.

7. Show proof of Missouri car insurance.

8. Finally, pay the required registration fees.

Latest official information about car registration in Missouri

Registration fees and taxes

In Missouri state, the cost of registering a car varies based on its taxable horsepower. Here are the typical fees:

  • Passenger vehicles: $18.25 - $51.25 for a 1-year registration.
  • 1-Year processing fee: $3.50.
  • Commercial vehicles: $15.75 - $100.75 for a 1-year registration.
  • Motorcycles: $8.75 - $10.25 for a 1-year registration.

Financing Missouri car sales tax

Many auto dealerships, including Clement Pre-Owned, allow you to finance your vehicle sales tax. If you opt for a traditional loan, remember to calculate the final amount you owe, including the sales tax.

Collecting Missouri vehicle sales tax at the time of purchase

Since summer 2021, the Missouri vehicle sales tax is due at the time of purchase, right at the dealership. You no longer need to apply for title and registration separately at the Missouri Department of Revenue. Our dealership's team will guide the whole process for you.

Missouri sales tax for out-of-state purchases

Missouri residents must pay sales tax when obtaining a title, regardless of where the vehicle was purchased. The tax rules are more complex if you bought the car while living outside Missouri state and have become a new resident. If you bought your car or truck within 90 days of moving to Missouri, you are required to pay Missouri tax. However, if you purchased the vehicle earlier than this timeframe, you must pay the difference between the sales tax you paid in your previous home state and the sales tax rate in Missouri.

You might be eligible for a refund if you pay more sales tax than required when getting a title in Missouri. If you bought the vehicle within 90 days of moving to Missouri and overpaid on sales tax, you can apply for a refund for the excess amount. But if you purchased the car more than 90 days before moving to Missouri, you won't receive a refund for any overpayment made in your previous state.

Do I have to pay sales tax when buying from a dealer?

Yes, you'll need to pay sales tax, but the dealer can include the title fees and taxes in the overall amount you're required to pay for the car and handle the title work on your behalf.

To talk to our experts, join the live chat on the right bottom corner of any page.

Tax exemption for gifted vehicles

You won't have to pay taxes if you receive a car as a gift.

Tax breaks for electric or hybrid vehicles

While tax breaks apply to electric vehicles, they usually come in the form of credits during annual tax filings, not direct discounts at the time of purchase.

Show all used electric and hybrid cars for sale 

Tax benefits for selling your car in Missouri

If you sell your vehicle for less than the original buying price, you can report the difference as a capital loss on your personal taxes. Additionally, any cash you make from the sale doesn't have to be reported.

Consistent taxation for new and used cars

The Missouri sales tax applies equally to both new and used vehicles, whether bought from a dealership or through a private transaction.

Tax on Vehicle Trade-Ins

When trading in a vehicle, you must pay taxes on the value of the car or truck minus the original trade-in value.

Come to Clement Pre-Owned, your go-to dealership in Missouri for professional advice about taxes, paperwork, financial and trade-in terms, and any other nuances related to car bargain. Are you in a hurry? Get in touch online, and have all the answers at hand in minutes.