Car Sales Tax in New York (and Calculator)

The average combined state and county sales tax on car purchases in New York is 7.915%. Learn about car sales tax in NY and calculate your sales tax here.
Written by R.E. Fulton
A state tax rate of 4% applies to all car sales in
New York
, but your total tax rate will depend on county and local taxes, which can be up to 4.5%. The average total car sales tax in New York is 7.915%.
If you’re shopping for cars, you’re probably focused on that big sticker price—but it’s important to keep additional costs in mind. One of the most important additional costs in car purchases is sales tax, but it varies depending on where you buy your car.
New York has some of the highest car sales tax rates in the country, but to know how much you’ll actually pay, you need to pin down the exact rate in your corner of the Empire State. Luckily,
car insurance
super app
has compiled a guide to car sales tax in New York. Let’s take a closer look at the numbers. 
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How much is the car sales tax rate in New York?

New York’s statewide sales tax is 4%. That rate applies to all car purchases, whether you’re buying new or used. However, you’ll also need to pay county or local sales tax on top of that base 4%. 
The highest sales tax rate for car purchases is—unsurprisingly—in
New York City
, where car buyers are subject to an 8.88% sales tax. But if you’re outside the Big Apple, you can expect to pay a lower rate, averaging around 7.915%. The New York counties with the lowest sales tax are Saratoga, Warren, and Washington Counties, all with a combined sales tax rate of 7%

How are car trade-ins taxed in New York? 

But what, exactly, does sales tax apply to in New York? When you buy a car, most dealers will allow you to
trade in an old vehicle
and apply the credit to your new car purchase. In New York state, car sales tax doesn’t apply to trade-in value, which saves you money. 
Let’s say you’re buying a
Honda CR-V
worth $27,000 in
, and you’re trading in your old
Toyota Avalon
for a $2,500 credit. You’ll only have to pay St. Lawrence County’s 8% combined state and local sales tax on $24,500 of the purchase. 
However, be aware that dealer rebates and incentives won’t be exempt from sales tax—that is, the taxable price of your vehicle is the price before dealer incentives. If you’re getting a rebate, you’ll still pay sales tax as though you were paying full price for the car. 

How to calculate sales tax on a car in New York

Calculating the total car sales tax in your area is easy, thanks to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. Their
online tax calculator tool
can help you estimate the sales tax rate that will apply to your car purchase based on the dealership’s address. 
Key Takeaway Combine the statewide sales tax of 4% with your local or county sales tax to get the total car sales tax in your area. 

Exemptions from New York car sales tax

In general, all car purchases in New York State are subject to sales tax—but there are a few cases where you can apply for an exemption. You can fill out the New York DMV’s
Form DTF-803
for a car sales tax exemption if: 
  • You were not a resident of New York State at the time of the purchase
  • You acquired (but didn’t buy) the vehicle from an estate settlement 
  • You are an active-duty military member and purchased the vehicle while out of state 
  • The vehicle will be primarily used in farm work
To find out whether you’re eligible for an exemption and for detailed instructions on car sales tax, check out
the DMV website
MORE: Car inspection in New York

How to estimate New York tax, title, and registration fees

Sales tax isn’t the only additional cost you’ll need to keep in mind when buying a car in New York. You’ll also need to factor in title and registration fees, along with the cost to transfer your license plates and the documentation fee charged by most dealerships. 
Here’s how all the additional costs associated with car purchases in New York break down:
Average cost
Sales tax
Registration fee
$32.50 to $140
Title fee
Plate transfer
Documentation fee
You can calculate your exact registration fee using the DMV’s
online calculator.
MORE: Is car insurance tax deductible?

How to find affordable car insurance in New York

Once you’ve processed all the other payments and fees, there’s still one major expense left: purchasing
New York State car insurance
for your new ride! New York is notorious for high car insurance rates, but you can find the lowest rates using the
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The sales tax for used cars in New York is the same as for new vehicle purchases—a statewide base rate of 4% plus your local or county tax rate. 
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