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Car Sales Tax in Louisiana

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The state of
Louisiana
charges a 4% tax on all car sales, but individual counties and cities charge their own tax, as well. Thus, the average amount of sales tax that you’ll pay when buying a car in the Bayou State is 9.519%. 
  • Louisiana charges a 4% tax on car sales, but additional taxes from individual counties and cities bring the average sales tax paid when purchasing a car in Louisiana to 9.519%
  • The highest sales tax rate, including state and local taxes, is in Sterlington at 12.95%, while the lowest is in Cameron Parish at 4.45%.
  • Car sales tax applies to all new and used vehicle purchases, but does not apply to the value of trade-ins.

Louisiana’s car sales tax rate

When considering sales tax, you have to take two entities into account: state sales tax and local sales tax. In Louisiana, the state will charge 4% in sales tax, but cities and municipalities will add to this rate with their own taxes.
Louisiana’s car sales tax laws apply to all new and used car purchases.
The highest Louisiana sales tax rate (including state and local sales tax rates) is in the city of Sterlington, set at 12.95%. The lowest sales tax rate can be found in Cameron Parish and is just 4.45%. 
The bottom line: On average, Louisiana car buyers will pay a total of 9.519% in sales tax. 
MORE: How to register a car in Louisiana

Louisiana car sales tax on trade-ins

When
trading in
an old car on a new car purchase, the dealership will offer you a credit that can be deducted from the purchase price of your new car.
Fortunately, sales tax will not be applied until after this credit is deducted. That means that your trade-in credit will not be subject to sales tax.
For example: If you want to buy a new vehicle with a $27,000 sales price in Baton Rouge, and you trade in a vehicle worth $2,500, you’ll only pay Baton Rouge’s 9.95% total state sales tax rate on the net sales price of $24,500.
Keep in mind: Manufacturer rebates or incentives at the dealership, however, cannot be deducted from the taxed value of your vehicle.

How to calculate sales tax on a car in Louisiana 

Since Louisiana state sales tax can vary by quite a bit, calculating what you can expect to owe in advance is essential.
This handy sales tax calculator
will take your purchase amount or market value and zip code into consideration to help you estimate what you’ll pay in total sales tax to the Louisiana Department of Revenue.
MORE: Car loan in Louisiana 2022

Exemptions from Louisiana car sales tax

There are no tax exemptions on vehicles purchased or transferred to Louisiana. All individuals who purchase a vehicle in or move to Louisiana and register their vehicles will be subject to car sales tax—also referred to as vehicle use tax.
Military personnel may be exempt from payment of vehicle usage tax on automobiles imported to Louisiana while on active duty. To qualify for exemption, they must provide proof that sales tax was previously paid on the vehicle in one of the 50 U.S. states.

How to estimate Louisiana tax, title, and registration fees

Sales tax isn’t the only thing that will be added to the sticker price on your new set of wheels. Other fees that drive up the price of your vehicle include
vehicle registration
fees, title fees, plate transfer fees, and documentation fees. 
This chart will help you estimate what you’ll pay at your local Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles when purchasing a new car in Louisiana:
Fee
Estimated cost
Sales tax
9.519%
Registration fee
0.1% of the vehicle’s total cost annually (minimum $20)
Title fee
$68.50
License plate transfer
$3
Documentation fee
A maximum fee of $425
MORE: Louisiana license plates
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