Missouri Car Sales Tax: Review and Estimates

Missouri car sales tax is 4.23%, plus a county sales tax ranging from 2.68% to 7.69%. The combined average sales tax is 7.892% based on county and state purchases.
Written by Max Werner
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
background
Missouri
places a 4.23% sales tax on all
car purchases
. You’ll also have to pay a county sales tax ranging from 2.68% to 7.69%. The total average car sale tax in Missouri is 7.892%.
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How much is the car sales tax rate in Missouri?

Missouri has a statewide sales tax of 4.23%. In conjunction with that flat rate, you’ll also need to pay a county or local sales tax—which ranges widely.
Local sales tax is highest in St. Louis County, where the combined cost is a whopping 11.988%. Of course, car buyers will find much more competitive fees outside the city. The lowest combined rate is in Scotland County, where you’ll only be taxed 6.975% on a vehicle.
It certainly isn't one of the
advantages of buying a new car
, used car, or that old beater from your uncle’s garage for that matter, but it's all part of Missouri law.

How are car trade-ins taxed in Missouri? 

Luckily, there are ways to cut back on how much you’ll pay to the local and state government—primarily in the case of
trade-ins
When buying a car, most dealers will allow you to trade in an old vehicle to decrease the cost of a new car. You’ll only be taxed on the vehicle price in Missouri post trade-in. Sadly, the same does not apply to dealer rebates or incentives.
Why is this a good thing? Well, imagine you're in the market for a new
Toyota Tundra
, but you’ve already got an old
Toyota Highlander
collecting dust in the driveway. 
The Tundra is priced at $35,000, and Highlander is worth $17,000. Buying the Tundra upfront would require about $1,600 in sales tax—but with the Highlander credit applied, the state would only tax you $820.

How to calculate sales tax on a car in Missouri

Thanks to the Missouri Department of Revenue, calculating the vehicle tax in your area has never been easier. For an accurate statement, visit their
tax calculator website
. From there, you can enter your dealership's information to know exactly how much you’ll pay.
Key Takeaway The statewide tax in Missouri is 4.23%. Add this to your dealer's local taxes for an accurate estimate.

Exemptions from Missouri car sales tax

When buying a car legally, there are a few ways to avoid taxation. Still, you can apply for an exception under the following circumstances:
  • The tax has been previously paid
  • The title is from out of the state (likely paid there)
  • The vehicle is owned/used by a nonprofit
  • The vehicle was a
    gift
    (verified by specific forms)
  • The vehicle was bought by an
    auto insurance
    company after an accident
The list of exemptions doesn’t stop there, though. For all the exemptions and requirements, explore
Missouri Form 4298A
. You can also contact your local government if you think you’ve been wrongly taxed.

How to estimate Missouri tax, title, and registration fees

Extra fees don’t end with sales tax. You’ll need to factor the cost of titling,
vehicle registration
, and transferring a license plate into your budget. Most dealerships will charge you a small documentation fee for completing the bulk of paperwork for you.
Let’s break down the additional costs in Missouri:
Cost
Average cost
Sales tax
7.892%
Permit fee
$5
Registration fee
$24.25 to $57.25
Title fee
$8.50
Plate transfer
$2
Documentation fee
Maximum of $500
For additional questions about titling or registrations, visit the
Registration FAQ website
.
MORE: Is car insurance tax deductible?
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FAQ

Missouri sales tax is the same for all vehicles. Regardless of whether you're buying new or old, you’ll still pay a flat 4.23% rate to the state in addition to your local tax rate.
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