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Massachusetts Used Car Sales Tax & Fees

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If you're buying a new or used car it is important to know the sales taxes and fees that you might have to pay. For example, Massachusetts car sales tax is 6.25%. Here are other fees to look for.

DMV or State Fees

  Car sales tax & use tax 6.25% If a car dealer or lessor sells you the car, it's a sales tax. If it's a private sale it's called a use tax. Both are 6.25%. There are some exceptions to the use tax. Visit Mass.gov for more details.
  State excise tax $25 for each $1,000 of the car’s value The vehicle’s value is a percentage of the manufacturer’s list price in the year it was manufactured. See chart below.
  Certificate of Title Transfer Fee $75  
  Add / Delete Lienholder on Title $25  
  Vehicle Registration Fee $60  
  License Renewal Sticker - Registration Renewal $60 - regular plates renewal for two years

$100 - reserve plates -  keep plate number for two years

$80 vanity plates - renewal for one year

  Motor Vehicle Annual Inspection Fee $35  
  Registration Gift Tax Transfer $25  
  Motorcycle Inspection Fee $15  

Dealership Fees

  Documentation Fees No specific limit Charged to cover administrative costs of the dealer related to the title, registration and other paperwork.These fees are neither required or prohibited by Massachusetts state law. The documentation fee must be included in the advertised price. Attempting to charge more than the advertised price is considered unfair and deceptive according to the Office of the Attorney General. Documentation fees must be itemized and disclosed in the final pricing.
  Advertising Fees Negotiable Check your invoice to see if your dealer is adding on fees related to their advertising. You may be able to negotiate these fees.


  Vehicle History Report Fees Varies by provider It's wise to get a vehicle history report when purchasing a used car. If your dealer doesn't provide one, there are plenty of companies you can use such as Carfax and AutoCheck.
  Pre-sale inspection Varies by inspection company A pre-purchase inspection is often done for used cars. The purchaser usually pays. An inspection can uncover flaws that could change your decision to buy the car.

Is there a grace period for car registration in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts has a seven-day grace period from the date you dispose of your previous car to the date you register a new car. There is no grace period if you do not currently have a registered car.

How does excise tax work in Massachusetts?

If you have a car registered in Massachusetts, you have to pay an excise tax each year. This is calculated at $25 per $1,000 of the car’s value and charged for a full calendar year. If your car hasn’t been registered for a full year, you’ll be billed for the entire month in which you registered the car, and through the rest of the year. For example, if you registered a car on June 10, you’ll be billed for June through December. Your excise tax is based on the city where you garage the car.

A car’s value is determined by the percentage of the manufacturer’s list price in the year it was manufactured. Here’s how it works.

Year you bought the vehicle Vehicle value (% of manufacturer’s list price)
Year before designated year of manufacture 50%
Year or manufacture 90%
Second year 60%
Third year 40%
Fourth year 25%
Fifth year and onwards 10%
Source: Massachusetts Department of Revenue

Updated Oct. 10, 2019

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