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Buying a New Car in Arizona

Benjamin Hunting
by Benjamin Hunting
August 21, 2009

Buying a new car in Arizona means one thing - making sure you get air conditioning as an option. Once you've got that detail out of the way, there are of course a few other important issues that you need to take care of. Registering, titling and paying the taxes and fees associated with a brand new vehicle can be an intimidating process if you aren't familiar with all of the necessary requirements. This article not only helps guide you along the path to getting from your down payment to sitting behind the wheel of your new car or truck, but it also points you towards some of Arizona's hot spots when it comes to new car dealerships.

There are two cities that stand out from the crowd when it comes to dealerships in Arizona: Phoenix and Tucson. This isn't much of a surprise, considering just how important each area is as an economic center for the state. Arizona's large land mass means that the population is a bit spread out when compared to other states. In turn, this concentrates most of the hot and sunny region's dealerships within the borders of its two major cities. Although Flagstaff and Prescott do feature a decent number of options for car shoppers, it makes sense to take a trip into Phoenix or Tucson in order to take advantage of the widest possible selection.

New car dealerships in Arizona will handle the title transfer paperwork for you, which means that you will only have to pay the fees that they pass on to you from the state. This helps to keep things simple when buying a brand new car. Those new to the area might be shocked by just how little it costs to register a vehicle in Arizona. Title fees are $4.00, registration fees are $8.00, and an air quality research fee tacked on to every new vehicle sale adds a whopping $1.50. With a grand total of $13.50 in fees, plus a $5.00 license plate charge, Arizona's paperwork is extremely reasonable to pay for.

Sales tax on vehicles in Arizona acts a little bit differently from other states. Called a transaction privilege tax, it is actually a fee levied against a dealership based on their total gross income for the year. Businesses are of course allowed to pass this taxation onto their buyers. The base sales tax rate is 5.6%, but depending upon which part of the state you find yourself in, you could end up paying a few percent more. You will also have a vehicle license tax levied against you at the time of registration that is calculated based on a formula using the car or truck's total value.


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