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Buying a New Car in Louisiana

Benjamin Hunting
by Benjamin Hunting
September 12, 2009

Louisiana's rich cultural heritage and status as a home to many important seaports have helped to make it a unique area in terms of government, population and urban environments. When buying a new car in Louisiana, those who are unfamiliar with how the state handles the registration and titling process can be at a real disadvantage. This article outlines the details surrounding the paperwork associated with purchasing a new vehicle so that there won't be any mistakes made when the time comes to drive off the lot. It also provides you with a list of the best spots in the state for finding a good number of car dealerships within easy traveling distance of each other, to allow you to compare and contrast cars and trucks from different brands.

Baton Rouge is the state capital and the best bet for finding the widest range of different new car lots. New Orleans is also obviously a solid choice, especially neighborhoods like Metairie, but the western part of Louisiana is also fairly well served by Lafayette and a number of other, smaller cities such as New Iberia. Louisiana is not as population-dense as some other states, which means that driving into big cities is the best way to find a number of different car buying options in one spot.

Louisiana car dealers routinely handle the paperwork associated with registering and titling your new car or truck, but you will still be responsible for compensating them for each of the fees associated with your purchase. License plate fees are determined by the value of the vehicle in question, with the rate charged coming out to 0.1 percent of the car or truck's assessment. The minimum fee is $10.00, and all plates are paid for 2 years at a time. A title fee of $18.50 also applies to each new vehicle.

Louisiana's 4 percent sales tax is charged to you at the time of purchase. Baton Rouge also adds an additional 2 percent city tax. You are also responsible for paying a tax to the parish (county) where you register the car, ranging from 1.85 to 5 percent. These taxes are based on the vehicle's MSRP.


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