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Buying a New Car in Minnesota

Benjamin Hunting
by Benjamin Hunting
September 19, 2009

When buying a new car or truck, most people are willing to put in the long hours reading reviews, visiting dealerships and taking test drives. By the time the decision has been made as to which vehicle to purchase, no one is particularly keen on spending even more face time with a computer trying to search out all the details surrounding registration and titling. This article is meant to act as a guide to anyone buying a new car in the state of Minnesota. It explains the steps that have to be taken before ownership can be considered legal, and also mentions which parts of the state provide the best choice of dealerships within a concentrated area - making cross-shopping simple and easy.

Minneapolis-Saint Paul is the heavy hitter when it comes to vehicle sales in Minnesota. There are more different types of car dealerships to be found within the borders of the thriving Twin Cities than anywhere else in the state. However, given that Minnesota covers a fairly serious number of acres, there are certainly alternatives to Minneapolis-Saint Paul when it comes to automotive retail. Grand Rapids, Mankato and Duluth all shine as towns where a fair number of dealerships are clustered close together.

New car dealerships in Minnesota make registering a vehicle very easy, as they will provide you with all the required forms and then collect the fees owing and take them to the nearest Driver and Vehicle Services branch for you. How much will you have to shell out as a new car buyer? There is an $8.00 title fee, combined with an $8.50 filing fee that is associated with every title transaction. A $3.50 Public Safety Vehicle Fee is also applicable, as is a transfer tax to the tune of $10.00. Plates can be bought for $4.00 for one or $6.00 per pair.

State sales tax on new cars and trucks in Minnesota is charged at the rate of 6.875 percent, a small increase over the 6.5 percent that was valid until July, 2009. A $5.00 'wheelage tax' is charged in the following counties: Scott, Carver, Anoka, Dakota and Washington. Minnesota also charges an annual tax on all registered vehicles that is based on their value and the date a vehicle was purchased. A tax table is provided on the state website describing each of the close to 100 tax brackets, but the range starts at $71.00 and tops out at $1,259.00.


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