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Buying a New Car in Rhode Island

Benjamin Hunting
by Benjamin Hunting
October 8, 2009

Rhode Island's registration and titling process can be quite difficult to wade through for anyone who hasn't had the chance to sit down and take a look at what will be required of them by the state before they can park their new car or truck in their own driveway. This article describes the fees and steps required to make this happen. It also discusses the areas of Rhode Island which offer the greatest choice when it comes to locating new vehicle dealerships.

Geographically, Rhode Island is a very small state, which means that no matter where you live, you are most likely quite close to a city which offers a healthy assortment of car dealerships. There isn't really any one town that stands out as eclipsing any other when it comes to choice, but there are several which are on par with each other. The Providence area is a good bet for all sorts of brand new car and truck lots, while Wakefield, Warwick and Middletown also step up with excellent options.

Auto dealerships in Rhode Island are accustomed to handling the details of the registration process for their clients, and they will also collect the fees charged by the state by rolling them into the purchase price of your vehicle. Registration in Rhode Island is good for two years, and both passenger vehicles and trucks see their fees adjusted according to their weights. Cars that weigh 4,000 lbs or less cost $60.00 to register over that period, and trucks add an extra $8.00. The remaining weight brackets harmonize both car and truck registration fees: those between 4,000 lbs and 5,000 lbs fetch $80.00, and vehicles between 5,000 and 6,000 lbs cost $96.00 to register. Each additional 1,000 lbs of weight adds an extra $8.00 per year, until the 10,000 lbs to 12,000 lbs range where the fee is $212.00 for two years. A titling fee of $51.50 also applies for all vehicles.

Sales tax on new vehicles in Rhode Island is set at 7 percent, and the state's motor vehicle excise tax was recently phased out, removing it from the obligation faced by new car buyers.


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