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Buying a New Car in Utah

Benjamin Hunting
by Benjamin Hunting
October 17, 2009

When looking to buy a new car in the wide open state of Utah, you can really do yourself a favor by extending your research to include the registration process and titling details that you will have to deal with post-purchase. This article outlines the fees that are associated with new car paperwork in Utah. It also talks about which parts of the state offer the best clusters of individual dealerships, which can really help you plan out the type of back to back test drives that are such an important part of the vehicle buying process.

Utah's vast expanses can make it tough for anyone not living in the Salt Lake City area to find the car that they are looking for. Despite its rural flavor, the vast majority of citizens reside in or around Salt Lake City, which makes it the best place to seek out a brand new vehicle. Provo, American Fork and Orem are all suburbs which boast a good selection of new car lots. For those in the southern part of Utah, Cedar City is a decent option, while Logan north of Salt Lake City serves the upper portion of the state.

When you pay for your car at a new car dealership in Utah, you can choose to also roll in the registration and titling fees and have the car lot's staff deliver the paperwork to the DMV for you. You will most likely be issued a temporary tag good for 45 days while you wait for your plates to come in the mail. A 'Uniform Fee' of $150.00 applies to all vehicles, and is charged on top of the registration fee itself, which is determined based on the class of the car or truck in question. Fortunately, these classes are quite broad, and as long as the automobile you purchased weighs less than 12,000 lbs it will only cost you $41.00 per year to have it registered. A number of smaller fees are also charged by the Utah Department of Motor Vehicles for first time car buyers, such as a title fee ($6.00), an automobile driver education fee ($2.50) and an uninsured motorist identification fee ($1.00).

Sales tax in Utah is charged at the rate of 4.70 percent for new vehicle purchases. However, counties are also allowed to charge their own sales and use taxes, which can raise this rate up to as much as 7 percent. All taxes are calculated based on a new car or truck's MSRP.


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