Hawaii Vehicle Sales Tax & Fees

Hawaii Sales Tax

Buying a new car, though undeniably exciting, comes with some hidden costs that you may not factor into your initial budget.

To help you prepare in advance for all of those extra fees and taxes, we put together this comprehensive list of all sales taxes and fees you’ll need to pay when you purchase a new car in Hawaii.

How Much Is the Car Sales Tax in Hawaii?

How Much Is Hawaii Sales TaxThe car sales tax in Hawaii is 4% of the purchase price.

Hawaii also applies a vehicle fee based on the weight of your vehicle:

  • 1.75 cents per pound for vehicles up to 4,000lbs
  • 2.00 cents per pound for vehicles that are 4,001 lbs and up to 7,000 lbs
  • 2.25 cents a pound for vehicles that are 7,001 lbs and up to 10,000 lbs
  • $300 flat rate for vehicles over 10,001 lbs

This does not include any city, county, or municipality tax, which can bring the total tax rate to 4.5%.

How to Calculate Sales Tax on a Car in Hawaii

Calculating your state sales tax on your new car in Hawaii is easy. Just follow this simple formula to find how much you will need to pay in sales tax and how much you’ll need to pay in total for that new vehicle.

Multiply the cost of the vehicle by 4% (or .04) to get the sales tax. You’ll also need to calculate the cost you’ll need to pay based on the weight of your vehicle and add that to get the total price you will need to pay.

For example, if you pay $35,000 for your new car, you’ll multiply that number by 4% to get $1,400. Add $1,400 to $35,000 to get your total purchase price of $36,400.

If the car weighs 5,000 lbs, you’ll need to multiply 5,000 x .02 to get $100, leaving the total cost of your new vehicle at $36,500.

Calculate Car Sales Tax in Hawaii Example:

  • Sale Price 1: $8,000
  • Car Weight: 5,000 lb
  • Trade-in Amount: $2,000
  • Incentives: $1,000

Sales Tax: $8,000 * .04 = $320
Excise Tax Based on Weight: 5,000 lb * .02 = $100
Total Tax: $420

Do I Have to Pay Sales Tax on a Used Car?

Yes, you do need to pay 4% sales tax on a used car in Hawaii.

Which City Has the Highest Tax? Which City Has the Lowest?

The highest tax is in Honolulu County (Oahu Island) with a 4.5% state sales tax rate on the purchase of all vehicles.

Multiple counties in Hawaii have only a 4% car sales tax.

Trade Ins Hawaii

Car Sales Tax for Trade-Ins in Hawaii

Hawaii is one of seven states that applies the tax to your new car on the price before the trade-in is deducted. In other words, do not subtract the trade-in amount when calculating the sales tax.

For example, if you’re new car is $35,000, but your trade-in is valued at $7,000, you will still have to pay 4% of $35,000.

Car Sales Tax on Private Sales in Hawaii

A private sale of a car in Hawaii is considered a “casual sale” and is not subject to sales tax.

Dealer Incentive Hawaii

Tax on Rebates & Dealer Incentives

Rebates and dealer incentives are taxable in the state of Hawaii. In other words, do not subtract any incentive amount from the car price before calculating the sales tax.

As an example, let's say you want to purchase a new truck for $25,000, and the dealer provides a $5,000 rebate. You still have to pay taxes on the full $25,000 sale price.

Other Taxes & Fees in Hawaii

Aside from the state tax on your new or pre-owned vehicle, some other fees and taxes need to be factored into the final price.

DMV/State Fees

The DMV and state fees that could be associated with the purchase of a new vehicle in Hawaii include:

  • Registration Fee: $5
  • Title Fee: $5
  • License Plate Transfer Fee: $5

The average amount of DMV fees on a car in Hawaii add up to around $108.

Dealership Fees

Dealership fees are also known as closing fees, “doc” (document), administrative, or processing fees. These are additional costs that dealerships charge for the paperwork-related tasks associated with selling vehicles to consumers.

In Hawaii, the average cost of dealership fees is $250, but there are no laws regulating how much dealerships can charge for these fees.

When Sales Tax Is Exempt in South Carolina

Hawaii Tax ExemptionsThere are just a few reasons how you could get out of paying sales tax on your vehicle in Hawaii, including:

  • Passenger cars that are owned by a veteran that has a service-connected disability rating of 100% are exempt from all vehicle registration fees.
  • Active military members are exempt from the vehicle weight tax.

Hawaii EV Rebates & Incentives

Hawaii offers some incentives to encourage more people to purchase electric vehicles in their state.

This includes a federal tax incentive of up to $7,500 as well as a possible discount on a smart charging station from Enel X for qualifying vehicles.

 

Tax information and rates are subject to change, please be sure to verify with your local DMV. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the sales tax on a car purchased in Hawaii?

The sales tax on a car purchased in Hawaii is 4% statewide, with some counties charging higher percentages.

Do I have to pay sales tax on a used car in Hawaii?

Yes, you have to pay 4% sales tax on a used car in Hawaii.

Which city in Hawaii has the lowest tax?

Most cities in Hawaii charge only the 4% car sales tax.

Which city in Hawaii has the highest tax?

Honolulu County (Oahu Island) with 4.712% state sales tax rate on the purchase of all vehicles.

Do I have to pay sales tax on a gifted car in Hawaii?

No, you do not have to pay sales tax on a gifted car in Hawaii.

How much is registration in Hawaii?

Registration in Hawaii costs $5.

Does a trade-in reduce sales tax in Hawaii?

No, a trade-in does not reduce sales tax in Hawaii.

How can I avoid paying sales tax in Hawaii?

Veterans with disabilities are exempt from all car sales taxes and fees in Hawaii.