Maine Vehicle Sales Tax & Fees [+Calculator]

Maine Sales Tax

Many states impose car sales tax, and in Maine, the sales tax for vehicle purchases is 5.5%

When it comes to purchasing a vehicle, you have to consider all the costs. In some cases, the state sales tax can add up to thousands of dollars to the final cost of the vehicle.

Fortunately, the car sales tax in Maine is always 5.5%, as local governments do not add any other taxes.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Maine’s vehicle sales tax so you can properly budget your next car purchase.

Key Takeaways

  • Maine imposes a flat 5.50% sales tax on the purchase price of both new and used vehicles, applicable statewide without any additional local sales tax.
  • For vehicles with a trade-in, you only pay sales tax on the price difference after subtracting the trade-in value.
  • Besides sales tax, car buyers in Maine should also consider other fees, including DMV/state fees like title and registration, and dealership fees, such as documentation fees.
  • Maine offers sales tax exemptions under certain conditions, such as vehicle transfers to entities where the seller holds significant ownership.

How Much Is the Car Sales Tax in Maine?

How Much Is Maine Sales TaxThe car sales tax in Maine is 5.50% of the purchase price of the vehicle.

This state sales tax also applies if you purchase the vehicle out of state.

In short, if the vehicle is registered in the state of Maine, then the Maine car sales tax of 5.50% will be applied.

For example, if you purchase a new vehicle in Maine for $40,000, then you will have to pay 5.50% of the purchase price as the state sales tax or $2,200.

How to Calculate Maine Sales Tax on a Car

Calculating car sales tax in Maine is simple, just add 5.5% to the car sticker price. Our tool below can ensure accurate calculations:

Maine Sales Tax Calculator

Maine's Excise Tax for Vehicles

Another critical vehicle tax to know in Maine is the Excise tax. Maine charges all vehicle owners a yearly tax called the annual excise tax.

Car owners, as well as those who own stock vehicles, mobile homes, and trailers, must pay based on the car’s age and the MSRP. Here’s a breakdown:

  • For the first year after the car's model year, the tax rate is 24 mills ($24 per $1,000 of the car's original MSRP).
  • In the second year, the rate drops to 17.5 mills ($17.50 per $1,000 of MSRP).
  • In the third year, it's 13.5 mills ($13.50 per $1,000 of MSRP).
  • In the fourth year, the rate is 10 mills ($10 per $1,000 of MSRP).
  • In the fifth and subsequent years, the rate is 6.5 mills ($6.50 per $1,000 of MSRP).

To calculate the excise tax, you multiply the car's MSRP by the appropriate mill rate based on the car's age

This tax helps fund roadway repair and construction throughout the state.

Maine Highest Tax

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

Yes, the state sales tax in Maine applies to both new and used vehicles. You must pay sales tax based on the purchase price of the vehicle.

Note that you cannot avoid sales tax with an uncharacteristically low official purchase price. If Maine’s Revenue Services suspects attempted evasion, they will determine sales tax based on the fair market value of the vehicle.

Underreporting the purchase price of a used car to avoid sales tax is against the law. Doing so may lead to a $5,000 fine.

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

All counties and cities in Maine have a flat 5.50% sales tax rate

How Are Car Trade-ins Taxed in Maine?

You only pay the tax on the difference between the value of the trade-in and the sale of the vehicle you are purchasing.

For instance, if you are purchasing a used vehicle for $20,000 and the trade-in value of your vehicle is $5,000, you will pay a 5.50% sales tax on the $15,000 difference.

Car Sales Tax for Private Sales in Maine

The 5.50% sales tax rate applies to private sales in Maine.

Tax on Rebates & Dealer Incentives

Maine Dealer IncentivesIn the state of Maine, the vehicle sales tax is calculated based on the original sticker price, regardless of incentives.

For example, a car may have an MSRP of $10,000. Dealer incentives may bring the price to $7,000. You must still pay sales tax on the $10,000 sticker price.

Maine Tax, Title, and Registration Fees

Besides the state sales tax on the vehicle's purchase price, other fees will apply. The major fees that you will have to consider are the DMV fees and the dealership fees.

Here are estimates:

Estimated Cost
Sales Tax
What the state charges on vehicle sales
Registration fee
Fee for registering the vehicle with the DMV
Title Fee
Putting the title in your name
Plate Transfer
Changing the plate ownership
Documentation fee
Dealership fees for paperwork
$140/ Average

Read our guide to learn how to transfer a car title in Maine

DMV/State Fees

The DMV/state fees can include title, registration, smog transfer, zero-emissions parking, and more. The median doc fee in Maine is $499.

Dealership Fees

The dealership fees will include documentation fees. This is the fee that the dealership applies to handle the paperwork needed to complete the sale of the vehicle.

You may be able to negotiate down some dealer fees. Read our guide on negotiating dealer fees for more information.

When Sales Tax is Exempt in Maine

Maine Tax ExemptionsIn the state of Maine, you can be exempted from sales tax if you transfer the vehicle to a corporation, trust, partnership, or limited liability partnership if the seller owns 50% or more of the common stock.

Also, sales tax is exempt to those who are not a resident of Maine. For instance, if someone from Massachusetts purchases a vehicle in Maine and intends to register the vehicle in Massachusetts, then that person will not be subject to the Maine sales tax.

Finally, the sale tax is exempt for Maine businesses who purchase the vehicle and intend to use the vehicle outside of the state.

Maine EV Rebates & Incentives

Maine provides rebates for purchases of electric vehicles (EVs). For individuals, businesses, and organizations, the rebate is $1,000 for an all-electric vehicle. In addition, qualified low-income residents can get rebates of $7,500 for a new all-electric vehicle.

Maine governmental and tribal entities can also get EV rebates. New all-electric vehicles can receive a $7,500 rebate, while new hybrid vehicles can get a $2,000 rebate.

Select Maine non-profit organizations can get EV rebates of $7,500 for new all-electric vehicles and $2,500 for new hybrid vehicles.

Learn more about the federal EV tax rebate here. 

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 cars purchased in Maine?

In Maine, new and used vehicle purchases are subject to a flat 5.50% state sales tax in all counties. This state sales tax applies to both dealer and private sales.

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

Yes. The state sales tax also applies to used car sales in the state of Maine.

Which city in Maine has the lowest tax? Which has the highest?

In the state of Maine, there is a flat 5.50% state sales tax.

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

Yes. Gifted vehicles are subject to Maine’s 5.50% state sales tax. The state will use the fair market value of the vehicle to calculate the tax.

How much is registration in Maine?

Vehicle registration is $35 for most vehicles. However, if you have a vanity plate or a special plate, the vehicle registration can range from $15 to $25.

Does a trade-in reduce sales tax in Maine?

Yes. If you have a trade-in, then the trade-in value will be subtracted from the vehicle's purchase price. So, for instance, if you have a trade-in valued at $5,000 with a vehicle sale that’s $20,000, then the taxable purchase price of the vehicle will be $15,000.

How can I avoid paying sales tax in Maine?

You can avoid paying sales tax for vehicle sales in Maine by transferring the vehicle to a business where you control more than 50% of the outstanding shares. You can also avoid paying state sales tax if you purchase the vehicle for your business and the vehicle is primarily going to be used outside of the state of Maine.