Virginia (VA) Vehicle Sales Tax & Fees [+Calculator]

Virginia Sales Tax

Sales tax is another fee that can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Because of the potential expense of vehicle sales tax, our expert editors know that many people wonder how they can avoid paying car sales tax or if buying a car out of state can help.

Compared to some other states, Virginia has a fairly low vehicle sales tax of 4.15%.

Let’s look and learn how you can use our Virginia car sales tax calculator before you go down to purchase a car.

Key Takeaways:

  • Virginia car sales tax is 4.15%.
  • The sales tax is applied to the full purchase price of the vehicle before rebates or trade-ins are applied.
  • Many counties or cities in Virginia also charge an annual property tax for vehicles based on their value.
  • Using a VA car sales tax calculator can help you plan for the full cost of buying a vehicle.

Understanding Virginia Car Sales Tax Video

How Much Is the Car Sales Tax in Virginia?

How Much Is Virginia Sales TaxVirginia charges a 4.15% Motor Vehicle Sales and Use Tax (SUT) on the vehicle's gross sales price or $75, whichever is greater.

The actual sales tax may vary depending on the location, as some counties/cities charge additional local taxes.

In some parts of Virginia, you may pay up to 7% in car sales tax with local taxes.

However, 4.15% is the statewide sales tax.

Annual Vehicle Tax in Virginia

Vehicles in Virginia also incur annual property tax in addition to the point of purchase tax.

The annual vehicle tax is based on the value of our vehicle and your city and county. Some cities and counties do not have this tax, while many do.

Who Has to Pay Vehicle Sales Tax in Virginia?

Any car registered in the state of Virginia or to be frequently parked in the area is subjected to VA car tax.

You must register your car in your county or city within 60 days of purchase, which is an additional registration on top of your registration with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

How to Calculate Virginia Sales Tax on a Car

To determine the sales tax on a car, add the local tax rate to the statewide 4.15%. Then, multiply the car price by the rate to see what you’d pay in taxes. Keep in mind that the original price is used without rebates/incentives and trade-ins.

Calculate Car Sales Tax in Virginia Example:

  • Vehicle Price: $25,000
  • Rebates/Incentives: $2,000
  • Trade-In Value: $8,000
  • Total Cost to Buyer: $15,000
  • Price Used to Calculate Sales Tax: $25,000
  • Sales Tax: $25,000 X .0415 = $1,037.50

This example does not consider the additional local tax rate, it only uses the Virginia statewide tax rate.

Virginia Vehicle Sales Tax Calculator

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

In Virginia, you will have to pay the 4.15% sales tax even if you purchase a used vehicle.

Virginia Highest Tax

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

The Virginia local area with the highest local tax is York county which has a county tax of 2.70%. When you add the 4.15% state sales tax, you get a total sales tax of 6.85%.

In most cities and counties, there is a base local tax of 1%. When you add the 4.15% state sales tax, you get a total state sales tax of 5.15%.

Car Sales Tax for Trade-Ins in Virginia

Trade In Tax VirginiaTrading in your vehicle allows you to reduce the purchase price of a new vehicle. In Virginia, the auto sales tax is applied to the price of the vehicle before trade-in credits.

Therefore, trading in your vehicle does not reduce the taxable price of the new vehicle.

For example, consider a new vehicle that costs $15,000. You trade in your old vehicle and receive a $6,000 credit. The out-of-pocket cost for the new vehicle is $9,000 after trade-in.

In Virginia, you still have to pay sales tax on the $15,000 you paid for the vehicle before trade-in.

Car Sales Tax for Private Sales in Virginia

Private car sales are taxed in the same manner as dealer sales. For example, let’s say that you purchase a vehicle for $25,000 from a private owner. You would then multiply the purchase price amount by the state sales tax of 4.15%. This would give you a state sales tax amount of $1,037.50.

Tax on Rebates & Dealer Incentives

Dealer Incentive Tax VirginiaManufacturer rebates and dealer cash incentives are common strategies dealerships use to encourage sales. While the rebates or incentives may lower your out-of-pocket cost for the vehicle, they will not reduce the car sales tax you must pay.

Virginia auto taxes apply to the vehicle price before incentives or rebates.

If you find a vehicle for $20,000 that includes a $2,000 rebate, this lowers the price to $18,000. However, you will have to pay sales tax for the $20,000 full price of the vehicle.

Other Taxes & Fees for Virginia

DMV/State Fees

  • Plate fees: $2
  • Vehicle Registration (4,000 pounds or less): $30.75
  • Vehicle Registration (4,001 pounds of more): $35.75
  • Electric Vehicle: $109.00
  • Pick-up Truck (4,001 pounds to 6,500 pounds): $35.75
  • Pick-up Truck (6,501 pounds to 10,000 pounds): $44.75
  • Permanent Trailer Registration (0 to 1,500 pounds): $70.00
  • Permanent Trailer Registration (1,501 to 4,000 pounds): $75.00
  • Permanent Trailer Registration (4,001 pounds or more): $105.00
  • Trailer Registration (0 to 1,500 pounds): $18.00
  • Trailer Registration (1,501 to 4,000 pounds): $25.50
  • Trailer Registration (4,001 pounds or more): $40.00
  • Original Title: $15.00

Dealership Fees

Dealer fees can vary by each individual dealership. However, the average doc fee is about $470. In addition to dealership fees, there may be some other fees that you will have to pay:

  • Processing Fee: Some dealerships may charge a processing fee. However, Virginia does not require any dealership to charge a processing fee to buyers.
  • Advertising Fee: Dealers will try to charge an advertising fee. This is the fee to market the vehicle. However, you should be able to negotiate that down.
  • Destination Fee: The destination fee is the charge to have the vehicle transported to the dealership. You may be able to negotiate this fee away.

When Sales Tax is Exempt in Virginia

Virginia Tax Exemptions

Virginia offers exemptions for vehicle tax for certain situations including:

  • Churches
  • Government vehicles
  • Off-road motorcycles
  • Moped
  • ATVs
  • Senior citizens over the age of 65
  • Active duty military members (including the United States Armed Forces and the Virginia National Guard)
  • Gifted vehicles.

Virginia EV Rebates & Incentives

There aren't many options for EV incentives in Virginia, so we recommend checking out the available Federal tax credit.

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


Before buying a vehicle in any state, it’s important to learn the sales tax and additional fees. In Virginia, state-wide sales tax is 4.15%, which is very low compared to other states.

However, you must also pay an annual property tax on the vehicle based on its value and your local county/city rates.

For a clearer picture of your vehicle costs, use our Virginia Vehicle Sales tax calculator above!

Looking for the car sales tax in another state? Check out our comprehensive guide on car sales tax in each state!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the sales tax on cars purchased in Virginia?

The sale tax on cars purchased in Virginia is 4.15%. For example, if you purchase a new vehicle for $50,000, then you would multiply that purchase price by .0415 and get a sales tax amount of $2,075.

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

Yes. You will have to pay a state sales tax on used vehicle purchases.

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

Many cities and countries have a flat 1% local tax. The area with the highest local tax in Virginia is York County, with a 2.70% local sales tax.

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

Gifted cars are exempt from paying state sales tax in Virginia. However, the gift recipient needs to complete and submit the Purchaser's Statement of Tax Exemption.

How much is registration in Virginia?

Vehicle registration in Virginia ranges from $30.75 to $35.75. Electric vehicle registration is $109, and pickup truck registration ranges from $35.75 to $44.75.

Does a trade-in reduce sales tax in Virginia?

No. A trade-in reduces the purchase price but does reduce the taxable amount. For example, a $25,000 car with a $5,000 trade-in is still taxed at the full $25,000 price.

How can I avoid paying sales tax in Virginia?

You can avoid paying sales tax in vehicle sales in Virginia by purchasing a vehicle out of state, being a disabled veteran of the Armed Forces or Virginia State Guard. Also, if you are gifted a vehicle, you are exempt from state sales tax.