Wisconsin Vehicle Sales Tax & Fees [+ Calculator]

Wisconsin Car Sales Tax

If you’re excited to buy your new car in Wisconsin, we’re excited for you! Tough news though; you will need to pay 5% sales tax on it.

Things like sales tax and other fees are often forgotten about in the excitement of making a new car purchase. But in Wisconsin, you’ll need to be prepared to spend additional money on these extra costs.

Here’s what to expect when it comes to taxes and fees in Wisconsin.

How Much Is the Car Sales Tax in Wisconsin?

How Much Is Wisconsin Sales TaxThe state sales tax on a car purchase in Wisconsin is 5%. Therefore, you will be required to pay an additional 5% on top of the purchase price of the vehicle.

However, this does not include any potential local or county taxes. The average local tax rate in Wisconsin is 0.481%, which brings the total average rate to 5.481%.

As an example, if you were to purchase a new truck at a purchase price of $40,000, then you will have to pay an additional $2,000 in sales tax. That would bring the final price up to $42,000.

How to Calculate Wisconsin Sales Tax on a Car

You can calculate the sales tax in Wisconsin by multiplying the final purchase price by .05%.

For example, let’s say that you want to purchase a new car for $60,000, you would use the following formula to calculate the sales tax:

$60,000 x.05 = $3,000.

This means that your sales tax is $3,000 on a $60,000 purchase price.

Calculate Car Sales Tax in Wisconsin Example:

  • Initial Car Price: $60,000
  • Sales Tax Rate: 5%
  • Trade-In Amount: $5,000
  • Incentives/Rebates: $2,000

Sales Tax = ($60,000 - $5,000) * .05
Sales Tax = $2,750

Remember that the total amount you pay for a car (out the door price) not only includes sales tax, but also registration, and dealership fees.

Wisconsin Car Sales Tax Calculator

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

The sales tax is the same 5% on a used vehicle.

For example, if you were to purchase a used car for $30,000, then you will have to pay an additional $1,500 in sales tax.

Wisconsin Highest and Lowest TaxWhich County Has the Highest Tax? Which Has the Lowest?

Sauk county has the highest car sales tax rate at a combined total of 6.75%.

All but six counties (Bayfield, Door, Oneida, Pepin, Sauk, and Vilas) have the lowest tax rate of 5.5%.

Car Sales Tax for Trade-Ins in Wisconsin

Trade In WisconsinYou don’t have to pay sales tax on trade-ins. In other words, be sure to subtract the trade-in amount from the car price before calculating sales tax.

As an example, let’s say you are purchasing a new SUV for $50,000 and your trade-in is worth $15,000. You will subtract the trade-in value by the purchase price and get $35,000. Therefore, your car sales tax will be based on the $35,000 amount.

Car Sales Tax on Private Sales in Wisconsin

A sales tax is required on all private vehicle sales in Wisconsin.

As an example, if you purchase a truck from a private party for $20,000, then you will pay 5% of that amount to the Wisconsin DMV. That amount is $1,000.

Tax on Rebates & Dealer Incentives

Tax on Dealer Incentives WisconsinYou do have to pay tax on dealer rebates and incentives. In other words, do not subtract the incentive/rebate amount from the car price before calculating sales tax.

As an example, if you are purchasing a new car for $60,000 with a $5,000 rebate, you will pay sales tax on the full $60,000 final cost of the car.

Wisconsin DMV/State Fees

In addition to sales tax, you will have to pay associated fees to the DMV and the state.

The Wisconsin DMV charges the following fees:

  • Automobiles: $85/year
  • Special Recreational Trailer: $15/year
  • Motorcycle: $26 every two years
  • Original Title or Title Transfer: $164.50
  • Title Replacement: $20

There is also a surcharge that is added to hybrid/electric vehicles

  • Hybrid Vehicles: $75
  • Electric Vehicles: $100

Wisconsin Dealership Fees

Dealerships will charge what is known as a “Doc fee.'' This is the fee that you pay to the dealership so they can handle the title and other paperwork required by the Wisconsin DMV.

The average dealership fee in Wisconsin is about $152.

When Sales Tax Is Exempt in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Tax Exemptions

You can be exempt from the car sales tax if you are transferring ownership of the vehicle to a spouse, parent, or family member. You can also be exempt if you are a member of a native tribe.

Finally, there is no sales tax on a vehicle that is gifted to you.

Wisconsin EV Rebates & Incentives

There are currently no EV incentives in Wisconsin.

However, there is a $7,500 rebate offered by the federal government.


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 Wisconsin?

The state tax for car sales in Wisconsin is 5%. However, most counties in Wisconsin have a total tax rate of 5.5%.

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

The 5% sales tax also applies to used vehicle sales in Wisconsin.

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

You don’t have to pay sales tax on a vehicle that is gifted to you. However, to avoid paying the sales tax, you will have to fill out the gift exemption and submit it to the state DMV office.

How much is registration in Wisconsin?

The registration fees for Wisconsin are as follows:

  • Automobiles: $85 per year
  • Special recreational trailer: $15 per year
  • Motorcycle: $26 every two years

Does a trade-in reduce sales tax in Wisconsin?

Trade-ins can reduce your sales tax by reducing the taxable amount paid for the car in Wisconsin.

How can I avoid paying sales tax in Wisconsin?

You can avoid sales tax in Wisconsin if the vehicle is transferred to you by a spouse, family member, or parent, if you receive the car as a gift, or if you are a member of a native tribe.