How do I Calculate a Tax, Tag & Title in Florida?

by Keith Evans

When you buy a car in Florida, you must pay tax, tag and title fees to make the vehicle legal to drive. A number of factors can influence the final price you pay, but you can use some simple figures to calculate the amount you will likely pay.

Motor Vehicle Tax

Regardless of whether you purchase a vehicle new or used, you must pay sales tax on the full purchase price. The base tax rate for all motor vehicles, as of 2015, is 6 percent. In addition, according to the Florida Department of Revenue, some Florida counties have an additional discretionary sales surtax that applies to the first $5,000 of the purchase price.

Tip

  • You can determine whether your county has a discretionary sales surtax by visiting your county tax collector’s website. The Florida Department of Revenue also maintains a list of county sales tax rates.

Tag Fees

Tag fees in Florida are somewhat more complicated than in other states. The base rate for registering an automobile of up to 2,499 pounds is $14.50 as of 2015. You may also have to pay additional fees based on the weight and type of your vehicle and its intended use. For example, the base fee for a tag for a standard passenger car is only $14.50, but a tag for a truck weighing 2,000 to 3,000 pounds costs $22.50 and the tag for a wrecker costs $41. Other registration fees related to the tag include a variety of state statutory fees as well as registration fees, branch fees and service charges from your county tax collector.

Tip

  • Florida has more than 120 specialty license plates. If you have one of these plates, you will pay an additional registration fee for the specialty tag. If you have personalized your tag, you will also pay an additional personalization fee.

Title Fees

If you buy a new car to register in Florida as a private individual and you do not finance the purchase, you can expect to pay $79.75 in title fees. If you finance the vehicle, or if there is a lien on the title for any reason, you will pay an additional $2 for each lien. Note that these rates apply to private individuals. Slightly different rates apply to businesses, non-profits and for-hire drivers. If you elect to have your title delivered electronically -- known as a fast title -- the base rate for an original title issued to a private individual is $87.25.

Tip

  • Most people who finance a vehicle can expect to pay a total title fee of $81.25, but an array of factors can affect this cost. You can find a full schedule of Florida title fees on the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website.

Tip

  • If your car is brand new, or has never before been titled in Florida, you will also pay a “New Wheels on Road” fee of $225 in addition to the state title fee.

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About the Author

Keith Evans has been writing professionally since 1994 and now works from his office outside of Orlando. He has written for various print and online publications and wrote the book, "Appearances: The Art of Class." Evans holds a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication from Rollins College and is pursuing a Master of Business Administration in strategic leadership from Andrew Jackson University.