What are the taxes associated with registering your vehicle in Pennsylvania?

Vehicle Registration Taxes and Fees in Royersford at Tri County Toyota | Woman doing Calculation


You just purchased a new Toyota, and now it’s time to register it with the state. Or, maybe you are simply planning out all the expected costs to determine when you can finally make that big purchase. Either way, knowing what to expect financially is key to a successful car-buying experience. We understand that at Tri County Toyota, which is why we did your research for you.


So, what are the taxes and fees associated with registering your vehicle in Pennsylvania? Let’s find out.


What is Registration? 

First, let’s dig into the basics. Registering your vehicle is required by the state for identification purposes, like tracing ownership, and to show that all the taxes and fees have been paid. It goes along with titling the vehicle, which is the process that establishes a person or business as the legal owner of a vehicle. 


Typically at registration, you will receive a license plate and a registration document and/or sticker that shows the vehicle is known by the state and street legal. You must bring the proper forms of identification and pay all necessary fees to be granted your registration.


Pennsylvania Vehicle Registration Taxes & Fees

Pennsylvania sales tax is 6% of the purchase price or current market value of the vehicle (7% for Allegheny County and 8% for the City of Philadelphia). If you trade in a vehicle, only the difference between the value of the trade-in vehicle and the purchase price of the new vehicle is taxed. These taxes must be paid on the vehicle before registration is completed.


The state of Pennsylvania issues license plates and registration cards, not stickers. The regular one-year passenger vehicle registration fee is $38. If it is a truck, it will cost more depending on the weight and type. Your county of residence may also charge an additional $5 property tax on your vehicle during initial registration and on all registration renewals. 


If you want a personalized registration plate, it is an additional $82 fee. There are also various special kinds of registration plates that allow you to contribute to an organization and/or receive a specific license plate design, but it will cost an additional fee as well.

All of this information can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) website


Vehicle Registration Renewal 

Vehicle registrations must be renewed every one or two years, depending on the period you’re eligible for. This means you have to repay the applicable registration fees, including local fees, on your vehicle again once your registration expires every one or two years. 


For example, a regular passenger vehicle registered in Philadelphia, PA will have a $38 renewal fee, plus the $5 local fee. So you would pay $43 annually for registration renewal. This can be done online or through the mail.