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Old 06-01-2010, 03:18 PM
433 posts, read 1,506,290 times
Reputation: 167


I am buying a car out of state. I tried to have it delivered here to Huntsville but none of the dealers here, Florence, Decatur, Birmingham could figure out how to do it so I have to go pick it up. Thanks Honda! Nice doing business with you.

I cannot find tax info for the car. The dealer in FL is saying I will pay tax there but everywhere else on the web it says you pay the tax where you register the car. A few said that you can take the papers from the dealer showing you paid them tax and if it is more here you will pay the difference.

Anyone know what is correct? I also need to know what the tax rate is. Am I paying state, county and city plus a use tax? No Alabama website has this info spelled out.
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Old 06-01-2010, 04:01 PM
Location: Madison, AL
3,226 posts, read 4,501,917 times
Reputation: 2515
I do think you will have to pay sales tax in Florida, which is much higher that Alabama's tax rate on vehicles (at least it was last time we bought a car in Florida in 2006).
You will have to pay ad valorem taxes here in Alabama as well, when you register the car. When we were looking at buying a car out of Georgia, we would have essentially been double taxed..there and here.
My dad just bought a car from Toyota and his local dealer in Gadsden had it transferred from Louisiana, and then he purchased it there. He told them exactly what he wanted, they found it, and got it to him. Seems like Honda could do that as well.
Come to think of it, when we bought our Honda in 2006, they brought it in from another state (Texas I think?) as they did not have the color/model/features that we wanted on the lot, but could get it from that dealership. Took about two weeks to get it.
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Old 06-01-2010, 04:19 PM
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,225 posts, read 48,997,062 times
Reputation: 25693
Dunno if there are special rules for cars, but for straight sales tax in Florida, the tax on similar purchases is very specifically paid based on the county of the purchaser. For instance, since I have a Florida sales tax certificate, if I sell a product to a company in one of the counties in that state that has a county sales tax, I have to add that sales tax to the amount that I charge. At the same time, even if my business is in Florida, if I sell out of state, I DO NOT charge Florida sales tax. Having to do so would be a clear violation of the commerce section of the U.S. Constitution, which is why that is NEVER done by retail - except when there is a walk-in customer from out of state.

In short, do NOT go to FL and pick the car up yourself if you want to avoid FL sales tax. Have the title transferred either to a local Honda dealer or even a used car place within AL, and then "buy" from them.

FWIW, Florida got in trouble a few years back for charging taxes on cars that people moving to the state were bringing in. I forget the details, but a lot of people got their money back.
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Old 06-01-2010, 04:54 PM
268 posts, read 516,513 times
Reputation: 131
You pay the tax where you live. The Florida dealer should not collect sales tax, and then you have to pay tax here when you register the car.

I just did the same thing last year, buying the car in Georgia and then registering here.

The tax you pay is not the same as retail sales tax - for Huntsville it was 4%.

If the Florida dealer doesn't want to play by the rules I would buy from someone else.

Here is the relevant part of Madison County web site:

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Old 06-02-2010, 06:38 AM
433 posts, read 1,506,290 times
Reputation: 167
He is telling me I will pay in FL because AL and FL are reciprocal states. He is charging 7% which is equal to the county and city taxes here.

I am buying from him because the deal I am getting is crazy. I couldn't get a used car for what I am paying for a new car.

None of the Honda dealers here in N. AL would help or cooperate so I have no choice but to go there and pick up the car.

Decatur wants to see the vin # because they can't believe that this car is a 2011 for the price I am getting. They couldn't even come close to that price.
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:24 AM
433 posts, read 1,506,290 times
Reputation: 167
Being a reciprocal state I will get credit here for the tax I pay there.

Can't find out what the exact tax here would be.

Do I pay state, county, city and use tax?

Really hate the ADOR website.
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:50 AM
Location: Madison, AL
3,226 posts, read 4,501,917 times
Reputation: 2515
But, in AL, we have a different sales tax % on vehicles (unless something has recently changed). It used to be 2% versus the 6% (local sales tax) we paid in Florida. But, we also pay the property taxes every year on vehicles, where in Florida we did not. It costs me over $500 a year to renew every year, in Florida both my cars were less than $100 a year. But, even if you are paying more tax you may still come out much better on the deal you are getting on your car.
North AL car dealers like their cars WAY too much. I saved over $10k in Bham on the exact same vehicle here, same down to the color.
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Old 06-02-2010, 08:12 AM
Location: Alabama!
5,763 posts, read 15,129,414 times
Reputation: 4152
If you're happy with the deal, then go for it.
But Alabama vehicle sales tax is done differently from the retail sales tax, and at different rates.
I agree, ADOR's Web site is frustrating, but call them. I've had to do that a couple of times with our business, and they have (so far) been gracious, helpful, and fast.
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Old 06-02-2010, 06:48 PM
144 posts, read 366,252 times
Reputation: 70
OP this is so frustrating. I know exactly what you're going through. I had to do the same for my Mazdaspeed and my wife's CX9, which I just got in March, shopping in Atlanta, Nashville, and NC, because the dealers here would not simply budge or make a deal under MSRP or even try and find us the trim and color we wanted. I was close to signing the papers with a dealer in Nashville and we would have had to pay the sales tax for that state and county but our tags would would be done here in Huntsville, which they can arrange or we could have done ourselves. We end up having a dealer in Albertville offering us the exact same car for $2k less at the last minute, so we bought from them, which I'm glad since we did since we'd be helping out a small local dealer and keeping the money in Alabama's economy.

Now I'm going through the same thing again trying to buy a Mitsubishi Evolution. The dealer here wants MSRP up front, cash, and they would have to order it, taking anywhere from 3-4 months to get it. I found a dealer in California (South Coast Mitsubishi) that has anywhere from 70-100 of them on the lot at all times, and offered me $5k under invoice without hesitation. I pay their sales tax but my tag fee. Shipping is $900. Now I'm stuck deciding which exact options I want and color as they have every single configuration you can imagine.
I went through the same thing
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