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Old 06-04-2011, 01:15 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
166 posts, read 395,251 times
Reputation: 179

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I currently live outside NC and I'm in the process of purchasing a home in Cary.

I'm trying to wrap my brain around the various fees and taxes involved in owning a car in Cary NC. The NCDOT website is close to useless because they don't distinguish between annual fees/taxes and one-time fees/taxes.


This is what I've identified so far, please correct me if I'm wrong or overlooking anything...


Vehicle insurance - cost varies depending on coverage chosen, type and value of car, driving record, sex, age, marital status, commuting distance, credit score, etc...

Driver's license - good for 8 years, but you pay annually ($4 a year?)

Vehicle license plates (tags) - annual fee - $15 (for "normal" plates)

Vehicle registration - annual fee (no idea what this costs)

Property tax on vehicle - annual tax - based on current "retail" value of car

Highway Use Tax (purchase a car in NC) - one-time tax (3% of sale price)
-OR-
Highway Use Tax (move into NC with car) - one-time tax (not sure how this is calculated)
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Old 06-04-2011, 02:08 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
3,768 posts, read 5,057,474 times
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You've mostly got it, but here are a few notes:

- Drivers license is all billed upfront, so $32. They just list it as annual rate because there are some circumstances where a license wouldn't be valid for the full 8 years.

- Annual registration was $33 for each of my two cars that just renewed this week. Annual inspections/emissions testing are also required for registration for most cars. The max allowable fee for that is $30, and that's where most shops are priced.

- Property tax is applied on the basis of what the state determines your vehicle could be purchased for from a dealer. Tax is the standard 0.864% in Cary, so our 10-year-old cars come in around $40-50 each on a value in the neighborhood of $6000. The flat "decal" tag fee of $15 in Cary is also added on to this bill.

- One-time Highway use tax for cars brought into the state is I believe billed at the same 3% as for a car purchased here, but there is a cap of I believe $150 for each imported car.
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Old 06-04-2011, 02:53 AM
 
1,083 posts, read 2,103,399 times
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Yeah, guess it isn't so cheap to live here.
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Old 06-04-2011, 07:28 AM
 
9,680 posts, read 25,838,002 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCOriolesfan View Post
Yeah, guess it isn't so cheap to live here.
I wonder why so many think so.

Homes, property tax, and rents are where you save.
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
166 posts, read 395,251 times
Reputation: 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by SFspiderman View Post

- Annual registration was $33 for each of my two cars that just renewed this week. Annual inspections/emissions testing are also required for registration for most cars. The max allowable fee for that is $30, and that's where most shops are priced.
Where on the NCDOT site does it tell you how much registration costs? I can't find it. Are there different prices based on the type of vehicle (car vs truck) or based on the vehicle age?

They seem to lump in Title and Registration together like they are somehow related. Getting a Title on your vehicle is a one-time thing when a vehicle changes hands. Registration happens every year, at least in every other state I've lived in.


According to the NCDOT site, there are two inspections...

On-Board Diagnostic Emissions Inspection - $30.00
Safety Inspection - $13.60

...Is this correct?


Upon further inspection, I don't understand how the plate "decal" thing works. Is that really a separate $15 charge for the sticker, or do you get a new sticker "free" when you pay your annual registration?

Thanks for your help.

Last edited by wkrick; 06-04-2011 at 09:38 AM..
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:26 AM
 
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
21,276 posts, read 32,233,440 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCOriolesfan View Post
Yeah, guess it isn't so cheap to live here.
Cost me about $200 every 2 years to register my cars in NY.

Each car insured has a $10 "Vehicle enforcement fee" tacked on which nobody can figure out what that even means or where the money goes.

You don't pay tax on a car when you buy it here - you pay it every year based on the value of the car, which works out better as far as I'm concerned.

Yearly inspection cost is about the same in NY, IIRC.

Works for me.
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
459 posts, read 710,002 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkrick View Post
Where on the NCDOT site does it tell you how much registration costs? I can't find it. Are there different prices based on the type of vehicle (car vs truck) or based on the vehicle age?

They seem to lump in Title and Registration together like they are somehow related. Getting a Title on your vehicle is a one-time thing when a vehicle changes hands. Registration happens every year, at least in every other state I've lived in.


According to the NCDOT site, there are two inspections...

On-Board Diagnostic Emissions Inspection - $30.00
Safety Inspection - $13.60

...Is this correct?

Thanks for your help.
The Emissions inspections includes the safety inspection. Older cars don't need the emissions, only safety. I'm not sure how old the car has to be, but our 1995 Mustang costs us $13.60 to be inspected, while our 2006 Chrysler costs $30.
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
39,418 posts, read 68,369,782 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GatorinCary View Post
The Emissions inspections includes the safety inspection. Older cars don't need the emissions, only safety. I'm not sure how old the car has to be, but our 1995 Mustang costs us $13.60 to be inspected, while our 2006 Chrysler costs $30.
I think when the car is 20 years old the requirement for emissions testing is removed.
I had a soot and smog-belching 1987 MB Diesel and emissions testing was not required in 2007.
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Old 06-04-2011, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
3,768 posts, read 5,057,474 times
Reputation: 4070
Quote:
Originally Posted by wkrick View Post
Where on the NCDOT site does it tell you how much registration costs? I can't find it. Are there different prices based on the type of vehicle (car vs truck) or based on the vehicle age?
Good question...I can't figure out their site. All I know is that I've got a '99 Corolla and a '00 Mountaineer, and I pay $33 per year for registration on each of them.

Quote:
According to the NCDOT site, there are two inspections...

On-Board Diagnostic Emissions Inspection - $30.00
Safety Inspection - $13.60

...Is this correct?
As noted by others, it's one or the other depending on what your car needs.

Quote:
Upon further inspection, I don't understand how the plate "decal" thing works. Is that really a separate $15 charge for the sticker, or do you get a new sticker "free" when you pay your annual registration?
There's no actual sticker provided for either registration or the municipal "decal" fee. Registration is handled electronically, and the decal fee is simply a tax surcharge that varies by municipality. Most cities and towns in Wake County charge $5-$15 for the fee, although Raleigh now charges $30.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GatorinCary View Post
The Emissions inspections includes the safety inspection. Older cars don't need the emissions, only safety. I'm not sure how old the car has to be, but our 1995 Mustang costs us $13.60 to be inspected, while our 2006 Chrysler costs $30.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
I think when the car is 20 years old the requirement for emissions testing is removed.
I had a soot and smog-belching 1987 MB Diesel and emissions testing was not required in 2007.
Emissions testing is only required for 1995 and newer cars. On top of that, cars 35 years and older are exempt from both inspection and emissions testing.
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Old 06-04-2011, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
166 posts, read 395,251 times
Reputation: 179
I think I might have figured out where the $33 comes from.

On the Vehicle Fees page...
NCDOT: DMV Fees
...under the section titled "License Plates" in the fee schedule...

Plate Fee, Private Passenger Vehicles $28.00
Plate Fee, Private Truck Under 4,000 lbs $28.00
Plate Fee, Private Truck Under 5,000 lbs $43.50
Plate Fee, Private Truck Under 6,000 lbs $51.60

Regional Transportation Authority Registration Tax for Vehicles Registered in RANDOLPH County $1.00
Regional Transportation Authority Registration Tax for Vehicles Registered in WAKE, DURHAM, & ORANGE Counties $5.00


... $28 + $5 = $33

So they consider it a "plate fee", not a "registration fee".

Seriously, could they make this any more complicated if they tried?
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