When people want to buy cars, they usually shop around locally, but occasionally they find that it’s cheaper to buy a vehicle in another state. For example, cold-weather residents may shop for used cars in warmer states since the warmer states don’t treat the roads with salt, which can make vehicles rust more rapidly. There’s been some speculation that purchasing a truck from Texas is cheaper, but is this true? Are trucks cheaper in Texas?
We compared prices in four states and found that the listing price for trucks does seem to run a bit lower in Texas. However, sales tax, maintenance, registration fees, and insurance may equal those savings out.
Why Might Trucks Be Cheaper in Texas?
Depending on where in Texas you purchase a truck, it may be less expensive, but why might this be?
You know what they say, “everything is big in Texas.” Texans seem to prefer the rugged utility that trucks offer over the comfort and style of an SUV or sedan. Although the pandemic affected vehicles sales all over the world, it didn’t do much to hurt the truck market in Texas. In fact, because of public transportation being down, many people used their stimulus checks to purchase a vehicle of their own.
If you ask any Texan why trucks are cheaper in Texas, they’ll likely say, “because they’re everywhere down here.” Since everyone and their mother owns a truck or two, you’ll have to be competitive with your price if you want to sell your used truck.
Texas has the second-largest rural population in the United States, with 3.8 million people living in rural parts of Texas. Many of these people live on farms or ranches, and they need a vehicle that can tow and haul heavy loads. Even people who live in the city often work in rural areas and need vehicles that can go into places other cars will not go.
Is Texas the Cheapest Place to Buy a Truck/Car?
The only way to find out if vehicles are cheaper in Texas is to compare the price of different vehicles in various states. Since it would be impossible to look at prices from all 50 states, we will focus on four states: North Dakota (North), Texas (South), Maine (East), California (West). Additionally, we’ll focus on the three most popular trucks in Texas: F-150, Toyota Tundra, and Dodge Ram.
North Dakota 58102
New – 2021
- F-150: $45,520 – $85,165
- Toyota Tundra: $25,319 – $45,439
- Dodge Ram 1500: $57,925 – $80,100
Texas 79550 (zip)
New – 2021
- F-150: $32,759 – $78,136
- Toyota Tundra: $29,134 – $42,530
- Dodge Ram 1500: $33,990 – $75,140
Maine 04401 (zip)
New – 2021
- F-150: $36,125 – $76,025
- Toyota Tundra: $38,136 – $53,546
- Dodge Ram 1500: $36,750 – $67,745
California 91331 (zip)
New – 2021
- F-150: $42,140 – $79,569
- Toyota Tundra: $34,812 – $58,912
- Dodge Ram 1500: $38,935 – $43,500
Looking at the different vehicles for sale, it does seem that the listing price for most trucks is a bit cheaper in Texas. This content is owned by moc.sotuaytsur. The price difference becomes even more apparent when you start looking at the used vehicles, likely because there are so many on the market that people must be competitive with their prices if they hope to sell their vehicle.
How Much Is Sales Tax on a New Truck in Texas?
Unfortunately, when shopping for a new car, the expense doesn’t end at the listing price. There are several fees that you should calculate into your final cost. Some dealerships will wrap these fees into the finance agreement so that you don’t have to pay any extra out of pocket, while other states require you to pay the fees separately.
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, Texans can expect to pay a sales tax of 6.25% on a new vehicle. In order to calculate what the sales tax will be on a vehicle while shopping, multiple the listing price by 0.0625. For example, if you are looking at an F-150 for $63,995, you can expect to pay $4000 in sales tax.
Compared to the average sales tax in the United States (4.99%) Texas is a bit high. In fact, it is the 13th most expensive state in terms of sales tax.
How Much Does It Cost to Inspect a Vehicle in Texas?
Before you can register your vehicle, you must have the vehicle inspected and insured. The cost will depend on what type of vehicle you’re inspecting. All vehicles much have a comprehensive safety inspection, but some vehicles may be required to have an emissions test as well.
|One Year Safety Two Year Safety (for new vehicles)||$7.00|
|Safety Emissions (El Paso area)||$18.50|
|Safety Emissions (Huston area)||$25.50|
|Emissions-only Vehicles||$11.50 – $18.50|
Source: Texas DMV
How Much Does It Cost to Register a Vehicle in Texas?
Once you have your vehicle inspected and insured, you must register the vehicle. The price of registration will vary depending on where you live and the vehicle you own. However, the average prices are as follows:
- Annual registration fee for Texas residents for passenger vehicles: $50.75
- Annual registration fee for Texas residents for motorcycles: $30
- Annual registration fee for Texas residents for trailers weighing 6,000 pounds or less: $45
- Annual registration for Texas residents for trailers weighing over 6,000 pounds: $54
- Local Fee: $10.00 – $13.50
- Process and Handling Fee: $4.75
- Late Fee: 5% of sales tax if later than 30 days
If you’re considering buying a used Truck it’s worth investing a few dollars to check the VIN number against the vehicle database. An audit with a company like VinAudit (links to VinAudit) will guard against Mileage fraud, Salvage rebuilds, Title washing, Vin cloning, and a ton of other uglies.
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John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Rustyautos.com. He’s been a mechanic for over twenty-five years and has worked for GM, Volvo, Volkswagen, Land Rover, and Jaguar dealerships.
John uses his know-how and experience to write fluff-free articles that help fellow gearheads with all aspects of vehicle ownership, including maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting.