Where You Live & Where You Buy - They Both Matter!
Would you drive 20 miles to save $700.00 on a new car? Thanks to the mysterious sales tax system in Illinois, that is actually possible. This website is a sales tax guide for Chicago area car shoppers. With the right information car shoppers can understand the best ways to save money by minimizing sales taxes.
Quick Sales Tax Look-up Table
( To understand the location categories in the table please see the descriptions provided in the Where You Buy and Where You Live pages.)
The VEHICLE SALES TAX TABLE shows you how much sales tax you will pay on a car purchase based on where you buy and where you live. If you have in mind a specific auto dealer you may buy a car from, use that dealer’s location to determine which column of the table to choose. Then use the address where the car will be registered to choose the row. The row-column intersection shows you the sales tax you will pay. Across the Chicago metro region the range of sales taxes on cars runs from the highest extreme of 9.50% to the state-wide low of 6.25%. That’s a difference of nearly $1000 on the purchase of a car priced at $30,000.
How about you?
If the sales tax on cars in your area is 7.00% or higher, chances are you can save some money by looking for a dealer in a different location.
Most Chicago-area residents can save 1% on sales taxes by simply making their purchase from a dealer located beyond the Collar Counties.
Why Are Vehicle Sales Taxes So Complicated?
Sales taxes on vehicles are calculated differently than for other consumer goods. The tax on consumer goods is calculated solely based on where you buy the product, but sales tax on vehicles is calculated based on where you buy and where you live.
When you purchase a consumer product, such as clothing or a TV set, you can seek out a store located in an area with lower sales taxes and reduce the amount of tax you pay on your purchase. Normally you won’t do that because the amount of savings won’t justify the extra effort. However, for a vehicle purchase, the savings can add up to hundreds of dollars.
Here’s the key: Even though the vehicle sales tax is partly determined by where you live, the other part is determined by where you buy. So, just like when buying a TV set, you can save on sales taxes when you buy your car from a dealer in the right area.