Illinois Car Sales Tax: A Comprehensive Guide

When purchasing a vehicle in Illinois, it is essential to understand the state’s car sales tax laws. The Illinois car sales tax is a crucial aspect of buying and owning a vehicle, and it is important to know how it works to avoid any surprises or confusion. In this article, we will delve into the details of the Illinois car sales tax and provide answers to some frequently asked questions.

The Illinois car sales tax is a tax imposed on the purchase of vehicles within the state. The current tax rate is 6.25% of the purchase price, which is based on the selling price of the vehicle. This tax must be paid at the time of purchase, and it applies to both new and used vehicles.


1. Do I have to pay sales tax when buying a car in Illinois?
Yes, the Illinois car sales tax is applicable on all vehicle purchases within the state.

2. Are there any exemptions from paying sales tax on a car in Illinois?
There are certain exemptions available for specific situations, such as transferring a vehicle as a gift between family members or purchasing a vehicle for use by a charitable organization. However, most car purchases are subject to sales tax.

3. How is the Illinois car sales tax calculated?
The tax is calculated based on the selling price of the vehicle. For example, if the selling price is $20,000, the sales tax would be $1,250 (6.25% of $20,000).

4. Can I finance the car sales tax in Illinois?
Yes, many dealerships offer financing options for the sales tax. However, it is important to note that financing the tax will increase the overall cost of the vehicle.

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5. Do I have to pay sales tax on a private party sale in Illinois?
Yes, even in private party sales, the buyer is responsible for paying the sales tax. However, if the vehicle was previously taxed in Illinois, the tax may be reduced based on the value of the trade-in.

6. Can I get a refund for the sales tax if I return the vehicle?
No, once the sales tax is paid, it is non-refundable. Only the purchase price of the vehicle may be refunded, subject to dealer policies.

7. Are there any additional fees associated with the Illinois car sales tax?
Yes, there may be additional fees such as title and registration fees that vary depending on the county and the vehicle’s weight.

8. Are there any special sales tax rates for electric or hybrid vehicles in Illinois?
No, currently, there are no special sales tax rates for electric or hybrid vehicles in Illinois. However, incentives and tax credits may be available at the federal or state level for purchasing such vehicles.

Understanding the Illinois car sales tax is crucial when buying a vehicle within the state. It is important to factor in this tax when budgeting for a vehicle purchase and to be aware of any exemptions or financing options available. By being well-informed about the Illinois car sales tax, you can make the best decisions when buying a vehicle and avoid any potential issues or surprises down the road.

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