You always have to pay tax, title, and license (TTL) fees when taking out an auto loan. In Seattle, TTL fees are treated differently from the rest of Washington State, and the amount you pay can vary greatly.

What Are You Paying for with TTL Fees?

Tax, title, and license fees have to be paid when you take out a car loan in Seattle, no matter what your credit situation is or whether you're buying new or used. The amount you have to pay for each varies based on several factors which could include where you live, the weight of the vehicle you’re purchasing, and how the car is plated, to name a few.

Let’s take a look at exactly what tax, title, and license fees cover:

  • Tax – This is the sales tax on the vehicle you’re buying. Applicable state taxes, and possibly city, county, and local taxes depending on where you live, are collected when you take delivery.
  • Title – This is the fee you pay to have the car titled in your name. The title lists the name of the lienholder, which is removed when you finish paying off the loan and the vehicle becomes yours.
  • License – This covers the registration and license plate fees for the car based on where you live. The minimum charge for registration in Washington State is $30, but you could have to pay more depending on where you live and the cost and type of vehicle you’re registering.

When financing a car, it’s better if you pay tax, title and license fees up front as opposed to rolling them into a loan. This only results in you paying interest charges on these items. Do what you can to not roll them into the loan, especially if you have bad credit, as it costs you money in the long run and not all lenders offer loans that cover more than the cost of the vehicle.

Licensing a Vehicle in King County

Living in King County definitely has its perks, but Seattle’s goal to be a green city features some requirements for registering your car that others in the state of Washington don’t have to deal with. Specifically, you have to pass emissions testing before registration.

In order for you to get a vehicle registered in Seattle, it has to pass an emissions test – meeting California emissions standards – before you can get it registered at a car licensing office. As a Seattleite, you have to pay attention to a few things that others may not have to, since not all counties in Washington have the same vehicle licensing requirements.

Vehicle Taxes in Seattle

Paying Tax, Title, and License Fees on an Auto Loan in SeattleLiving in the Emerald City means paying regular sales tax for your car of 6.5% plus a 0.3% motor vehicle sales/lease tax, which means the total sales tax is 6.8%. In some states, car sales tax can differ from regular sales tax.

Additionally, in some places (even in Washington State), you have to pay county and local taxes on top of state taxes. If you’re purchasing a vehicle from a private seller in Seattle, you’re not out of the woods on the additional tax, it’s collected when you register your car.

New to Seattle? Unlike many states, Washington has different offices for driver’s licensing and vehicle registration, no one-stop shops available here. If you plan to get an enhanced driver’s license, there’s a separate office for that, as well.

Be Prepared when Buying a Car in Seattle

When you’re ready to buy a car in Seattle, you should be prepared from start to finish. This includes paying for things like tax, title, and license fees up front. And if you need help finding a dealership to get an auto loan through, Auto Credit Express wants to help.

We work with a large network of dealerships around Seattle and across the nation. We can get you connected to a local dealer that has lenders that can work with unique credit situations. Get started today by filling out our free and easy car loan request form.