Taxes you pay when you buy a car

When you buy a new car, you pay "tax and license." But did you know you're paying a lot more than just sales tax? Lumped into the "tax" are a bunch of little taxes, likely going to bogus government programs that likely have little to no oversight as to how the funds are spent. This is why I always vote against tax increases. And thanks to this litany of fees, you're likely to pay 10% more than the negotiated price when buying a vehicle.

Here's the full list of taxes that California drivers pay when purchasing a new vehicle:

  • California Highway Patrol Fee
  • County Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies Fee
  • Fingerprint ID Fee
  • Smog High Polluter Repair Fee
  • Smog Abatement Fee
  • Alternate Fuel/Tech Smog Fee
  • Alternate Fuel/Tech Registration Fee
  • Auto Theft and/or DUI Crime Deterrence Program
  • Air Quality Management District Fee
  • South Coast Air Basin Fee - really??
  • City Sales Tax
  • Reflectorized License Plate Fee (shouldn't this be covered by registration?)

At some point, I'd love to look into where this money actually goes and how it's really spent. My guess is there would be a lot more outrage if people actually paid attention to where they don't even know their money is going.