Dear Driving for Dollars,
Do I need to pay sales tax on the destination fee when I buy a new car?

Dear TMK,
Sales tax is calculated on the total price you agree to pay for the car. On a new car, that would include the destination fee — a freight fee the manufacturer charges the dealer to get a new car to the lot.

All auto manufacturers charge destination fees, and all are listed plainly on the window sticker for every new car. When you review the purchase paperwork before you sign the contract, compare the destination fee listed to the car’s window sticker to ensure they match. For a list of other fees you should pay and ones you should watch out for, read the Bankrate story on not paying unnecessary dealer fees.

Ask the adviser

If you have a car question, e-mail it to us at Driving for Dollars. Read more Driving for Dollars columns and Bankrate auto stories.

Bankrate’s content, including the guidance of its advice-and-expert columns and this website, is intended only to assist you with financial decisions. The content is broad in scope and does not consider your personal financial situation. Bankrate recommends that you seek the advice of advisers who are fully aware of your individual circumstances before making any final decisions or implementing any financial strategy. Please remember that your use of this website is governed by Bankrate’s Terms of Use.