I have also lived in the US and bought cars in many states, so I will answer. This depends on what State you live in. Mostly, you pay sales tax, which varies from state to state. For example, in Washington state, the Sales tax is 9.5%. So when I bought my Camry for $20k, I paid roughly $22k on-the-road price. Yearly token to pay was around $50 in 2007 but increased to around $90 in 2014 regardless of the value of your vehicle. Washington is good though. When you buy a car, you only pay tax once. One of the cars I bought was in Kansas. Back then, you paid around 6.5% sales tax, but you had to keep paying it every year (with depreciated value). The first year, I paid around $1200 to register a $20k car. The next year, I had to pay around $900 or so. The last year which I kept the car was around $450 (4th year I think). That was 20 years ago, and I think they have told me that Kansas has since moved away from making you pay every year. Oregon is sales tax free. I haven't lived in Oregon, but what I have been told that if you buy your car in Oregon, they won't let you register in another state without paying sales tax first. There might be some other vehicle tax in Oregon that I am not aware of. Florida and Oklahoma are also close to Washington state as far as taxes on vehicle purchase go.