Where Is The Cheapest Place To Buy An RV?
Buying an RV is a big purchase, and it may even be one of the biggest ones you’ll make in your life. So, of course, you want to do everything you can to keep the costs down. But where are RVs the cheapest?
Although the price of the RV itself won’t change much from place to place, the other costs you pay will. Taxes, fees, and more can all add up to make a big purchase even bigger.
So, what affects the final cost of your RV? And where is the cheapest state to buy an RV? Let’s take a look.
What affects the cost of an RV?
When you buy an RV, you’ll have to pay more than just the sticker price. Taxes, title and registration fees, and insurance costs are all factors in where to buy a cheap RV.
Like almost anything else you buy, purchasing an RV means paying sales taxes. The exact tax rate varies from state to state, and you may also have to pay sales taxes to your county or municipality.
In addition to sales taxes, your state and/or local government may levy personal property taxes on your RV. These are based on the full value of your RV or some percentage of the full value.
Title and registration fees
When you purchase an RV, you’re required to get a title for it that proves ownership as well as register it to be on the road. To do so, you’ll have to pay some fees. RV registration fees and rules vary from state to state.
Title and registration fees are typically one of the following:
- Flat rate – Meaning the same price regardless of your vehicle’s weight, value, etc.
- Weight based – Trailers in particular frequently have weight-based fees.
- Value-based – A certain percentage of your vehicle’s value.
- Age-based – The age of the vehicle, not the driver/occupant. Typically, the older the vehicle, the less you pay, while brand new vehicles pay the maximum price.
In addition to title and registration, every state requires you to get auto insurance to be street legal. Each state sets its own minimum insurance requirements. Because of this and other factors, the exact costs of auto insurance vary depending on where you live.
The most expensive state for insurance is Louisiana, with an average cost of $2,839 a year. The cheapest is Maine, with an average of $858.
How do you register an RV in another state?
When looking at where to buy a cheap RV, one option is to purchase and register it in a different state than you live in. Registering an RV in a different state is generally possible, and many people do it to save money.
Registering an RV in another state is almost always done in Montana because they have fairly lax laws that permit it. However, this is not without its risks. Many states don’t take kindly to registering your RV in another state, even if it’s legal there. In fact, officials in Minnesota have even cracked down on people registering their vehicles in another state.
So, if you do decide to register your RV in Montana via an LLC, you should check the rules in your state first. Alternatively, you can establish a domicile in another state to take advantage of the low taxes and fees there.
Where are RVs the cheapest?
Now that we know about the factors affecting price, let’s answer the question “where is the cheapest state to buy an RV?” Here are the top 3 cheapest states.
Where are RVs the cheapest? Most people agree that the answer is Montana.
For one, Montana has no state sales tax, and only three counties levy any sales taxes of their own. Montana also does not levy any personal property taxes on RVs. And as an added bonus, they don’t require any vehicle inspections to register vehicles.
But what really takes Montana to the top spot, as previously mentioned, is you don’t have to live in Montana to register an RV there. You just need to create an LLC, which several different services can help you do.
All told, the process of creating an LLC and registering your RV in Montana will run around $1,000. While this may seem like a hefty price, it’s outweighed by the tax savings.
After Montana, the next cheapest state to buy an RV is South Dakota.
Their sales tax is one of the lowest in the country at only 4%. They also don’t charge any personal property taxes on RVs. South Dakota also has the benefit of low registration fees, low insurance rates, and no state income tax.
You’ll need to establish South Dakota residency to register an RV there. Thankfully, another benefit of South Dakota is that it’s one of the easiest states to establish residency. A single night at an RV park there will be enough to get you started.
Another great place to buy a cheap RV is Texas.
The Lone Star State has no income tax or personal property tax, nor do they have an inheritance or estate tax. On top of this, Texas has fairly low title and registration fees, and its sales tax is low at 6.25%.
It’s also the headquarters of the Escapees RV Club. So if you decide to set up your Texas residency and buy your RV there, you’ll be in good company.
Now you know where to buy a cheap RV!
When you buy your RV, the total cost will depend on taxes, title and registration fees, and insurance costs. And because every state has different rates for its taxes and fees, some states are much cheaper than others.
So, now you know everything you need to know about where to buy a cheap RV. That means you’re one step closer to getting your RV and getting on the road!
RVers looking for valuable how-to information have learned to go to the experts. Forums such as iRV2.com and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.