I was at the Auto Bureau yesterday and got to think about how New York compares with other states in the cost of registering a car. Turns out New York is a reasonable place to get a car on the road when you consider plates, title, and taxes. We’re in about the middle. Registration in New York is based on weight plus other fees assessed by the various counties.

Some states base registration on the value of the vehicle. Some people with expensive cars pay $500 a year or more for the privilege of having a car on the road. As your vehicle gets older and its value decreases, so does your registration fee. Some states charge a flat rate that looks good to begin with, but charge a wheel tax that inflates the price.

One state, Utah, bases registration fees on the age of the vehicle.

Two of the cheapest states to register a car are Oregon and Alaska. Both states don’t charge a sales tax, so right off the bat you’re saving money. You can register a car in Oregon for $43 a year.

Probably the most expensive state to register a car is Nevada. There’s no income tax in Nevada but they get you in other ways like $2,000 to register a typical car for five years. Plus there’s a government services tax on top of that - paying for the people who work at the auto bureau.