Many people have seen the charms of living in an RV and the endless stream of possibilities they can do once they own one. With an RV, they will never have to worry about looking for a place to stay if ever they decided to go on a trip with their family. The reason is they already have a place to stay; they need to find a place to park their RV.
With the global pandemic dramatically altering the way people travel around the world, having an RV secures the safety of your family without having to worry about where to stay. That being said, buying an RV is still an expensive task. RVs are expensive because they are bigger, and they offer more features than regular SUVs or sedans. Families interested in buying an RV for their new living methods would be slightly disappointed upon hearing the fees and taxes they have to pay when they buy an RV in some states, such as California. Thus, the best option is to buy an RV in a different state.
What are the cheapest states to buy an RV? The cheapest states to buy and register an RV are Arizona, Texas, Florida, Montana, Alaska, Oregon, Delaware, South Dakota, Nevada, Washington, Wyoming, and New Hampshire. These states have little to no general sales tax for RVs, and some have no property tax.
This article will talk about the different states where buying an RV will not break the bank for those interested. I will also discuss why these states are the cheapest ones regarding paying taxes and other fees. Also, I will be discussing the factors in buying an RV that makes it cheaper or more expensive.
Factors Affecting the Price of an RV
Many factors are affecting the price of an RV. Remember that you are not only paying for the face value of the RV itself. You are also obliged to pay different fees and taxes depending on the state where you bought your RV. These factors determine the actual price of your RV if it is cheaper or more expensive.
RV Types and Classes
The type of RV you are going to buy affects the overall price of your RV altogether. There are three distinct classes of RVs: Class A, Class B, and Class C. What sets them apart is the size. Class A RVs tend to be larger than the other RVs, and obviously, they are the most expensive ones out of the three. A Class A RV costs from $200,000 to $300,000.
Class B RVs are smaller than Class A RVs, but they do not compromise on the features inside. Some Class B RVs have much better features than Class A RVs. These RVs closely resemble a van, and the bodies can vary based on who manufactured the RV. They usually cost from $100,000 to $200,000.
Last is the Class C RVs. These models are the easiest to drive, and if you are a newbie in the RV lifestyle, this is the best RV to start. The prices usually range from $35,000 to $50,000.
Depending on whether the RV is brand new, used, or otherwise, these prices will go high or low. If an RV is brand new, it will be much more expensive, but if it is used already, even if it is a Class A RV, the overall price would be based on how mint the condition of the RV is. From there, it can go cheaper or higher, depending on the features and the quality of the furnishings inside the RV (i.e., if they are new or old). These other factors determine the total price of your RV.
Taxes, Maintenance, and Other Costs
These additional fees make the total cost more expensive than expected. This is the number one mistake newbies often commit in buying an RV: they get so fixated with the base price without realizing that other fees need to be paid before they can have their own RV. As a result, they have to scramble where to get the money for the additional costs.
Additional fees such as state and local vehicle taxes exist, and owners have to pay for it along with the vehicle registration fees. Prices vary from state to state, with the richest states having higher fees than the other states. You have to pay for these as your obligations to the state and the country, or else you will not be able to own the RV even if you have the budget for the base price.
Thus, it is best to buy an RV from a state with a cheap sales tax because these taxes are no joke. It can break the bank and even demotivate you to live your RV life peacefully and more comfortably. Fortunately, there are different states that offer little to even no sales tax, which can lift the burden a bit on your shoulders.
The Cheapest State to Buy an RV
With the factors considered, here are the cheapest states to buy an RV, with the corresponding reasons. Some states might offer no property tax, while some might offer no sales tax at all. Regardless, these states are the ones RVers are thriving.
For RV buyers, Montana is really the Treasure State because out of all 50 states in the country, it is the only one without any restrictions to vehicle buyers. This made it really easy for them to buy an RV even though they are not a state resident. This reason stands out because generally, you should register your vehicles in your home state. So if you live in California, where the standards of living are higher, chances are you get to pay more than in Montana.
In addition, Montana has no general sales tax, county sales tax, and city sales tax. This makes Montana the best state to buy your RVs for cheap.
However, you need to create an LLC in the state and register as a business vehicle in Montana. Service providers usually take care of navigating the registration process of your RV, which typically costs around $300. This works for people living outside Montana because these service providers will do the legwork for you. You just have to pay them a small fee for their efforts, and they will do everything for you. This saves you a lot of time, money, and effort registering your vehicle and bringing it to your home state.
Other States Where to Buy Your RV
Aside from Montana, there are other states where buying an RV is much cheaper compared to the others. These states have smaller taxes and more lax implementations regarding ownership of vehicles, which makes it easier for RV owners and prospective RV campers to buy their dream RVs.
Yep, you read that right. South Dakota is the second state with the highest number of full-time RVers, next to Texas. Mount Rushmore State is a great place to buy your RV because it only has 4% sales tax and no property tax. Also, the lush interiors of South Dakota and its amazing landscape make it an ideal state for you to buy your RV and maybe settle there for quite some time.
Next to South Dakota, Wyoming also has favorable rates for RV buyers. It has 4-8% sales tax and no property tax as well. What makes Wyoming a good place to stay if you have an RV is because it also has great outdoors, which will be a great place to explore and enjoy the outdoorsy life having an RV offers.
Florida has personal property tax, but the good news is it has a friendly sales tax rate. Those who buy RVs in Florida are asked to pay a 6% sales tax on top of their other expenses in buying an RV. The state looks like it is on the same level as California regarding living standards. Still, it is surprisingly cheaper and friendlier to RV owners and potential RV owners. Also, Florida has many places to explore, so if you bought an RV from there, why not go the extra mile and explore some places for a while on your new vehicle?
Most people might assume that the Lone Star State might be one of the most expensive places to buy an RV, but Texas has friendlier rates than other states nearby. In Texas, one must pay at least 6.25-8.25% sales tax and no personal property tax. Also, Texas leads the list of states with the most full-time RVers, which should explain why. After all, there are so many places in Texas where you can put your RV to the test, and the living standards in Texas are still relatively cheaper than in the other states.
Like Texas, Nevada is also an unexpected inclusion in this list, simply because they have Las Vegas. However, most people do not know that Nevada is also an ideal place for those who want to start living in an RV. For starters, Nevada only asks for 6.5-8.75% sales tax to be paid whenever you buy an RV, with no personal property tax. Also, similar to Texas, Nevada has a host of wonderful places to visit if you want to give your RV a test drive and maybe stay there for a couple of days before you go back to your home state.
Washington only requires people who want to buy RVs in their state a total of 6.5% sales tax, on top of the personal property tax. Even though they require people to pay these taxes, the rates are much lower than the other states, so you can still save up a lot of money when you buy your RVs here. Also, not to mention that there are many RV campgrounds and trailer parks for you to stay, and it also opens to bordering Canada, which opens a new avenue of adventure for you and your family.
Aside from these states mentioned, RVers can buy and register an RV comfortably in Oregon, Arizona, Delaware, New Hampshire, and Alaska. These states have little to no sales tax, and some might not even require RVers to pay for personal property tax.
Is it Really Worth it to Go Cross-Country to Buy an RV?
For some people, buying an RV in a different state might be a good thing in terms of savings and other comforts in buying one. Still, others are doubtful if going cross-country just to buy an RV is much cheaper than buying an RV in their home state.
You must consider things if you really want to go to different states in buying an RV. First is the budget for fuel to get the RV you want to buy. You should also think of how you will go back to your home state after buying the RV. It also helps to remember that buying an RV you have not seen in person and going back disappointed because you did not like it is a point to consider.
Lastly, one should also think of the additional repairs their RV might undergo before heading back home. It would be impractical for you to drag your RV all the way back home. You might damage the RV even more, thus requiring you more money to spend.
Buying an RV is an expensive task, and several states make it possible for potential RV owners like you to own one at a much lower price. Some of the states mentioned above have no personal property tax rates and little to no sales tax rates to pay on top of the other expenses and the base price of your RV. However, you must consider that what you might save in buying the RV might be used in paying for damages and repairs, especially if the RV is not brand new. At the end of the day, it is still up to you, but these states are more than happy to help you own the RV of your dreams.