Tax, Title and License (TT&L) is complex but is a very important component of the car buying process, because it is often the last experience a consumer has with the dealership. If this part of the deal goes wrong, it can affect the customer’s perception of the dealership, which factors heavily in their likelihood to return for service or their next vehicle purchase.

To create a positive buying experience, dealers, lenders, and auto technologies can no longer provide inaccurate DMV calculations. Rather, they must source accurate TT&L data and present it accurately throughout the entire buying process so there is complete transparency and no surprises. Consistency, accuracy, and transparency build consumer trust.

Inaccurate tax or fees estimates can cause a deal to disappear if unexpected fees are made aware to the consumer at the last minute or when they register the vehicle at the DMV. Plus, the titling process can slow down and drag out the transaction if the proper documentation is not collected at closing.

If you simply estimate taxes or title and license fees based on the same formula or a state average for every transaction or purchase type you will contribute to a bad customer experience. Many factors influence taxes and fees. For example, in the state of Colorado, knowing if a customer lives inside or outside city limits is important. In the state of Michigan, length of registration is based on the owner’s birthday. In many states the weight of the vehicle is critical to calculate registration fees correctly.

There are additional complexities to consider. For example, using just a ZIP Code to calculate taxes and registration fees does not give you accurate data because postal codes do not follow state, county, and city combinations. Another common mistake often made is the lack of differentiation between in-state and out-of-state transactions. In most states, the TT&L calculation will be incorrect when using in-state rates for an out-of-state transaction.

Buyers can find the vehicle they want online and buy it anywhere. What cannot be bought online is the service that comes along with their vehicle purchase. It is critical that the information consumers get online is consistent with their offline experience when they get to the dealership or take delivery of the vehicle. Accurate Tax, Title and License (TT&L) can be one of the customer experience components that differentiates dealerships.

As the number of online vehicle sales platforms increases, it is important to help both buyers and sellers build trust and confidence in the transaction. Buyers need to know what fees they will need to pay when registering a vehicle at the DMV. Sellers need to know what documents they are required to provide during the transaction. Having this data, and it being accurate, can improve the process and protect both sellers and buyers.

ATC provides dealers, lenders, and auto technologies accurate TT&L data for in-state and out-of-state vehicle title and registration. For more information about how to create a better, seamless offline to online experience, visit us at