Automobile Purchase Calculator

Red Corvet

This program generates a table of monthly payments based on the purchase price for a vehicle. It takes the sales price, adds the tax and license fees, subtracts the down payment and amortizes the amount left over based on the loan interest rate. The table generated represents a price range for the prospective buyer. The numbers that you get won't be exact but hopefully they will be close and this will help you be prepared at the dealership. Please note these numbers assume California D.M.V. license fees. 

Required information is shown below.

Starting Purchase Price
The amount of money you pay for the car before any type of tax or registration fees are added.
The number of price changes or price calculations per table. This will determine the number of lines printed out which is the range of the table,
Sales Tax Rate
This is the Sales Tax rate in your area. 9.25% is popular.
Down Payment
This is the amount of money you will put towards the purchase price of the vehicle upfront. To put it another way, it's your lifes savings.
Loan Interest Rate
This is the interest rate percentage that you will be charged by the loan institution you got the remaining money to buy the vehicle from. For example a Bank, Credit Union, Dealership, or family member. Be careful here, the rate may be higher than advertised.
Term of the Loan
This is the length of the loan in months. A 5 year loan is 60 months and a 6 year loan is 72. Please say it isn't so.

Starting Purchase Price: LinesDown Payment: 
Sales TAX Rate: Loan Interest Rate: Term of the Loan: 

A sample table is shown here for the purchase of a $17,000.00 to $17,400.00 automobile with a sales tax of 8.25% and $5,000.00 to put towards the down payment. If a '*' shows up in the Fees column, this mean that an additional luxury tax is in effect. This is currently 10% of the amount over $34,000.00 dollars is added on. A $35,000.00 vehicle would have a $100.00 luxury tax applied. (Note: this no longer applies !)
    Down Payment: $ 5000.00        60 Month Loan        Interest Rate:  9.25%

  Sale      Sales   Reg/Lic   Combined     Term     Total      Amount   Monthly
  Price      Tax     Fees      Total       Cost    Interest   Financed  Payment
 17000.00  1402.50   187.69   18590.19   22025.60   3435.41   13590.19   283.76
 17100.00  1410.75   188.35   18889.25   22162.40   3463.30   13699.10   286.04
 17200.00  1419.00   189.00   18808.00   22298.60   3490.60   13808.00   288.31
 17300.00  1427.25   189.66   18916.91   22434.80   3517.89   13916.91   290.58
 17400.00  1435.50   190.32   19025.82   22571.60   3545.78   14025.82   292.86

   Cost  +  Tax    +  DMV   =  total    real total                        pain

There is a book that I have used which saved me at least 4-6K on my last purchase. It was not only well written so I could understand but full of helpful ideas. It's "In The Drivers's Seat, The new car buyer's negotiating bible" W. James Bragg, ISBN:0-679-74633-1. It was $12.00 when I purchased the book(1993). One of the information services mentioned in the book that I used was "The Fighting Chance, 1-800-288-1134" The price was $19.95 plus $3.00 shipping for the package. Please see for current information. Update ... I've since learned the book is out of print but it can be purchased used on the cheap. Do a search with the ISBN number above.

Hopefully some helpful information below. These URLs below are not sponsors, they are sites that have been listed in various newspaper and magazine articles. -- A page where you can find Dealer MSRP and invoice information. Click on the research tab, then click on the make of the vehicle. If it's up to date there is some really good info here. Now if we can only find stuff about holdback and "factory to dealer" incentives. This is the money that drops the cost of the vehicle below invoice. -- New and Used cars.

Kelly Blue Book-- Dealer cost information for new and used cars. This site a a worksheet that can calc the trade in value for your current car and what you might see that same car going for on the lot.

Cars Direct-- Purchase your car online.

Car Gurus-- Purchase your car online.

Cars.Com-- Search your local dealers online.

CarFax-- For a small fee you can do a history search for multiple cars. I've used it, it works.

CarMax-- Purchase your car online.

Carvana-- Purchase your car online.

Vroom-- Purchase your car online.

TrueCar-- Purchase your car online.


All information on this server has been provided in good faith but no warranty can be made for its accuracy.

Opinions expressed are entirely those of myself and are not be taken to represent views of my employers, past, present or future.

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