Vehicle Taxability - Leasing & Dealers

Leasing and Auto Dealer Transactions

When buying a vehicle from an auto dealer, there are many options available to the consumer.  Here we will provide information on how the sales tax applies to the different transactions that may occur.



A lease is any transfer of the possession or control of tangible personal property for a fixed or indefinite term, for consideration. Leases include future options to purchase or extend, and agreements where the amount of consideration may be increased or decreased by reference to the amount realized upon the sale or disposition of the property.

The link below will take you to a memo drafted by the Ohio Department of Taxation explaining how leases of motor vehicles are taxed.

Leasing Memo


Sales to Non-Residents of Ohio

Please see the Information Release   for details.

Here's how to determine the tax due from Nonresidents who will remove the motor vehicle to one of the seven states listed below:

  1. Calculate the Ohio price of the vehicle under Ohio law, i.e., as you would for a sale to an Ohio resident, taking into account the trade-in deduction if a new vehicle is purchased.  The sales tax rate to apply to the Ohio price is 6.0%.
  2. Calculate the price in the applicable state taking into account the adjustments in the chart below, such as a trade-in allowance if permitted by the state, and apply the sales tax rate of the appropriate state listed in the chart below.  Please note that the sales tax rates listed in the chart below may be subject to change.
  3. The lesser of the two amounts must be collected as the sales tax due from the customer.

The following is the list of the states, applicable tax rate, and the adjustments required to determine the proper amount of sales tax to collect: 


Sales Tax Rate

Trade-In Allowance

Special Provisions



Yes –New and Used








Yes- New and Used




Yes-New and Used

Nonresident exemption for RVs and trailers with a load capacity of at least 2200 pounds



Yes-New and Used






South Carolina


Yes-New and Used

Tax cap of $300.00


Frequently Asked Questions Tool

The Ohio Department of Taxation has compiled a list of frequently asked questions covering many different categories.

To view the questions, click on the "Select Category" bar and then click on  the category you are interested in.  A list of questions will appear pertaining to that category. Then click on the question you are inquiring about and the answer will appear.

Can a used motor vehicle dealer purchase a new motor vehicle under the "resale" exception?

Under Ohio tax law, any person making retail sales may acquire items (including motor vehicles) excepted from sales or use tax based on the “resale” exception.  However, the motor vehicle law does not allow a used motor vehicle dealer to acquire a new motor vehicle for purposes of resale. 

If a used motor vehicle dealer purchases a new motor vehicle, pays Ohio sales and use tax when the Ohio title is obtained, and subsequently sells the vehicle with few, if any, additional miles, the Department will consider an application for refund of the taxes paid by the dealer.

If the used motor vehicle dealer traded in a used vehicle on the new motor vehicle, tax is due on the price of the new vehicle, less the trade-in allowance.