Best State to Buy an RV To Save Money

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Purchasing a used RV is somehow the same thing as getting you a new vehicle. You will have to negotiate with the dealer for a better deal and once you buy it you are faced with some the purchase tax. This is common ground for any purchase is no special thing so far.

However, nowadays, RVs are getting pricier day by day and outdoor enthusiasts are constantly looking for a good and affordable alternative that will make them preserve a couple of dollars for other things.

Now imagine if you could do that simply by driving for a few hours to another state where you can find possibly the cheapest RV deals without compromising quality. Depending on where live, the probabilities of this possibility differ on some factors.

In this article, we will be talking about which state is the best to purchase an RV and the differences between states when it comes to buying an RV. This can include the sales tax law, registration fees and many more. Keep on reading.

To quickly answer the question of what is the best state to buy an RV, I would look at both Montana and Texas, with Montana being my first choice.  The reasons are due to sales and registration tax, which we’ll go into in more detail below. 

What Is The Best State to Buy an RV?

With thorough market research, knowledge about the latest trends and good price comparison, it would be possible to get yourself a good deal.

The question of whether you are a US citizen or not doesn’t really matter in this scope after all our highlight is to see it this possibility of traveling to another city to get a good purchase deal is made possible or not.

As a US citizen, this might not be the greatest venture for you if you are buying a very affordable used RV. However, if you are thinking about acquiring an RV that can reach up to 100k and more than driving to another different city could be one of the best options for you to save some money.

For non-US citizens, however, the subject of where is the best place to buy an RV for a better and cheaper price, indeed, matters. After all, you just going to spend a couple of months here traveling and you don’t want to invest a big sum of money. That’s why sometimes traveling to different cities could be the right decision for you.

Now, let’s really think about it, is it worth the hassle?

The answer to this question differs depending on several factors that we will later discuss in this article. But the first indicator of asking yourself this question is by identifying what you really want.

Are you fully embarking an RV lifestyle? Is it doable for you to move to another state just because of the tax benefits offered in that one? Are the travel costs between your home city and the hosting city high? All these questions will alter your decision making. This is of course besides some important different factors.

One thing you should keep in mind that the price deal should justify all this hassle you are going to go through. If it does not justify it, it is not worth it. If we can say you can keep 10% savings simply by purchasing the used RV from a different state.

You can save 400 dollars but buying a $4k RV. Now 400 dollars is good money but not anymore once the costs of travel and other things start to add up. However, if you were to buy a $300k luxury RV then we are talking about $30k savings. Now, this is good money, no matter how the costs of travel are.

What are these factors that can differentiate the sale from one state to another?

When it comes to buying an RV, there are several differences that you should keep in mind:

  • sales tax
  • Registration fees
  • Insurance regulations

How does this whole process of buying an RV take place?

Where you are buying the RV in your state or not, it doesn’t matter. Why?  The answer is because cause you have to register the RV purchase in your own state within a month.

This also comes with registration feels insurance regulations and sales taxes. The thing registration tax fees can be way cheaper in the other state which makes you question if you want to move there or not. Again this depends on what you want as we have previously mentioned in the above section.

Registration Fees

You’re purchased RV needs to be registered and licensed. This is one of the important steps whenever you buy a new vehicle. That vehicle will carry that license plate which gives some sort of identity.

While some states make the entire registration process hassle-free, other states have some registrations requirements that need to be followed and which may incite some additional money.

We have two types of registration fees:

  • Direct Registration Fees:

In the direct registration fees, you will need a valid US address and driver’s license. Usually, the fees are defined depending on the value of your RV. While some states will do the value calculation to come up with a fair price, others won’t really bother and will just give you a flat valuation charge.

However, you can always check out the different vehicle registration fees online or via a legal registered document.

  • Indirect registration fees.

For the indirect registration fees, your RV might have to go through some inspections. These inspections could examine the safety of your RV, its emissions, and others. This might not happen in every state but depending on which state you are, you can be faced with this. It can also be either on a regular basis or simply for a one-time procedure.

The Laws about RV Sales Tax

Now after you have paid for your registration fees, you will have to deal with sales tax. The sales tax itself depends on which state you have licensed your RV, not from where you bought it but from where you have registered it.

It can be either your home state or a recently moved stat. Many RV owners make false statements about their registration addresses, writing down the different addresses from their actual ones. While this actually made possible, some states might allow people to register their RV under their state regulations, others don’t.

For example, Montana State permits out-of-the-state residents RV owners to register their RV since it does not acquire Sale tax. This is a great deal for some RV owners as it will help them to avoid paying the sales tax.

Click here to read where can I park my RV for free 10 options

Nevertheless, other states will not allow such a procedure even though they don’t have a general sales tax as well. For them, it is considered as a state evasion and it is not possible to permit outsiders to register their RVs under a false state address.

These states are New Hampshire, Oregon, Alaska, and Delaware. In order to be able to register your RV in these mentioned states, you have to be legally residing in these stats.

Other states like California, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Iowa and more kind of impose sales tax on RVs that have been entering that state while being bought in another different one. These kinds of laws support the states to collect tax revenue and RV registrations fees.

Now that general sales tax exists in 45 states out of 50 it is made impossible for you to avoid sales tax in anyhow. You can’t simply avoid paying the taxes because you will be followed by Tax officials anywhere you go especially now they have your registration documents.

The only possible way is to transfer to another cheap state where the sale taxed is less expensive than your current state. However, you can only make this decision if you know that you won’t be spending lots of money on your moving costs.

  • Insurance wise:

Depending on which state you are, the insurance varies accordingly. There are 3 kinds of obligatory insurances you should keep in mind:

  1. Bodily injury liability per accident; in this case, the insurance will go for all the people that got injured during the accident
  2. Property damage liability: in this case, the insurance will be paid for the property that was damaged during the accident
  3. Bodily injury liability per person: in this case, the insurance will be paid for the person injured during an accident

One of the priciest states when it comes to RV insurance in Michigan which can reach up to$2k, while Maine is considered the least expensive.


All in all, Montana and Texas stats are the best states to purchase an RV. It goes without a doubt, that Montana is one of the best states in the USA to buy an RV. The state does not impose a general sales tax, making it the ideal destination for some of the RV owners.

Moreover, there is no county sales tax. And the best part is that Montana State is quite welcoming Rvers who want to buy and register their RV there. Not only that but you will also be founding some good support by local companies there who are willing to offer you the help needed to accomplish the whole procedure hassle-free.