Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Glenn Hegar

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Private-Party Purchases and Standard Presumptive Values

Standard Presumptive Value (SPV) applies to motor vehicles purchased in private-party sales that do not involve a licensed motor vehicle dealer. This includes sales between family members, neighbors and others.

For these transactions, motor vehicle sales or use tax is based on one of the following:

  • the vehicle's sales price, when the purchaser pays 80 percent or more of the vehicle's SPV;
  • 80 percent of the vehicle's SPV, when the purchaser pays less than 80 percent of the vehicle's SPV; or
  • the vehicle's certified appraised value, when the purchaser pays less than 80 percent of the vehicle's SPV and provides a certified appraisal obtained within 20 county working days of purchase or entry into Texas.

SPV is a value of a motor vehicle as determined by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV), based on an appropriate regional guidebook of a nationally recognized motor vehicle value guide service. Values are based on the average sales price of private-party sales of used vehicles sold regionally. The condition of the vehicle is not used to determine the SPV.

In addition to vehicles sold by dealers, the SPV calculation does not apply to salvage vehicles; abandoned vehicles; vehicles sold through storage or mechanic's liens; vehicles eligible for classic car and classic truck license plates; vehicles transferred in even trades; vehicles transferred via eligible gift; or vehicles sold by Texas governmental entities or the United States.

A used vehicle's SPV is available on the TxDMV website at www.txdmv.gov/vehicles/titles/std_presumptive_value; however, the taxable value is calculated by the county tax assessor-collector on the day of titling and registration. Tax is calculated on the greater of the actual sales price or 80 percent of the SPV shown for that day.

A purchaser who pays less than 80 percent of the vehicle's SPV may obtain a certified appraisal on Form 14-128, Texas Used Motor Vehicle Certified Appraisal (PDF, 269KB) . Tax will be calculated on the appraised amount; however, the tax cannot be computed on an appraised value that is less than the purchase price. The certified appraisal must be completed within 20 county working days of the purchase date or the date a vehicle is brought into Texas. A certified appraisal may be obtained from a motor vehicle dealer licensed for that category of vehicle or from a licensed insurance adjuster. The dealer must charge a fee according to a set schedule outlined in Paragraph (d)(4) of Rule 3.79. A licensed insurance adjuster's fee is not subject to a set schedule. An appraisal obtained from a motor vehicle dealer must provide a significant reduction in taxable value to overcome the dealer's fee and provide net savings for the purchaser.

It is possible for the purchaser to obtain an appraisal, even if the purchaser has already paid tax on the SPV. If the purchaser obtains a favorable appraisal within 20 county working days of the purchase date or the date the vehicle is brought into Texas, the purchaser may then seek a refund of the difference in the tax paid by completing a Texas Claim For Refund of Motor Vehicle Tax, Form 14-202 (PDF, 128KB), and sending the requested documentation as stated on the form, along with proof of tax paid to Texas and a copy of the purchaser's certified appraisal on Form 14-128, to the Comptroller's office. The Comptroller's office will review all documents received and determine whether the refund request may be granted or denied. The refund process takes 6 to 8 weeks.

The refund form, 14-202, and the appraisal form, 14-128, are both available on our website.

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