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Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

taxes

Motor Vehicle Tax Guide

Standard Presumptive Value (SPV) on Private-Party Transactions

Standard presumptive value (SPV) procedures may apply to motor vehicles acquired or purchased in a private-party transaction. A private-party transaction refers to a sale of a motor vehicle when neither party is a dealer. Private-party transactions include sales between family members, neighbors, businesses, certain trusts and other parties.

When a motor vehicle is sold in a private-party transaction, the purchaser is responsible for motor vehicle tax. The motor vehicle tax amount is based on the greater of the sales price (total consideration) or 80 percent of the vehicle’s SPV; unless a valid certified appraisal is provided.

SPV is a value of a motor vehicle as determined by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV), and is 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 transactions of used motor vehicles sold regionally. The condition of the motor vehicle is not used to determine the SPV.

A purchaser can check a used motor vehicle’s SPV on the TxDMVs website. Be aware that the vehicle’s SPV available to the public on the TxDMV’s website is 100 percent of the SPV, not 80 percent. The county tax assessor-collector (CTAC) will see 80 percent of SPV in the Registration and Titling System (RTS).

Excluded Motor Vehicles

SPV procedures do not apply to the following transactions:

  • motor vehicles sold by dealers
  • sales of unrepaired salvage units
  • sales of abandoned vehicles
  • motor vehicles sold through storage or mechanic’s liens
  • motor vehicles sold by governmental entities, the federal government, or an agency, department, instrumentality or wholly owned corporation of the federal government; or a state, territory or possession of the United States or any agency, department, county, city, special district, or other political subdivision of a state, territory or possession of the United States
  • sales of motor vehicles eligible for specialty plates described under Transportation Code Section 504.501, Classic Motor Vehicles and Travel Trailers; Custom Vehicles; Street Rods, including custom vehicles, classic car and trucks and street rods (regardless of whether the vehicles display those plates)
  • even trades/even exchanges of motor vehicles
  • motor vehicles that qualify as gifts to eligible parties

Calculating Motor Vehicle Tax Due

For a private-party transaction, the CTAC must compare the sales price, or total consideration paid, to the motor vehicle’s SPV. This comparison is commonly referred to as SPV procedures.

The CTAC must use the SPV provided through the RTS on the day of titling and/or registering the motor vehicle. The SPV may change due to updates.

For a private-party transaction, motor vehicle tax is based on one of the following:

  • the motor vehicle’s sales price, when the purchaser paid 80 percent or more of the vehicle’s SPV;
  • 80 percent of the motor vehicle’s SPV, when the purchaser paid less than 80 percent of the vehicle’s SPV; or
  • the motor vehicle’s certified appraised value, when the purchaser paid less than 80 percent of the vehicle’s SPV and provides a valid certified appraisal using Form 14-128, Used Motor Vehicle Certified Appraisal Form (PDF).

Valid Certified Appraisal

A purchaser must obtain and present to the CTAC a certified appraisal within 30 calendar days after the date of sale or, if purchased out of state, within 30 calendar days after bringing the motor vehicle into Texas for use (60 calendar days for active duty military personnel).

For a purchaser who paid less than 80 percent of the motor vehicle’s SPV, motor vehicle tax is calculated on the appraised value, provided the appraised value is not less than the sales price or total consideration paid, and the appraisal is obtained and presented to the CTAC within 30 calendar days (60 calendar days for active duty military personnel) from the date of sale or first use in Texas.

To accept a certified appraisal as valid, the CTAC must confirm specific guidelines are met by using the checklist below.

  • Is the certified appraisal on Form 14-128, Used Motor Vehicle Certified Appraisal Form (PDF)?
  • Is the date of appraisal, on Form 14-128 (PDF), within 30 calendar days (or 60 calendar days for active duty military personnel) from the vehicle’s date of sale or first use in Texas?
  • Are there any alterations to Form 14-128 (PDF)? Note: An altered form is invalid.
  • Is Form 14-128 (PDF) completed in full?
  • Is it documented whether a motor vehicle dealer licensed for that category of used vehicle or a licensed insurance adjuster performed the appraisal? Note: When in doubt, check with the state licensing agencies through the license number shown on the appraisal. For licensed dealers, check with the TxDMV. For licensed insurance adjusters, check with the Texas Department of Insurance.

The CTAC must retain records of the accepted certified appraisal for four years from the end of the current fiscal year in which the appraisal was presented and accepted.

Trade-In Allowance

If a purchaser trades in a motor vehicle to the seller as part of the purchase transaction, the purchaser pays the motor vehicle tax on the trade difference. The allowance for the motor vehicle traded in is the value of the vehicle and not the equity in that vehicle. SPV is not used to determine the value of the trade-in motor vehicle.

SPV and Form 130-U, Application for Texas Title and/or Registration

In TxDMV’s RTS system, the CTAC will check for a vehicle’s SPV. The CTAC will note the SPV in the upper-right corner of Form 130-U, Application for Texas Title and/or Registration (PDF).

If the purchaser has provided a valid Form 14-128 (PDF), the CTAC will note that certified value in the upper-right hand corner of Form 130-U (PDF).

Box 38 of Form 130-U (PDF), titled "Sales and Use Tax Computation," will not change. The CTAC will not change the sales price in this section to the SPV or certified appraised value.

SPV may not be available for some vehicles, trailers, and recreational vehicles. If the SPV is not available, then require an appraisal from a dealer, insurance adjuster, or – at the discretion of the CTAC – someone who would have special knowledge of the vehicle’s value. Such a person may include an antique dealer or antique appraiser. The Comptroller’s appraisal form may be used but is not required.

The CTAC should tell the purchaser the amount that is 80 percent of the SPV retrieved from RTS. If the purchaser disagrees with the SPV and decides to obtain a certified appraisal, the CTAC can cancel the transaction.

The tax receipt issued to the purchaser will state the value to compute the motor vehicle tax.

Requesting a Refund

Purchasers may obtain an appraisal even if they have already paid motor vehicle tax by using SPV. Purchasers who obtain a favorable appraisal within 30 calendar days of the purchase date or the date the vehicle is brought into Texas can seek a refund of the difference in the tax paid by completing Form 14-202, Texas Claim for Motor Vehicle Tax Refund (PDF), and mailing 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 (PDF), to the Comptroller's office:

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
111 17th St.
Austin, TX 78774-0100

SPV Examples

The following examples address two different tax bases for a used motor vehicle in a private-party transaction.

Example 1 – Ricky bought a used motor vehicle from Ethel for $2,000, which he showed as the sales price on Form 130-U, Application for Texas Title and/or Registration (PDF). The CTAC determined that the vehicle’s SPV was $5,000; 80 percent of $5,000 is $4,000.

Answer – Tax is based on 80 percent of the vehicle’s SPV, or $4,000. The purchaser paid less than 80 percent of the vehicle’s SPV and did not provide a certified appraisal.

Example 2 – Sally saw a classified ad in her newspaper and bought a car from Dan for $10,000. She checked the TxDMV website, which showed the SPV as $25,000; 80 percent of SPV is $20,000. Since the car had some major body damage, Sally paid a local used car dealer $300 for a certified appraisal which showed the car’s value was $12,000. Sally registered and titled the vehicle, showing the sales price of $10,000 on the Form 130-U, Application for Texas Title and/or Registration (PDF) and providing the dealer’s $12,000 certified appraisal.

Answer – Tax is based on the $12,000 certified appraised value. Sally paid less than 80 percent of the vehicle’s SPV but provided a certified appraisal with a lower value. Even after paying $300 for the appraisal, Sally saved money by getting an appraisal to lower her motor vehicle tax due.


96-254
(09/2021)

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