Is a New Car Purchase Tax Deductible?

Can I write off my new car on my tax return?

Is a new car purchase tax deductible?

Purchasing a new car can be an exciting milestone in one’s life. Understanding the tax implications is crucial whether you’re buying a vehicle for personal use or as a business asset.

Many people wonder if the cost of a new car is tax-deductible and if they can save money through tax benefits.

This article will explore whether a new car purchase is tax-deductible, examining both personal and business scenarios.

Car Buying Tip: Looking for an affordable car in today’s market? No worries! Get free quotes from local dealers through an online car-buying service to compare prices and snag a fantastic deal.

Personal Use: Non-Deductible Expenses

When purchasing a car solely for personal use, the cost of the vehicle is generally not tax-deductible.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not provide specific tax benefits for personal car purchases.

Personal vehicles are considered personal assets and do not qualify for deductions related to their purchase, operation, or maintenance.

Business Use: Potential Tax Deductions

Tax season is one of the best times to buy a new car if you plan to use it for business purposes. However, it would help to be cautious and research the tax implications, as they may differ.

The IRS allows certain deductions for vehicles used in a business capacity, and it is highly recommended to consult with your tax professional before making a purchase.

The deductibility of car expenses depends on the type of business and the nature of its usage.

The best car-buying and car shopping tools available online.

Self-Employed Individuals

Self-employed individuals, such as freelancers or independent contractors, may be eligible for tax deductions related to their car expenses. When filing taxes, these deductions can be claimed on Schedule C (Form 1040).

Business-related expenses that can be deducted include fuel costs, insurance premiums, repairs and maintenance, registration fees, and other expenses directly related to the vehicle’s operation for business purposes.

Maintaining accurate records of all these expenses is essential to support your deductions.

Business Owners

Additional deductions may be available for business owners who use their cars for business purposes.

Companies that own vehicles can claim depreciation deductions and the cost of financing the vehicle.

However, consulting with a tax professional or referring to IRS guidelines is essential to ensure compliance with specific requirements and limitations.

Car prices are high but you can still find a great deal by using an online car buying service to get a free quote.

Employee Business Use

You can claim certain deductions if you’re an employee and use your personal car for business-related activities. However, there are strict guidelines that need to be followed.

To qualify for deductions, you must meet specific criteria, such as using your car for business purposes beyond everyday commuting, not receiving reimbursement from your employer, and keeping detailed records of mileage and expenses incurred for business use.

It’s crucial to consult with a tax professional to understand the rules and limitations for deducting car expenses as an employee.

Section 179 Deduction

The Section 179 deduction is a provision in the tax code that allows businesses to deduct the total cost of qualifying equipment or vehicles purchased or financed during the tax year.

The deduction is subject to limitations and can change annually. For the current tax year, the maximum deduction limit is $1,050,000.

To qualify for the Section 179 deduction, the vehicle must be used for business at least 50% of the time.

However, there are restrictions on the deduction amount for vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating above 6,000 pounds.

Mileage Deduction

Instead of deducting actual car expenses, individuals who use their car for business purposes may opt for the standard mileage deduction.

The IRS sets a specific mileage rate each year, which can be multiplied by the total number of business miles driven to calculate the deductible amount.

The standard mileage rates for using a car (also vans, pickups, or panel trucks) will be 65.5 cents per mile driven for business use, up 3 cents from the midyear increase setting the rate for the second half of 2022.

It’s important to note that this deduction is available only for vehicles used for business purposes and not for personal commuting.

Depreciation Deduction

For vehicles used for business purposes, depreciation can also be deducted. Depreciation is the gradual decrease in the value of the vehicle over time.

The IRS provides specific guidelines and depreciation tables to determine the deductible amount based on the vehicle’s cost, useful life, and depreciation method.

It’s essential to consult with a tax professional to determine the appropriate depreciation method and to calculate the depreciation deduction for your new car accurately.

See what your vehicle is worth before contacting a car dealership.

Sales Tax Deduction

Individuals can deduct sales tax in certain states on a new car purchase. This deduction is available for taxpayers who itemize their deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040).

To claim this deduction, you must keep records of the sales tax paid and ensure that the total amount of sales tax and other eligible expenses exceed your state income tax deduction.

It’s advisable to consult with a tax professional to determine if this deduction is applicable in your state.

FAQs: Answering Your Questions

No, a new car purchase deduction is subject to specific limitations and guidelines. Consult with a tax professional to determine the deductible amount based on your business circumstances.

Leasing a car may have different tax implications compared to purchasing. It’s recommended to consult with a tax professional to understand the potential advantages and disadvantages based on your specific situation.

Yes, it is crucial to maintain accurate and detailed records of all car-related expenses to support your deductions and comply with IRS requirements.

In certain states, individuals can deduct sales tax paid on a new car purchase if they itemize deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040). Consult with a tax professional to determine if this deduction applies to you.

Electric and hybrid vehicles may qualify for additional tax incentives and credits. Research federal and state-specific programs or consult with a tax professional to understand the tax treatment for such vehicles.


In conclusion, the tax deductibility of a new car purchase depends on its usage.

For personal use, the cost of a new car is generally non-deductible.

However, potential tax deductions are available for business purposes, such as deducting actual car expenses, using the Section 179 deduction, claiming mileage deductions, and depreciating the vehicle.

It’s essential to consult with a tax professional to understand the specific requirements and limitations based on your circumstances.

By keeping accurate records, you can maximize your tax deductions and save money when purchasing a new car for business use.

Disclaimer: I am not a tax professional. Please consult a certified public accountant (CPA) for the most up-to-date information and to understand your state’s current tax laws.

About the author
Carlton Wolf is the author and founder of Auto Cheat Sheet.My name is Carlton Wolf, and I’ve been in the car business since 1994, both retail and wholesale. I created the Auto Cheat Sheet to better educate buyers about the deceptive sales practices many dealerships use nationwide. Please understand that not all car dealers are dishonest. However, you never know who you’ll be dealing with, though. I’m willing to share my knowledge and experience with anyone who listens. Keep in mind that I’m a car guy, not a writer.