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Georgians looking to buy a new vehicle in 2020 will now be able to spend less thanks to a law that went into effect at the start of the year.

The tax rate on title sales has been reduced from 7 percent to 6.6 percent because of the passing of Senate Bill 65, which became law on Jan. 1.

The average sales price in 2018 for a vehicle in the U.S. is more than $37,000, according to Kelley Blue Book analysts. That means the average car buyer could save as much as $150. The new rate is set until 2023.

The bill sponsored by Sen.Tyler Harper, R–Ocilla, also changes how tax value is determined for used vehicles.

Used cars will be taxed based on their sales price instead of their fair market value, as in previous years. 

Cars sold through used-car dealers who finance the sale and individual sales are exempted from the rule.

Otherwise, used car buyers may be looking at hundreds of dollars difference.

A 2019 Hyundai Elantra, one of the best-selling cars, according to Kelly Blue Book, sells for an average of $15,300 used. The fair market value of the Elantra; however, is $15,164. The typical listing price is $15,464, according to Kelly Blue Book.

Georgia is one of the most expensive states when it comes to the annual cost of owning a car, including sales taxes, registration costs, gas prices, the average number of miles driven, and repair costs. Bankrate.com estimates that it costs $4,233 a year to own a vehicle in Georgia.

The average registration fee is $20, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Repairs can cost an estimated $385 per year. Gas averages around $1,129 annually. Insurance is about $767. 

Overall car maintenance taxes and fees average $1,952 for Georgians.

Georgia drivers also travel more than motorists in most states. They drive an average of 18,920 miles in a year, compared to the national average of 9,772, according to a study by the Auto and House Insurance Program, better known as AARP.

Staff Reporter

Nyamekye Daniel has been a journalist for three years. She was the managing editor for the South Florida Media Network and a staff writer for The Miami Times. Daniel's work has also appeared in the Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and The New York Times.