The Cost of Registering an RV

by Jim Thompson | Last Updated: February 5, 2021

You might think it’s easy to get an idea how much an RV is going to cost you when you travel to a local lot with many listed for sale, but you won’t see the full picture for what one of these motorhomes is going to cost you until you finalize that purchase. There are additional registration fees that you should know about before agreeing to make the purchase because they can be quite substantial.

Figuring out Registration Cost

Determining an accurate registration cost for your new RV probably isn’t that difficult, but it’s not something you can figure out without research either. The process varies by state, and it depends on the type and size of RV that you have. In some instances, the length will determine the fee, in others the chassis style and RV type will determine the price.

To figure out how much it is going to cost you to go through this procedure, contact your DMV and ask them specifically, or look for an information page over the internet to learn what the actual cost is going to be for yourself. Make sure that you know what type of RV you’re going to purchase before doing the research, or write down the fees and bring them with you when you do go to make the purchase.

Added Fees

Not only will there be a registration fee, but you’ll pay some additional fees during your time of purchase as well that you may not have been expecting. Sure most people expect to pay sales tax on the purchase, but many are surprised when they learn the cost of insurance or mandatory smog tests that they have to go through.

When getting an RV, it’s standard to pick up specialized RV insurance to cover all the costs and unforeseen problems that could occur. While some standard vehicle policies will cover RVs, most don’t do a very good job of it. In many areas of the country, there is a mandatory emissions test required on the RV every two years. If it fails, you’ll have to pay for any necessary repairs to be made. That’s something that must be taken care of during the entire time that you own an RV and it’s a cost that many people simply aren’t expecting to pay.

Maintenance and towing are two other expenses that many individuals just don’t factor in when purchasing an RV. There will be tires to change, repairs to be made and once in a while even towing to a local garage is going to be necessary. It’s important to start a fund to help pay for these expenses to keep your home on wheels rolling strong.

An RV is an exciting investment, but the purchase and maintenance of one could be more expensive than you expect. That’s why it’s important to know the added fees that you face and to understand how to handle them as well. Make sure that you factor in all these costs so you won’t be shocked when it comes time to pay to get that RV going for your next camping trip or a fun cross-country vacation.

More questions about RVs? Check out our guide to all things RV.