Like the federal credits for purchasing a hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle, most of the Washington state credits will be concluding at the end of the 2010 year. These credits are being issued for all high-mpg vehicles, including all-electrics, hybrids, compressed natural gas, and 85%+ ethanol vehicles. The vehicles must have an Environmental Protection Agency estimated mileage rating of forty miles per gallon and include passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles which utilize hybrid technology.

Perhaps the most valuable incentive being offered by the Washington state government at this time is the incentive to purchase an all-electric vehicle. The electrics will be exempt from the 6.5 percent sales tax until January 1, 2011. Plug-in hybrids and standard hybrids are also being offered an exemption, but it is on the 0.3% motor vehicle sales tax. One addendum to this offer is that any maintenance agreements or extended warranties purchased are still applicable to being taxed. The sales tax exemption does apply to leased vehicles as well, as long as the lease falls within the qualifying time period. “The sales and use tax exemption applies to amounts due between January 1, 2009, and the expiration date of the exemption on new vehicles that are registered, titled, and delivered to the lessee between:

• January 1, 2009, and July 31, 2009, for hybrid vehicles; and

• January 1, 2009, and July 1, 2015, for clean alternative fuel vehicles.” (www.dor.wa.gov)

As is the same with the federal tax credit, the Washington state credits do not apply to used vehicles or used vehicles that have been converted to run on alternative fuels. It does, however, apply to new vehicle conversions. This is a conversion of a previously unqualified vehicle into a vehicle which now utilizes clean alternative fuel or hybrid technology. This conversion must take place before the sale of the vehicle is completed.

Another exemption that can be claimed is on the emissions control inspections. Any electric, compressed natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas vehicle, or hybrid vehicle which has an EPA estimated mileage rating of fifty miler per gallon, is exempt from these inspections. Many of these vehicles are the same hybrid vehicles which are available for the tax credit from the federal government. These vehicles include some very high-ranking cars, such as:

As well as full-electric models like:

A full list of qualifying vehicles can be found at the following link: http://www.edmunds.com/fuel-economy/car-tax-credit.html. Information on the full Washington state incentive program for qualifying alternative fuel vehicles can be found on the Washington Department of Resources webpage, or by following this link: http://dor.wa.gov/Docs/Pubs/SpecialNotices/2010/sn_10_AltFuelVehicles.pdf.

For further information you can visit the Department’s webpage at http://dor.wa.gov and click “Tax Incentives” from the homepage, or call the Department’s Telephone Information Center at 1-800-647-7706.

Be sure to also see if the vehicles you’re considering can qualify for a federal tax credit, deduction, or rebate.  Here’s  more info on new car tax credit, hybrid car tax credit, new diesel car tax credit, and electric car tax credit from the federal government.  Also, make sure to check out the list of year-end new car deals, new car lease deals, and certified used car deals being offered by the car makers.  Given the year-end and car manufacturers’ desire to sell more cars, there’s great deals to be had if you do your homework and are aware of all the incentives, discounts, rebates you can qualify for.  Here’s some tips on year-end car buying strategy.

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