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Car Values for Washington DMV

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  • Car Values for Washington DMV

    I have run into issues registering cars at the DMV several times. The main issue is getting the original value of a car, then a retail value.

    Is there some sort of publication, especially one in print that has these values for our cars?

    The car in question right now is a 1974 Mini.


    They also always ask the weight.

  • #2
    The DMV apparently tired of getting screwed by the public (doesn't feel so good, does it?) and so they determine the value of a car when you register it. When I registered the MG1100, the bill of sale that reflected the actual price was ignored, the DMV in Olympia didn't have a MG1100 in 'the book' and so pulled a number out of the air-that was the amount that I was taxed. You can try getting a price from Kelly Blue Book or some favorable comparisons. Otherwise try another vehicle licensing office that is more sympathetic (as opposed to pathetic).


    • #3
      I have run into this a few times. You are basically stuck in that the DMV establishes the price they think the car is worth regardless of what you paid. When I tried to transfer the paper work on a 67 'S' I had a bill of sale for $9,000. When the clerk phoned Olympia to get a value as there was no valuation in her computer the DMV came back with a value of $18,000. and that was the valuation they were going to use. I did not proceed. Many people have used the licensing agency in Ballard as they seem to be more realistic in helping you. Gone are the days when your buddy writes you a bill of sale for $500 for a Mini and you pay taxes on that. The State has the last word on this in most cases.

      Chris Miller


      • #4
        There has to be something out there that references values for these cars. Even if I had a sales brochure or something to show original value would be helpful.

        I use a local private licensing agency and have registered several cars, not sure why it was such an issue this time.

        I have had good luck at the downtown main branch.

        Sometimes when they can't find a reference they can just look on Mini Mania but they want to find a car that is the exact same year as reference. I think finding a 1974 for sale is part of the issue.

        The books they use don't even have Morris, Austin, or Leyland. Then the questions start - is it an Austin Healey, is it an Aston Martin?


        • #5
          When I rolled my blue car, the insurance adjuster and I used Craig's List ads to establish value. I thought it was semi-desperate, but I was very pleased with the result. It's not a great way to value a car if you want the value low, however.

          Hagerty has a reputable online valuation service, but unfortunately the web utility seems to think Minis were made only by Austin and Morris and none were manufactured after 1969. Hagerty DOES give you the ability to suggest additions to their database, and getting a lot of Mini owners to suggest their beloved cars might not be a bad idea. As a matter of fact, when I visited the site a few minutes ago, I suggested the Mini Pickup. For some indecipherable reason, early Mokes are already in the database.

          Finally, Amazon sells the 2016 Collector Car Price Guide, and they'll let you look inside. Unfortunately (again) Amazon is keeping the Mini pages hidden. But looking at an earlier year's edition leads me to believe you'll only find Binis in there anyway.

          Not much help, I know.


          "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." -- George Harrison


          • #6
            car value s

            I was wondering , how other classic Car Clubs researching
            their car Values for importing it. we are not so special !~peter


            • #7
              The Covington dmv accepted a letter from Jet Motors attesting to the value when I registered mine as a classic. They had a really hard time classifying it under the limited selections they had in their database.
              Mitch & Teri
              Frankenvan--1961 Australian Van
              Mini Cabriolet


              • #8

                Some cars particularly those not available in the USA may be available at
                They follow pricing and auctions for many harder to find cars. We have used them to help with insurance evaluations on some of our Museum Collection.
                Just hit auction results on the tab.

                Hope that helps

                Dick Johnson


                • #9
                  When I imported each of the Minis I had bought in the UK I provided the Licensing Agency with a signed copy of the Use Tax Form. I never had an issue.
                  Mark Gnagy