It’s no secret that life in the great Garden State isn’t cheap.

In addition to our highest in the nation property taxes, we’ve got high housing costs, toll roads — even going to the beach in most towns costs money.

So you might imagine buying a new car or truck would be more expensive than in other states. But it turns out that’s not necessarily the case.

“The purchase price of the vehicle and any ancillary product you may want to select along with that vehicle would be negotiable," said Jim Appleton, the president of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers. "However, it doesn’t matter what state you’re buying a vehicle in, you will pay the motor vehicle fees to register the vehicle in New Jersey or the taxes that apply to New Jersey."

In other words, “regardless where you purchase the vehicle, if you live in New Jersey and plan to register the vehicle in New Jersey, those fees are set.”

He said when you purchase a car or truck, you should not get hit with any surprise tack-on charges at the very end of the process.

“Dealers have to disclose the purchase price and all pre-delivery service charges. They have to be separately stated and itemized on a retail order form.”

So what’s the best way to try and get the best deal you can on a car?

“The final negotiated price on a new car or a used vehicle for that matter is going to depend on supply and demand," he said. In other words, you may be able to negotiate a better deal if you pick a car that not everybody else is interested in.

“Vehicles that are in short supply, retailers traditionally generate greater earnings off of those sales,” said Appleton.

“Also depending on the time of month that you’re purchasing, dealers are often under great pressure from the manufacturers to sell certain numbers of vehicles in order to meet sales incentives. Very often you’ll find dealers deeply discounting vehicles particularly at the end of the month.”

He also said as we get into the fall, you’ll see “more incentives and more discounting in the marketplace in order to clear out year-end inventories.”

Appleton said the only problem with waiting for end-of-the-year deals is that “the product that you may want may not be available.”

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You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com