One way to get around it is to lease the car; and payoff a balloon at the end.
Otherwise, you pay about 2% to register it; and the continuing annual fees are huge too. I am not sure the WA is worse though because taxes are around 8.75% in CA and registration fees are about 2%, so the grand total is around 11% for taxes and registration fees
What's even worse is that CA bases taxes and registration fees on the full amount of a purchase, even if there is a trade-in (far worse than the registration fee craziness).
Example: Let's say you purchase a Ferrari for $150k in January. You pay your registration and taxes which total app. $15k-$17k depending on your county. Then, in February you decide to trade this car for a Lamborghini. Let's say the dealership gives you $150k on the Ferrari and the purchase price is $250k for the Lambo. Even though you just paid taxes and fees on the $150k Ferrari, you will still be responsible for paying taxes and registration on the full amount of the Lambo ($250k) which is app. $30k. So in 2 months you get taxed and pay fees on the total purchase price of each car (a total of $45k+); regardless of trade-in or down payment. This is robbery! In most states you would just pay taxes and fees on the difference of the 2 cars (ie you trade a $150k value car on a $250k value car and you pay taxes and registration on the $100k difference). You can see how this scenario becomes much worse if you buy and trade a few cars a year.