The goal of this paper is to define local weighted variable Sobolev spaces of fractional and negative order and their characterization by wavelets. We first consider local weighted variable Sobolev spaces by means of weak derivatives and obtain a wavelet characterization for these spaces. Using the Bessel potentials, we next define local weighted variable Sobolev spaces of fractional order. We show that Sobolev spaces obtained by weak derivatives and those by the Bessel potentials coincide. Finally, using duality, we define local weighted variable Sobolev spaces with negative order. We also show that local weighted variable Sobolev spaces are closed under complex interpolation. Some examples are given including the applications to weighted uniformly local Lebesgue spaces with variable exponents and periodic function spaces as a by-product, although the exponent is constant. © 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.