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    Buying a Car Out of State: Everything You Need To Know

    If you're thinking about buying a car in another state, make sure you understand everything involved in this type of purchase.

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    Buying a Car Out of State: Everything You Need To Know

    If you're thinking about buying a car in another state, make sure you understand everything involved in this type of purchase. Although you may be able to save money or find a very specific vehicle that is not available locally, you can incur additional costs without careful planning.



    If you're thinking about buying a car in another state, make sure you understand everything involved in this type of purchase. Although you may be able to save money or find a very specific vehicle that is not available locally, you can incur additional costs without careful planning. Steps in this process include:


    Getting a vehicle history report.

    Having an inspection.

    Paying sales tax.

    Obtaining required safety and emissions test results.

    Registering the car.

    Insuring the car.

    Obtaining the title.

    Reasons To Purchase a Car Out of State

    According to Credit Karma, you may want to think about buying a vehicle from a dealer or owner in another state if you are seeking a vintage or rare make and model, cannot find the features you want at a local seller, or have found a great deal from a seller in another state. For example, different states may use different standards to value vehicles and the cost also fluctuates depending on regional supply and demand. You should weigh these factors against the challenges associated with purchasing an out-of-state vehicle, such as transportation, insurance, inspections, registration, and sales tax.

    Considerations When Buying an Out-of-State Vehicle

    Preparing yourself for the complexities of purchasing an out-of-state vehicle can help you avoid hassles and additional costs. According to Carfax, you should pay sales tax to the state where you will register your vehicle (where you live), not to the state where you bought the vehicle. However, you may need to obtain a temporary registration card from the state where you purchased the car if you plan to drive it back to your home state.


    You should also make sure the car meets the emissions standards of your home state, not those of the state where you purchased the vehicle. For example, if you live in California, a car purchased elsewhere may fail the stringent emissions testing protocol of your home state. Some cars have a label indicating that they are manufactured to meet the emissions testing standards of all 50 states.

    If you buy a car from a neighboring state, it's easy enough to drive it back home. If the purchase is across the country, however, shipping the car to you may negate any potential savings you earn from buying an out-of-state vehicle. If you are working with a dealership, they may have contacts that can help you ship the car home at a reasonable price.

    Steps to Buying a Car Out of State

    First, obtain a vehicle history report for the car you plan to purchase. This report will provide information about red flags that will either keep you from buying the car or affect your negotiations. For example, if the car title has liens, these should be satisfied before you try to transport the vehicle back to your home state. Otherwise, you may be legally responsible for those liens according to The Balance.

    Have a thorough inspection done by a mechanic before buying a used car out-of-state. Opt for an independent professional rather than a person who is recommended or employed by the dealership. If the car is several states away and you cannot travel there, you may ask a local mechanic to act in your absence.

    After you get the vehicle back to your home state, you must pay sales tax on the vehicle. A local dealer you trust, your tax professional, or your local department of motor vehicles can typically provide guidance on this issue.

    Your state's department of motor vehicles can also provide information on the required inspection tests for your new car. Depending on state laws, this may include odometer, emissions, and/or safety testing. After your vehicle has been inspected, visit the DMV with the inspection certification, your sales paperwork, photo identification, and proof of address. These documents will allow you to register the vehicle and obtain the title.


    Make sure you find out the time limit for registering the car in a new state. In many cases, you must complete this step within 30 days of purchase or risk fines and other penalties. U.S. News and World Report notes that if you work with a dealer in another state, he or she may help you complete the required registration paperwork. You may also need to provide a vehicle identification number (VIN) verification form. This document allows your home state to ensure that the car is not stolen property.

    If the vehicle requires a salvage title or other type of non-standard title, check the requirements in your state for this type of title before finalizing the vehicle purchase. The cost of the title and the amount of time you have after purchase to obtain the title also vary by state.

    Source : www.caranddriver.com

    Your Guide to Buying a Car Out of State

    While there are a few more hoops to jump through when buying a car out of state, there's no reason to avoid purchasing a new or used car in a different state and driving it home.

    Your Guide to Buying a Car Out of State

    By John M. Vincent November 16, 2021

    Comparing rates is the best way to get the cheapest car insurance. Get started with free quotes in your area.

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    It used to be that almost all car-buying was local. With the exception of collector cars, finding (let alone buying) a vehicle from another state was a challenge. Most car searches went as far as the local Yellow Pages phone book allowed.


    Things are different today. With just a few keystrokes, you can find the exact new car you're looking for, a spectacular car deal, or the perfect used car. It might be across town, or it might be across the country.

    While some extra steps are involved, buying an out-of-state car doesn't need to be a daunting experience. Buying a car from a dealership a state or two away might be as easy as buying one in your own town, while purchasing a vehicle from an out-of-state private party adds a bit more complexity.

    We'll break down all the steps in buying a car from a different state in the following sections.

    Why Would You Want to Buy From Out of State?

    Peter Cade / Getty Images

    There are many reasons to buy a car out of state. For some buyers, the closest town with dealerships is in another state. For others, such as buyers in the Washington D.C. region, the metro area includes multiple states. Other buyers might cross state lines in search of specific cars or great deals. Buyers of collector cars frequently have to buy cars in different states to get just the vehicle they want.

    Different cars are more popular in some parts of the country than in others. You might be able to get a great deal on a Mazda Miata roadster, for example, if you buy it in Seattle instead of Los Angeles. A four-wheel-drive full-size pickup truck may be easier to find in Phoenix than in Billings, Montana.

    The internet has made it easy to locate just the car you want, work with dealer sales associates or private-party sellers to come to a deal, complete the paperwork, and arrange delivery. For used car buyers, vehicle history reports, such as those from Carfax and AutoCheck, have made it easy to evaluate a potential purchase from a distance.

    Why Don't You Want to Buy a Vehicle in Another State?

    If you think you can avoid taxes, inspections, or exorbitant registration costs by purchasing a car out of state, think again. Most states require vehicles to meet the regulations and pay the sales tax for the location where they will be kept. In order to even register a car in most states, you'll have to pay any sales tax due and get the vehicle (and its odometer) inspected.


    You never want to buy a car from out-of-state sight-unseen, or you may end up with a vehicle that's far different than what was advertised. It's a good idea to avoid chasing deals that seem a bit too good to be true, as you may end up wasting time and travel costs for a deal that really doesn't exist.

    Make Sure You Can Drive the Car In Your State

    You might think that a vehicle that you can buy in one state can be owned in any other, but that's not always the case. A car not only needs to meet the standards of the state in which it will be registered and titled, but it also needs to be able to pass any inspection requirements of that state. Some states have tighter inspection and tailpipe emission standards than others.

    One of the most common examples is the emissions requirement adopted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and several other states that abide by their standards. Unless a car is legal to sell in all 50 states, has fewer than 7,500 miles on its odometer, or has been modified to meet California's standards, it can not be registered in the state.


    Importing a car from one state to another where it doesn't meet the state standards or can't pass inspection can be an expensive mistake.

    Get a Vehicle History Report

    Shoppers considering used cars in other states should get a vehicle history report early in the buying process. A report from Carfax, AutoCheck, or another vehicle history report company can tell you whether the vehicle is even worth pursuing. It can even tell you if the car exists or is a scam listing.

    Our guide to vehicle history reports shows you what you can learn from the documents. Many sellers will provide the report, so you don't have to buy it yourself.

    The main things you're looking for are shady title histories, branded titles, a history of accidents or major repairs, and several owners over a short span of time.

    Have Someone Look at the Car

    Prostock-Studio / Getty Images

    Needing someone to check out a car you're considering isn't an issue when you're buying a new vehicle from a reputable dealership. If you're considering a pre-owned vehicle from a private-party seller, you want to have someone you know take a look at it before you go to the expense of traveling.


    They don't have to do a complete inspection (that will happen later). Still, you want them to check the vehicle identification number (VIN), look for obvious or recent damage, and make sure it's the exact car you saw advertised.

    Source : cars.usnews.com

    How to Buy a Car From Out of State

    Shopping for a bargain online opens the door to buying a car from out of state. Here are some steps to take when purchasing from afar.


    How to Buy a Car From Out of State

    ByMark Elias 01/21/2022 4:00pm

    Due to the current chip shortage, buying a car in your state can be difficult. Dealer car lots across America look emptier by the day. This has led many prospective car buyers to look out of state when finding their next vehicle.

    With the help of the internet, finding a new or used car for sale in a different state is easy. But is it wise to buy a vehicle from another state? And if so, how do you do it?

    Our guide tells you how to purchase an out-of-state vehicle and if they’re even worth the hassle.

    8 Steps to Buying a Car Out of State

    If you’re wondering how to buy a car from out of state and drive it or ship it home, here’s how it works and the steps you take.

    Search for new or used cars online

    Get a vehicle history report

    Consider an inspection

    Find out the emissions and other safety requirements

    Insure the car Pay the sales tax Request the title

    Register the car in your home state

    Why Shop Out of State?

    Why would you purchase a car from out of state? It depends on whether you’re buying new or used. For the latter, if there’s a specific vehicle you want to buy or a classic, your chances of finding what you really want will probably lead you across state lines. But how about a new car? It’s more complicated.

    Reasons for shopping out-of-state include looking for vehicles that have specific features or equipment you want but may not be available in your area. If you live in the Northeast, you may find a lot of cars with all-wheel drive. But if you want a front- or rear-drive vehicle that may get better fuel economy or handle differently, you may have to shop in the Sun Belt. If you live in sunny California, you might find a better deal on the convertible somewhere in the Midwest. Sometimes dealers will trade for a specific vehicle, sometimes not. And they may not offer as good a deal as going directly to the store that has the car.

    These are all reasons why you might shop out of state. But you should take care to determine if the extra costs involved in making that purchase will still put you ahead of buying locally.

    The Car Might Be Cheaper

    Due to the ongoing microchip shortage, used car prices have skyrocketed, and there’s less inventory of new cars. However, some states have more cars on their lots than others. If you live in a state like California, finding a car for a reasonable price can be difficult. However, if you are willing to look out of state for your next ride, you may be able to save a good bit of money.

    While you may incur delivery fees and other charges, depending on the price of the car, it may be worth it.

    Shopping Out of State Has Never Been Easier


    There are more choices than ever to find that perfect vehicle. Use actual new car dealerships as well as Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader.com as sources for vehicles located around the country. On both KBB and Autotrader, prospective buyers can use filters to search for a specific model, price, color, and year.

    You can also examine the vehicles by photographs online. More savvy sellers use video walkarounds so you can get a feeling of what the car looks like inside and out without needing to buy a plane ticket.

    New vs. Used Car Buying from Out of State

    Once you have found the car of your dreams, assuming it is a new vehicle, it’s always a good idea to ask for a copy of the window sticker. The sticker lists official information, including the vehicle identification number (VIN). It lists all standard and optional equipment on a new vehicle. It can also prevent any surprises such as the wrong color or equipment package from being a part of the final sale.

    RELATED: See if the vehicle you’re buying has been subject to any recalls

    Used purchases through an authorized dealer are nearly as easy. While you are usually unable to see the original sticker, forward-thinking dealerships have full-featured used-car pages on their websites with photos, videos, and information about the vehicle that has caught your eye. If a dealer has the car you are looking for, have them go over the emissions ratings to guarantee it’s compliant with your state. Do your due diligence first.

    Do’s and Don’ts of the Deal

    Registration and emissions. Before you make the leap to buy, find out if you’re allowed to register the vehicle in your state. As a result of a patchwork of emission regulations, some vehicles are not sold in all 50 states. While California has the strictest emission regulations, you may live in a state that follows those guidelines, and the vehicle you want may not be able to be legally registered.Sales tax. Don’t expect to escape sales tax. Buying a car in a non-sales tax state really doesn’t matter if the state you register the car in has a sales tax. You’ll have to pay that levy if you want to license the vehicle. Don’t worry, though. You won’t need to pay sales tax twice.Incentives. Do check the manufacturer’s website using your ZIP code and the ZIP code of the dealer where you’re shopping. Oftentimes there are local factory-to-dealer incentives that don’t appear in national ads. You may discover some savings at that distant dealer or an incentive in your own neighborhood that would make the local deal more attractive.

    Source : www.kbb.com

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