5 Important Tips for Buying a Car Out of State

buying car out of state

Are you thinking about buying car out of state and worried about the process it may take?



Choosing to buy a car outside of your home state does not have to be a stressful experience, as long as you follow a few key tips.

It is important to have a concrete reason for going out of state to buy a car and to make the journey with a purpose. You never want to impulsively purchase a car, as they are one of the most expensive things the average person buys in life.

Therefore, no matter where you choose to buy a car lay out your game plan and follow it carefully.

Here are five simple tips to follow for buying out of state, in addition to a few reasons to travel for a car.



Why Buy an Out-of-State Car?

There are several reasons you may decide to consider out of state cars. These can relate to the dealership or car selection itself, or something in your own life.

Additionally, certain states have a competitive advantage in terms of cars, such as Florida.

Florida cars have a much lower chance of snow or ice damage because of they rarely experience such harsh weather. This makes it likely the best state to buy a car for this reason.

Moreover, certain states may have lower car prices than your own, whether it be as a whole or because there is a particular dealer.

Other reasons you may consider an out-of-state purchase is because you are moving states, and you are interested in buying a car.

This comes with special considerations, but many of the same considerations. Additionally, if you live close to another state, it may make geographic sense to compare prices across the border.

It doesn’t have to be a difficult feat to transport a car from out of state either, and there are reputable companies willing to do this for you. Learn more about this option if traveling really isn’t an option for you.

All and all, these are a few good reasons to travel outside of your home state to invest in a new car.

Five Tips for Buying Car Out of State

There are a few best practices when buying any car, but there are also certain constraints you may be under when you buy out of state.

Here are five tips to think about when deciding the best course of action for you.

1. Communicate with the Dealer

The most important part of buying a car that is some distance away is to first communicate with the dealer. Never make the trip without first doing so, otherwise, it may be a waste of time and energy.

Get as much information about the car as you can before traveling to it. Learn it’s VIN number, as well as any other details to the dealer is willing to provide.

As well, pictures can help you decide quickly if you do like the car, or if it just isn’t the right option. Price is another factor to seek information about as well in order to stay within your budget.

Lastly, if all goes well in speaking with the dealer, see if they are able to hold it for you as you make the trip to get to it.

2. Order the Full Car History

One of the first things you should do with any used car that you are genuinely interested in is to order the full car history or car facts.

These can tell you the types of incidents the car has been in, as well as any documented service history and its previous owners.

This will also help you determine if the car is worth the travel or not, depending on what you find.

While there may be a fee for doing so, it is better than ending up with a problematic car.

3. Know Your Home State’s Requirements

The next step to buying car out of state is to look more into your home state’s requirements.

Firstly, a car’s emissions are one thing that certain states are stricter about than others. If your home state is California, keep in mind that it has some of the strictest emissions requirements.

Additionally, don’t assume that an emission inspection sticker gives the car an all clear. Always double check the state that did the check, and if it complies to that of your home state.

Otherwise, you will not be able to get a title and registration for your vehicle if it does not comply.

Another requirement to consider is a prepurchase safety check, which is mandated by many states.

It is a good idea to have it checked by a mechanic before purchasing it regardless, but many dealers will have this done for you.

4. Get Ready for a Title and Registration

In the event that you are purchasing the vehicle from a dealership, they will usually be able to give you the paperwork needed for a temporary title and registration.

This allows you to drive it home from the dealer legally. If you buy the car from a private seller, you will have to coordinate this yourself, which can be even more complicated if the car is outside of your home state.

You will then have to pay for a new title and registration within thirty days. Keep in mind that rebuilt or salvaged cars can come with additional regulation in this regard.

5. Pay the Taxes

It is absolutely necessary to pay taxes on a new vehicle in order to get it registered and to legally drive it.

You will likely pay the tax at the dealership in which you buy the car. If the taxes of that state are different than your own, that is something to take into account.

Whatever you still owe in taxes you will be required to pay at the DMV when you go to register the car, so make sure you have proof of what you have already given.

Final Considerations

All and all, there are several things to consider when buying car out of state. Most notably, it is important to follow the requirements of your home state, even when you don’t buy the car within it.

As well, you still need to make sure you pay for any applicable taxes, as well as getting a temporary registration and title.

Lastly, prior to making the decision to travel for a car or having it transported to you, make sure you communicate thoroughly with the dealer. It also never hurts to have a comprehensive history of the vehicle.

For more information about buying a secondhand car, check out our blog post of seven things to look for in it to make sure you aren’t getting more than you bargained for.