Tips for Buying a Car Out of State
Buying a car out of state is much easier than it used to be. If you’re buying a brand new car, it’s possible to discover out-of-state dealerships that have discounts your local dealer does not.
You may also be able to find the make, model, color or options package you want when it’s not available at your home dealership. Used car buyers will love the wide variety of cars available that they can’t find near them.
However, out-of-state car shopping definitely involves extra preparation, steps and diligence. Here’s a handy checklist that’ll help you confidently and efficiently get that sweet set of wheels you’ve been dreaming of.
Title and registration. With a new car the dealership will handle the title and registration paperwork for you in the state of purchase. But after that, you’ll have to title and register it in your home state. If you’re buying a used car from a private seller there may be some extra paperwork necessary depending on the states involved. It’s best to contact DMVs in both states to see what steps you need to take.
Smog, emissions, and safety inspections. Some states require these inspections, and may have certain requirements and restrictions that others don’t. You’ll want to do a little research here to make sure the vehicle will pass any and all inspections required by your home state. If it’s not compliant, be prepared to take steps and pay additional costs to get it certified.
Sales tax. It’s important to keep in mind that you’ll need to pay sales tax in the state where your car will be registered (your home state) — not in the state where it was purchased. A dealership may handle it for you but they don’t have to. So, do yourself a favor by making sure your state’s sales tax is properly paid, so you don’t have any hiccups when you register it at home.
Car insurance. Contact your insurance agent before you make the purchase so you have your auto insurance ready to go. This can speed up the process and gives you the protection you want for your new ride.
The last step? Take that car out on the open road and enjoy the ride!