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Tips for Buying an Out-of-State Car

You are currently viewing Tips for Buying an Out-of-State Car
Consider these things when buying your next car from an out-of-state dealer
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You found yourself the perfect car. It checks every box; it’s the right color, it’s low mileage, but there’s only one issue. It’s in a completely different state. Many drivers buy cars from other states for one reason or another. With chip shortages and the rising cost of pre-owned vehicles, more people are finding their next car from across the country. But, there are some things to consider when you’re buying an out-of-state car.

Financial Struggles

Most people find themselves looking at out-of-state vehicles after they see the price tag. There are certain tax incentives as well, if you plan to purchase a vehicle in a state with more favorable tax laws. In California, for example, the DMV will exempt the fees and sales tax provided there is proof that the delivery occurred outside the state. That means you must arrange transportation and keep the documentation.

Look for signs of trouble

However, saving money on a price tag and sales tax could cut into your savings if you don’t cover your bases. You may not be able to see the car in person before the purchase, but you can certainly still get an inspection. Bonus points to the seller if they can provide a recent inspection. However, more often than not, you’re going to have to pay for an inspection. But paying a few bucks to have an inspector tell you that the vehicle needs work that costs three times the price of an inspection is a good idea.


In the midst of organizing an out-of-state sale, it’s easy to overlook important details. Make sure the seller provides the bill of sale and the signed title. Recovering this after the sale could be a lengthy and time consuming process. Time is money, and forgetting this step is a huge waste of time.

Vehicle History Report

Don’t fall victim to a pretty picture with a catchy title. If you’re buying from an online website, take the extra step to open a new tab and run the VIN for a Carfax report. These don’t take long, and they will give you enough information to make an educated decision to purchase the car.

Transportation Scams

Let’s face it: scammers are out there. They come in all shapes and sizes, and one of those is fake companies who offer great deals they can’t follow through on. Find a reputable transport company to ship your vehicle. Atlanta Car Transport is a fantastic company with amazing services and reasonable prices.

Understand the laws when Buying an Out-of-State Car

Nobody really understands taxes and fees. I’m sure even the lawyers who wrote the terms don’t truly understand what they wrote. Even still, understand what an out-of-state purchase entails before you buy. Remember the California tax law above? Well, California only offers the tax exemption if the vehicle is shipped. If you choose to drive your vehicle back to the state, the DMV will charge you the state sales tax. Find out what your state requires in order to not get dinged in the long haul.

Also, don’t forget about emission standards. Those aren’t standard across the country. Georgia has different environmental standards than other states. It is important to note if your out-of-state vehicle is legal when you bring it home.

Shipping your vehicle can help navigate the chaos

If you find a reputable car shipper, they will make your out-of-state car purchase that much easier. You won’t have to worry about adding wear and tear on a lengthy roadtrip home. A good shipping company will direct you to the proper avenues to make sure your car is properly documented before they pick up your vehicle. This will ensure you’ve checked in with your insurance company and maybe even the DMV before you buy.

Buying an out-of-state car could be the answer to finding your next dream car. If done properly, it doesn’t have to be the hassle everyone says it is. With a little foresight and proper planning, you can expand your auto market across all 50 states.

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