There's nothing inherently wrong with that idea but compared to buying a car within your state of residence, the process is more complicated and time-consuming. So, before you learn how to buy a car from another state, it is worthwhile to understand why you might want to do that and what the ramifications are.
One reason to consider buying a car from another state rather than your home state is the opportunity to purchase a model that is not available locally. Maybe it is a new car with a combination of equipment and color that is not in stock in any dealership in your state. Or perhaps it is an antique, classic, or special-interest vehicle that is so rare that finding one just like it for sale in your state is just an impossibility.
You may also consider buying a car from another state to save money. There are regional differences in new-vehicle pricing and manufacturer incentives, so a car with no incentive available in your state might have a lower price and a rich incentive on it elsewhere.
Another potential reason to consider an out-of-state car purchase revolves around the fact that some vehicles are popular in one market while they are less popular in another. This means you might be able to buy a model with four-wheel drive (4WD) in the Sunbelt cheaper than you could buy it in the Rockies. And this potential opportunity, unlike the first, applies equally to used vehicles. You might discover with an Internet search that a particular five-year-old sports car you crave is much cheaper in another state than it is in your local area. You might also believe that buying a car out of state is a way to steer around state and local taxes, which could potentially save you some money, but as you'll see, that is unlikely.
Finally, a third reason to consider buying a car from another state is that online buying services like Carvana, Vroom, and Shift are making it much easier to find out-of-state vehicles you might want to buy. They take the hassle out of the process as well.
With that in mind, it is wise to be confident that buying a vehicle from out of state will be a better move for you than purchasing a vehicle from a local dealer or a private party in your state. If you live in a big urban area in a populous state, the odds are you'll be able to find a car that meets your expectations without venturing outside the state boundaries. That being the case, you would have to save quite a bit of money to justify the extra steps involved in buying it out of state.
On the other hand, if you seek a rare car, your only choice might be beyond your state lines. Or you might find a compelling deal on a vehicle that is halfway across the country whose combination of condition, equipment, and price make the extra effort worth it. Those are value judgments only you can make.
One of the most significant drawbacks of buying a car from another state is the distance between you and the vehicle. Should you live close to another state, crossing the state line is easier. But for many car buyers, the distance can be an obstacle. After all, we heartily advise seeing and test driving the vehicle before you buy it.
Beyond that, getting through the paperwork involved in buying an out-of-state-car is typically more complicated than you'll encounter when purchasing one within your state. Each state has specific requirements for sales tax, registration, insurance, and emissions compliance. Just understanding all the steps you need to take can make the process more time-consuming than the typical in-state transaction.
In addition to assessing whether or not the out-of-state vehicle is a sound car that you feel good about buying, you must also deal with the paperwork, fees, and taxes that are an integral part of buying a car.
You will have to pay to get the car titled and registered in your home state, and you will likely have to produce a \"bill of sale\" and the transferred title to prove that you purchased the car legally. You must do this within the timeframe specified by your home state, which could be as little as 30 days. Depending upon your state's rules, the car might also have to pass an exhaust emissions test before you are allowed to register it.
Speaking of vehicle registration, depending upon regulations in the states involved in your vehicle purchase, you might need to obtain a temporary registration for the new vehicle simply to drive it home.
If you plan to drive the vehicle back to your home state, you must be sure that both insurance and, if needed, a temporary registration are in place. If you will have the vehicle shipped to your home, you'll have to find a shipper that will do the job for you. Many auto transport companies are listed on the Internet, and should you purchase from a dealer, they might be able to help you find a reliable company. You should be aware that shipping a car can be an expensive proposition.
The vehicle must be inspected by a trained auto theft investigator who is a law enforcement officer of this state or a political subdivision of this state. Contact local law enforcement to determine if they have a trained auto theft investigator or contact a Motor Vehicle Crime Prevention Authority Grantee to find a trained investigator.
Before visiting a DMV office to register your vehicle, please complete the Document Guide to make sure you bring the correct documents with you. The requirements to register an out-of-state vehicle are generally the same as to register and title vehicle in New York. However, there are exceptions. See the questions below.
Yes. If there is a lien on your out-of-state title certificate, the NYS DMV records the lien on your NYS title record and on your NYS title certificate. To remove the lien, you must provide proof that the lien has been satisfied (you paid your vehicle loan off). For more information, see remove or add a lienholder from a title.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A car that's $500 cheaper in another state still isn't a bargain if it costs you $700 in gas, lodging, or airfare for the trip to pick it up. You can have cars shipped, but you'll need to figure that cost into the vehicle's total price.
You can drive between some states with just a title and bill of sale showing that you purchased the car from a dealer or private seller. Other states require you to have a temporary registration, trip permit, or transport permit. Driving a vehicle with no temporary registration visible or license plates will get you stopped by the police in most states.
Every state's motor vehicle department is a bit different when it comes to transferring a vehicle to and from another state. You'll want to visit the DMV websites of both the car's current home state and your state, so you know what's involved.
If you're buying from a dealer in an adjacent state, they'll probably know what has to happen and can take care of most of the sales tax, title, and registration paperwork for you. There's a good chance they'll collect all of the sales taxes and fees necessary, forwarding them on to the appropriate