Can You Buy A Vehicle Outside of Your Home State?

Buying a car is like going on an adventure. But what if you want to go on an adventure to buy a car?

While most car shoppers prefer to look for their next vehicle locally, some are inclined to broaden their horizons to other states. After all, what if that perfect vehicle or that perfect price is waiting outside your neighborhood? It’s a tempting prospect for intricate shoppers, but it does raise a question; are you even allowed to buy a vehicle out of state?

Long story short, the answer is yes. However, there are a few loopholes you’ll have to jump through to make it work. And after that, you’ll have to decide if the decision is worth it.

First things first: taxes. Depending on where you live, you might be used to shopping in a different state to save a few bucks on taxes. Unfortunately, car shopping doesn’t work quite like that. You might pay less in taxes at the point of purchase, but you’ll make up the difference when you register your vehicle. You’ll need to make sure you budget these costs out.

Speaking of registration, you’ll want to make sure you actually can register your vehicle in your home state. Certain states – such as California – require vehicles to adhere to specific air quality standards. You’ll want to make sure that the vehicle you’re purchasing meets the criteria of your home state, otherwise you’ll be in for a lot of headaches figuring out how to actually own your vehicle.

Finally, you’re going to need insurance squared away by the time you register your vehicle. Many states require insurance for registration, and when you’re doing business across state lines, it’ll be helpful to have this step squared away. This is also an important reminder if you’re moving and need your vehicle registered again.

Now, these steps will certainly help you shop out of state. But the question is, should you? You don’t want to rush through buying a vehicle: you’ll want to take time test driving, asking questions, and finding the vehicle that’s just right for you. If you’re looking at a dealership hours away from where you live, then any discounts you were trying to snipe might get eaten up by the time and gas you’ll spend driving back and forth.

Ultimately, the decision to shop out of state is up to you. If you can identify the costs involved and still deem it a worthwhile endeavor, then go for it! Just make sure to do business with a reliable salesperson, as they’ll help you get temporary registration and file away all the proper paperwork with the DMV of the states involved.

But whether you’re shopping for a vehicle in state or out of state, I want to make life easy for you. Give me a call or send me a message, and I’ll help you find the right vehicle at the perfect price. And if that vehicle is on another of our lots out of state, I can make a few phone calls too. Perhaps I can’t be in two places at once, but I promise I’ll always be there for you until you get that shiny new set of keys.


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