Posted on 02/10/22

Tips For Buying A Car From Out Of State

Tips For Buying A Car From Out Of State

Request a report on the car's past history

When buying a car out of state, the first thing to do is sign up for CarFax. Then download the report about the vehicle you are interested in buying.

You can find out if the car has suffered any of these issues by checking the CarFax report.

  • Accidents
  • Mileage rollback
  • Multiple owners
  • Flood damage
  • Hail damage
  • More...

You can hire someone to perform the prepurchase inspection

You will need to hire someone to inspect your car before you buy it. You can either hire someone from a website like Craigslist, or use an on-demand service like WeGoLook to inspect your car.

Prepurchase inspections are crucial for verifying all that you have read in the car's history. This is one area you should not trust the previous owner.

What you should know

Before you purchase a car from another state, there are some things you need to know:

Taxes There are state taxes that you should consider when purchasing a car from another state. Sales tax is the tax you will pay. In most states, sales tax ranges from six to ten percent. You should be prepared for ten percent. This will allow you to pay the sales tax in any state.

Some states don't have a sales tax. shows each state's sales tax rate.

Emissions Make sure your vehicle meets state emission standards, especially in California. You might lose your license to drive the car if it fails inspection.

Insurance You'll need to get insurance before you buy your car. You can then drive your car as soon as you receive it.

Title Transfer- Don't forget about the title transfer. Private sellers will require you to complete all paperwork and make any necessary trips to the DMV. Visit your state's DMV site to get the process started. You can locate the DMV website for your state.

VIN Some states require you to verify your Vehicle Identification Number. This is not required in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky as well as Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi. North Dakota, South Carolina, South Carolina, and South Dakota.

You can find the form you need here.

Shipping your car is a great option

You won't want to pick up the car and drive it home if you have spent all that effort to avoid any inspections. Even if your car was inspected by someone else, it is unlikely that you will want to take your car home on a train or plane.

You should first consider that the vehicle will see hundreds to even thousands of miles. Depreciation is the loss of future resale values. Mileage is equal to depreciation. The depreciation will be much higher if the car is new. Most people have heard that the car's value drops immediately after it is driven off the lot. This is true. The car's value will drop significantly after you get it home.

It is also important to think about the cost of shipping your car. You will need to either rent a car or drive the car there. If you don't plan to make coffees and drive back in your new car, you will need to spend a night at a hotel. Driving back will cost you gas. Another economic concept is called opportunity cost. It is when you lose the opportunity to do something in exchange for another. This would mean that you take time off work to get your car, but you could still save money by shipping it.

Let's take, for example, that you live in New York City and bought a car online from Miami. A one-way ticket on a plane would cost $100 at the time of writing. For the return trip, fuel costs would be approximately $180 using an average sedan. Current gas prices are about $180. A hotel room in Miami costs at least $130

Consider the car's depreciation due to the return trip. After three thousand miles, the average car's value will plummet between $5,000 and $10,000. It will take approximately 1300 miles to travel from Miami to New York. Let's say you have $5,000. This would be equal to at least $2,000. The depreciation for a used car will be lower, depending on how many miles the vehicle has been driven. Let's assume that a used vehicle will have $800 worth of depreciation. Driving a used car home costs $1,210. It would cost $2,410 to buy a new vehicle. Move Car calculated the cost of shipping the same car home using the same information. After waiting for a week, the Move Car quote showed that the cost would be $1,195. You can also save a lot of time and effort by shipping your car.


Although there is some additional work involved when buying a car in another state, it's worth it if you follow these guidelines. After you have done your research and bought the car, ship it. You don't need to either drive it or transport it yourself. Move Car will take care of all this so that you don't have to worry.