Buying Cars Out Of State

Take advantage of the national market

Buying a vehicle out of your home state can get tricky. The problem is, each state has different rules and regulations about taxation, emissions and title. The key to an easy out-of-state buying experience is knowing the law and understanding your responsibilities.

Advertiser Links for buying cars out of state

You have to be extra prepared when you go into an out of state deal - don't rely on your dealer to take care of the complications that may arise. Like any car deal, you need to go into an out-of-state exchange with a pile of research and be ready to stand your ground.

Tips for Buying an Out-Of-State Vehicle

The most important thing to remember when buying an out-of-state vehicle is that you need to be aware of individual state laws. For example, if you live in California and purchase out of state, you have to make sure that the vehicle is equipped for state emissions regulations, which are more stringent than federal regulations. Other regulations that can differ by state include:

  • Window tint levels
  • Exhaust position and level
  • Ground clearance
  • Number of rear view mirrors required

If you do decide to buy out of state, keep in mind:

  • You will have to register and verify the VIN and provide proof of out of state title.
  • Vehicles with liens or outstanding parking tickets cannot be registered, regardless of the state in which they were incurred.
  • You will have to apply for an in-state certificate of title.
  • You will have to insure the vehicle according to state regulations.
  • You cannot register a vehicle in your name if you have delinquent property tax bills, parking tickets owed or have had your registration privileges revoked.
  • The process is similar if you choose to lease a vehicle out of state.

Tax Laws

Tax laws also vary by state, but in most cases you'll find you're not required to pay the taxes twice. Most states won't require you to pay taxes when you register the vehicle as long as you have proof that you paid tax in the state of purchase.

However, some states will charge a fee or require you to pay in-state taxes on your purchase, so make sure that you check into local regulations and requirements.

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