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How to Buy a Car Out of State

by J. Johnson

Buying a car out of state can offer many advantages, such as finding a better selection, lower prices, or special deals, but there are also a lot of challenges. You may need to deal with tax issues, a waiting period, and increased transportation costs to pick up the new or used car you purchased (Reference 1). If, after weighing the pros and cons, you decide that buying a car out of state is the right choice for you, there are a few simple things you can do to make the process much easier.

Research tax information for states that border yours. If possible, target your search to states that have lower taxes than your state (Reference 1). That way, you'll be sure to get the best deal on the car your purchase out of state.

Locate dealers in the states you're searching in, and visit their websites. Many of them will have cars that you can buy online and have them shipped to you, which will eliminate the need to travel across state lines. Make a list of possible dealers where you'd like to purchase a car, as well as individual cars you like.

Make a list of questions to ask, and contact a salesperson at each dealership. Your questions should be based on things that are important to you when buying a new or used car, such as warranties, shipping costs, special deals or haggling policies. Many dealerships offer no-haggle pricing, meaning you pay the sticker price for the car. For those that don't, you should attempt to negotiate a better deal.

After you've decided which dealers to visit, arrange your travel plans. This might involve making a budget, booking a hotel and possibly renting a car, if you don't have a available vehicle for travel.

Visit each dealer, and make a list of all the specific new and used cars you're considering purchasing. Decide which one to purchase based on the criteria that are important to you, such as price, gas mileage, make and model, or color. Once you choose the car you want to purchase, contact the dealer to make arrangements to pick it up or to have it shipped to you, and to apply for financing, if necessary.

Tip

  • If you choose to purchase a car because the state where the dealership is located has lower taxes than your state, make sure the cost of shipping or travel doesn't cancel out the savings you'll receive in taxes. You want an out of state purchase to be worth the extra hassle (Reference 1).

About the Author

J. Johnson has been completing freelance writing work since September 2009. Her work includes writing website content and small client projects. Johnson holds a degree in English from North Carolina State University.

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