How do I Buy a Car in Indiana While Living in Illinois?

by Eric Cedric

If you live in Illinois and want to purchase a car in Indiana, you can. It is possible to buy your car from a dealer in Indiana and pay tax in only one state. You have a set amount of days to get permanent registration in Illinois for your new car even if you purchased it in Indiana. Find your car, buy it, then drive it home and rest assured the purchase is legal.

1

Test drive and negotiate for the car or vehicle you are interested in Indiana. Ask the dealer how much tax you will pay at the dealership. As of 2010, Indiana's sales tax rate was 7 percent. Illinois has a base rate of 6.25 percent with varying municipal and city taxes levied on top of this. For the Chicago area, sales tax on a car can reach 10.5 percent making a car purchase in Indiana cheaper for comparable models.

2

Ask the Indiana dealer if their vehicle dealership arranges Illinois registration. Many dealers offer other state registrations through their in-house branch of the DMVs, especially those dealers in Gary or other state-line areas as reported at the at the Indiana department of motor vehicle website.

3

Have the dealer register the car purchased in Indiana with Illinois licensing. You will be given a 30-day temporary plate to be displayed until your new plates and registration arrive.

4

Take down the old temporary plate and install the permanent Illinois plate on your car or vehicle.

About the Author

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera damaged cars image by Stephen Chaplin from Fotolia.com