Before you buy, test drive the car. Worst State to Avoid Unexpected Fees: Alabama If you want to avoid paying unexpected fees, steer clear of Alabama. Yes, you can. My weekly “Wheel Deals” newspaper articles are syndicated by CTW Features. Getting your title and registration in order is an easy process if you're buying your car from an out-of-state dealership. If you are hoping to save some tax dollars by buying your car out of state, think again. Find out when you should consider buying a car out of state and what steps you should take. Some of the extra steps for out-of-state buying are going to cost you money. This will cost you some money up front, but it is money well spent. While buying a car out of state can be beneficial, it also introduces a number of other factors to be aware of. Before you make your purchase, make sure that the brake lights, seat belts, steering system, and other essential components of the car work. It would be best if you tried to find a car you can afford that is located in your state or, at the very least, in one nearby. A Carfax Report can confirm the number of owners and the odometer reading. Here are the facts on that and other out-of-state buying issues to keep in mind. Many dealerships will give you a temporary registration sticker to use for your drive home. Though some of these modifications are relatively simple, many of them can be expensive. Action Alerts PLUS is a registered trademark of TheStreet, Inc. state that does not allow transfer of plates. Even better, take the time to have a used vehicle inspected by a local mechanic who can evaluate its mechanical condition – particularly the parts you can’t see – and alert you to any possible problems. I've been covering cars for more than 30 years, with 17 of those spent as automotive editor for Consumers Digest magazine. You may also have to pay any applicable local sales taxes. Find out the essential steps you need to take to buy a car out of state in 2019. No matter what your situation is, buying a car from a different state requires a couple more steps to help you avoid any issues along the way. You’ll receive a signed title from the seller that names you as the current owner, but you will have to transfer the title to your home state, and register the car there as well. CARFAX does not have the complete history of every vehicle. So, if you can find a similar vehicle at a comparable – or even slightly higher – price within state lines, you should consider that car first. Another good reason to buy a car out of state is if you have your heart set on a specific make and model. My PA job situation is a long-term temp situation, so I don't want to transfer my license just for the purchase of a car. There’s nothing to stop a buyer from crossing state borders to buy either a new or a used car. It's important to familiarize yourself with the regulations in your specific state. You might live close to a state border. CARFAX Vehicle History products and services are based only on information supplied to CARFAX. Never purchase a vehicle sight-unseen. A new car is often the second largest purchase (after a house) that a person will make in a lifetime. Research the car thoroughly. While all the tips here are designed to help you make it somewhat more manageable, you can't forget the basics of car buying during the process. Have the seller show proof that the vehicle has passed its last emissions test to avoid any surprises later on. Buying a car out-of-state can be a major undertaking. This is especially true if you live on or close to the border of another state. If the car you want is difficult to find or you have found it at a significantly cheaper price point, then it might be worth the trouble of buying it out of state. Some states offer “trip permits” that let you drive an unregistered car for a few days – enough time to get it home and get it registered. However, if you're buying from a private seller, you'll need to handle title and registration paperwork on your own. It's important to familiarize yourself with your area's emissions regulations before committing to a vehicle. Show them the paperwork for the car. Remember the trip home: If you end up purchasing the vehicle, you also want to consider the drive home. I specialize in the vehicle buying and ownership experience, with a few car reviews thrown in for good measure. By going to see the car in person, you can check for visual defects. What’s more, prices for specific types of used vehicles can vary by region. Buying a car out of state can be challenging, but it can also help you save money under the right circumstances. Take the vehicle to a mechanic who can verify that it doesn't have any major problems. 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