Purchasing a Vehicle in a Different State: A Guide for Savvy Car Shoppers

Purchasing a Vehicle in a Different State: A Guide for Savvy Car Shoppers

Are you tired of overpaying for vehicles in your local market? Do you have your heart set on a specific make and model, but can't seem to find it within your budget? If so, shopping for a vehicle in a different state might be the solution you've been searching for.

With years of experience buying, selling, and shopping for vehicles across the United States, I've learned that one of the best ways to increase quality while decreasing price is to shop in different markets. By doing so, you can save thousands of dollars on your next vehicle purchase.

There are many reasons why you might want to buy a vehicle in a different state. For example, if you live in a high-priced area, shopping elsewhere could result in significant savings. Or, perhaps your dream vehicle is located in a different region. Some people living in the "rust belt" prefer to shop elsewhere to avoid dealing with rust caused by salt on the roads. Maybe you just want to flip a vehicle to make some side money. Whatever your reason, buying out of state could be the solution you've been looking for.

So, you've decided to pursue an out-of-state vehicle. What's next? The first step is to thoroughly plan all aspects of the trip and purchase. Make an appointment with the dealership or seller to ensure the vehicle remains reserved. If possible, negotiate to be picked up from the airport with the vehicle.

To mitigate risk, ask for extremely detailed photos and videos of the vehicle. Request a vehicle history report and any other known issues with it. Don't make up your mind before you see the vehicle in person. While it may be disappointing to waste money on a flight, it's even worse to bring home a lemon. Have several backup plans in place by finding several vehicles in the area you're interested in before making the trip.

Before considering the trip, be sure to calculate all costs. Run the numbers several times to ensure that the time and effort involved are worth the savings. Remember, you will still have to pay taxes in the state you register the vehicle in, so these costs will not be considered savings. The dealer can issue the title, making it easier to transfer the vehicle to your home state.

If you're using a loan, it's best to get pre-qualified before you leave home. Talk to the dealership about all requirements before making the trip. If you're using a private seller, it's best to get pre-qualified at a credit union or bank with national reach. You can also receive a cash loan for the purchase and convert it into an auto loan later. Although it can be risky to travel with cash, it makes negotiating with private sellers much easier.

Before leaving, talk to your insurance agent. Your current policy will likely cover your new purchase for a short period.

It's important to note that this strategy isn't for everyone. It's for the well-informed buyer who is very familiar with what they're purchasing. If you're considering purchasing a vehicle in a different state, do some market research and weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. Don't knock it until you try it!

In conclusion, shopping for a vehicle in a different state can result in significant savings and provide you with more options to choose from. However, it requires thorough planning, market research, and a calculated approach. Happy shopping!