If you are in the market to buy a car, you may be comparing prices of vehicles at different dealerships. What you may find is that the prices of cars and the incentives offered vary from state to state. This may leave you wondering if you should buy your car in a different state or whether you should simply stick to buying a car in the state in which you reside. Just as informative as the weirdest traffic laws from each state, you will want to know the info below before you buy a car in a different state.
Smog and Safety Standards
When you are buying a car in another state, you need to ensure the car meets the smog and emissions requirements and the safety standards that are required in your state. This is rarely an issue with new cars. After all, manufacturers will not manufacture a car to meet emissions standards in one state and then change the car to meet emissions standards in another state. However, this can come into play when you are buying a used vehicle from a dealer. The used car may meet the smog and emissions and/or safety standards in the state it is being sold, but not in the state you live and plan on registering it. It is the dealer's responsibility to ensure the vehicle meets the requirements for the state in which the car is being sold. It is your responsibility to know what the requirements are for the state where you plan on registering the vehicle and ensure it meets those standards. If the car doesn't meet the standards in the state you live and plan on registering it, you may have to spend money to make changes and fixes to the car to meet requirements in your state.
The Registration Process
When you buy a new or used car from a dealership, they typically complete the registration process with DMV on your behalf. However, if you live in another state, you are responsible for completing the registration process on your own. Many people do not understand what information they need to submit to the DMV to register a new car. It can be time consuming and daunting. If you do not have a lot of time to spend figuring it out or waiting in a DMV office, you may want to avoid buying a car from out of state.
The last piece of information that you need to know involves sales tax. Many people consider buying a car from out of state because another state has cheaper sales tax. On a multi thousand-dollar car, this can add up quickly. However, DMV charges you sales tax based on the state the car is registered in, not where the car is purchased. This means you cannot avoid paying sales tax, or pay a lesser amount, by buying a car out of state.
If you are looking to save money when buying a new car, looking at your insurance coverage is probably a better option than buying a car from a different state. Changing your coverage amounts, increasing your deductible or attending traffic school to remove points from your driving record can help you save some money. In turn, this money can be applied to the price of a new car. There is a lot of information you need to know if you are considering buying a car out of state. You need to ensure the car meets safety and emissions requirements in your state, you need to complete the registration process yourself and you need to understand how sales tax is calculated and collected. In many cases, buying a car out of state ends up being more work than people bargained for.