Logistics Tips: Buying & Shipping a Vehicle Out of State or Cross Country

Logistics Tips: Buying & Shipping a Vehicle Out of State or Cross Country
November 6, 2020 Aldo Flores

Buying a vehicle out of state can be a great way to expand your buying options, find the exact vehicle you want, or get a lower price on your car. Car purchases that cross state lines, however, can come with complications people who buy their vehicle locally don’t have to contend with.

From tax rules to shipping a car cross-country, make sure you’re considering all aspects of your new car purchase. Buying across state lines can be painless as long as you do your research and understand the risks involved.

Reasons To Buy A Vehicle In Another State

Buying a car out of state is a common necessity when looking for your dream car.As a significant investment of money and time, cars can be one of the most valuable goods we own. Many of us spend a large portion of our time in them, commuting to and from work, traveling on vacation, and finding relaxation or adventure as we drive around enjoying the vehicle that’s an integral part of our life. With that in mind, when it’s time to buy a new or new-to-you vehicle, you want to find the right car at the right price. These are some of the most common reasons people choose buying a car out of state:

  • Lack Of Local Selection – While car dealerships dot many of our urban areas, a large portion of the country is still predominantly rural. This leads to fewer new car dealers, less selection, and a correspondingly limited availability in the used-vehicle market. If someone wants options, sometimes they have to be willing to travel.
  • Looking For A Specific Vehicle – A more common reason for classic and collector car enthusiasts, finding the make and model you want may not be possible locally. Whether you’re looking for an early 80s Fox-body Mustang or the exact prop car from a movie, your search may take you across the country before finding the specific vehicle you want.
  • Looking For Lower Prices – Shopping around for major purchases makes sense. Dealerships for both new and used cars are given wide latitude to set prices, including the choice to add “market adjustments” on popular vehicles to boost their bottom lines. Sometimes the same vehicle can be found far cheaper in another market area.

Considerations Of Buying A Car Out Of State

While there can be benefits to buying your car far from home, there are risks and special situations you should acknowledge, educate yourself about, and mitigate before money changes hands. This will help ensure a more pleasant buying experience, make it harder for you to get ripped off, and help you avoid fines or penalties.

  • Be Sure Of Who You’re Doing Business With – While auto dealers are licensed and regulated by their state governments, there are unscrupulous sales people who will take advantage of someone looking for a good deal. If you are buying from a private individual rather than a dealer, that holds doubly true as many states consider such transactions as buyer-beware. Ensure you have reason to trust the selling party with regards to the car’s quality, and their right to sell it before you end up shipping a car cross country you don’t legally own. Don’t be afraid to have it checked over by an independent mechanic, verify the title with their state’s vehicle registration agency, and get everything in writing, including any recourse if the vehicle is not as described.
  • Understand Your Insurance Requirements – Some carriers will cover a new vehicle from the moment money exchanges hands, while others require its addition to the policy and an inspection by their representative. Talk to your carrier about the provisions on your policy and ensure buying a car out of state is a viable option given your insurance plan.
  • Know The Tax And Tag Requirements – Under most circumstances, sales tax is required to be paid to the state it will be registered in. Other states may allow you to pay sales tax to the state it’s sold in, but require excise taxes to be paid to the registering state. This is closely related to the requirements to tag the vehicle. Most allow 30 days to pay these taxes and obtain a valid license plate, but state tax codes can vary. Check with the agencies for both states to ensure you understand your responsibilities.
  • Arrange For Transport – If the vehicle is operable, close enough to your home state, and not condition-sensitive, driving it home is always an option. If it’s a parts car, a classic vehicle with low miles, or just farther away than you want to drive it, shipping your car cross country is an option. We’re able to offer you the shipping you need for safe, efficient, and cost-effective transport. This can include either open transport, great for parts cars and daily drivers, which carries your vehicle on an open trailer, and closed transport which uses an enclosed trailer for enhanced protection and security.

Choose The Right Carrier For You

While buying a car out of state may come with additional steps, getting that vehicle home and shipping the car cross country doesn’t have to. We have the experience you need to ensure a smooth transport process.

Request a free quote to find out how affordable vehicle transport can be so you have the full picture when you get ready to make a deal. Arrange shipping your car cross country with Trans Global Auto Logistics today.

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