8am-5pm (CST M-F)

(888) 231-7965

Steps to Take If You’re Buying a Used Vehicle from Another State

There are times when buying a car is as simple as going across town. Other times, it means going a longer distance to find the vehicle you really want. If you’re buying a used car from another state, make sure you’re a diligent customer to avoid ending up with a lemon.

Get It Inspected

Whenever you buy a used car, whether outside or within your hometown, it’s important to have it inspected by a professional automotive technician. You can expect a thorough inspection of the car to see if there are mechanical issues or maintenance problems. The technician will also assess if the car is roadworthy and safe to drive. Hiring a professional technician for a used auto inspection means you can get an unbiased and complete report on the car to help you decide if it’s a good buy.

Fulfill the State Requirements

When it comes to vehicle requirements, it’s important to note that each state has its own rules. As a buyer, it’s your responsibility to ensure you comply with them. However, there are some general guidelines that apply to almost all states.

First, the car needs to be certified that it passed a smog and emissions test. There may be times when a car has certification that isn’t valid or accepted in another state. In cases like this, the car needs to be tested again.

A safety inspection is another requirement to be aware of. Some states have a biennial or annual inspection program, while others only require the inspection upon transfer of ownership. Since there are some variations, check your local motor vehicle agency for specific instructions on inspections.

The title and registration need special attention for used cars. Usually, the dealer handles the paperwork. However, if you’re buying a used car from a private seller, you’ll have to do the title transfer and registration yourself. People who purchase vehicles outside of their state may need to coordinate between their state’s motor vehicle agency and the agency where the car was originally located.

Pay the Right Amount of Taxes

The general rule with sales taxes is that you pay the tax where the car will be registered, which in this case would be your own home state. If you fail to pay the sales tax, you cannot register the vehicle.

Make Sure You Have Adequate Car Insurance

Consult with your insurance agent before you buy a car out of state. Almost all states require car insurance before you can legally drive the car. It’s also important to consider that as soon as you have the car, it will need to go through a long drive to get to your home state. Having the proper car insurance is, therefore, particularly important for people who buy a used car out of state.

Contact Lemon Squad today if you’re considering purchasing an out-of-state vehicle and would like a pre-purchase car inspection. We can send one of our highly trained technicians out to inspect the car and let you know if it’s a good option to purchase. Call 888-231-7965 today to schedule an inspection.