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Purchasing a car is a big commitment. Here are some tips when you want to purchase a vehicle out of state.

5 Tips for Purchasing a Vehicle Out of State

Letting go of a car can be difficult, and there’s comfort in ignoring the warning signs that it’s time to put your old clunker out of its misery. Your vehicle may hold memories of road trips with friends, driving your kids to their first days of school, or scribbling “just married” in chalk marker on the back window. But once your odometer hits six figures, the memories it holds can quickly turn into painful headaches as failed emissions tests, safety concerns, and high maintenance costs ravage your beloved car. 

Before you know it, it’ll be time to upgrade to a new-and-improved model. However, while it may be hard to find a perfect ride close to home, out-of-state possibilities are limitless. Extending your car search allows you to expand your options without being tethered to your local market. However, purchasing a vehicle remotely comes with challenges. Read on to learn helpful tips to dodge out-of-state complications and locate a car parts database that will help you land a good deal.

Choosing a shipping provider post-purchase

Before you set your heart on the car of your dreams, make sure you can get the car delivered to your driveway safe and sound. You shouldn’t have to worry about how your out-of-state purchase arrives safely—let a reliable car shipping company manage that stress for you.

By selecting a reputable provider, like Guardian Auto Transport (, you’ll ensure your car arrives as scheduled, with a simple process and proactive care. Select a company that offers tracking services and excellent customer support to evade shipping nightmares and receive your upgraded vehicle sans scratches and scrapes.

Do your research

After securing a reputable transport service, the next step should be obtaining a vehicle history report to avoid cars with hidden, expensive problems. Car history reports give insight into how many previous owners the vehicle had, speedometer info, and crash documentation, allowing you to effectively filter your search and evade complications down the road. 

Avoid falling Into “title traps”

Running a vehicle history report will help avoid any unnecessary headaches that come with trusting a seller out-of-state. Be wary of remote used car listings through third-party agencies, as many are scam advertisements offering false promises. A reputable vehicle history report will also disqualify any chance of “title-washing,” where sellers scrub floods, salvages, or crashes from the car’s history to get a low-quality vehicle sold at a high-quality price. A quick rule-of-thumb is if it seems too good to be true, it likely is. 

Get a maintenance test

When buying a car out-of-state, consider finding a local mechanic to run a maintenance check on the vehicle. Avoid using biased, on-site maintenance crews at dealerships, and instead, opt for a third-party mechanic to give you the car’s report card. Some dealerships even offer free return policies, giving you the option of running a maintenance test when you obtain the vehicle. 

Consider sales tax and registration

When buying and registering a car out-of-state, there are various hoops to jump through before receiving your vehicle. Some states don’t have a sales tax, so be aware of in-state taxes and fees you’ll be responsible for after purchase. Different sites have different titling guidelines, so make sure to research proper steps to take when obtaining a new title for your remotely-purchased vehicle.

The bottom line

As with any big purchase, it is essential to take necessary precautions to ensure your car lives up to your expectations. In-state car searches can be limiting, but once you expand your search to out-of-state options, the possibility of finding your perfect car becomes endless. With diligent research and reliable transport services, you’ll have your dream car in no time.

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