You’ve Bought a Car Out of State — Now What?

Not that long ago, buying a car meant going to the local car dealer and picking out your choice from what was available on the lot. Today, however, everything has changed. Now you might buy a car by bidding for it on an online auction site or buying it outright from an online car dealer. You might find that the only dealer carrying the car with the exact mix of features you want is several states away. Or you might be buying a classic, one-of-a-kind vehicle, the car you’ve always dreamed of owning.

Making these kinds of car purchases is now quite easy, but doing so raises a new question. How do you get the car to your location? That’s where a car shipping company comes into the equation. Here are a few tips on getting your new car delivered to you safely.

Have the Car Inspected

If you’re not going to have the opportunity to inspect the car you’re buying personally, hire a third party inspection service or ask for a video inspection before you transfer any money or sign any papers. While buying a car online or in another state is generally safe, some car sellers might take advantage of your inability to check out the vehicle yourself.

Hire the Right Car Transport Company

When hiring a car shipping company, you want to make sure you’re dealing with a reputable firm that’s fully licensed and insured. Your car transport company should insure your new car completely during shipping, and they should be available to you in case of emergencies.

You can choose between enclosed and open transport when having your car shipped. For most cars, open transport is sufficient, since your car would be exposed to the same elements if you were driving it cross-country. Enclosed transport is an appropriate choice if you’re transporting a very special (or very expensive!) car, such as a racing car or a rare, classic vehicle.

Your car shipping company will coordinate with the seller to arrange for picking up the car, and they’ll confirm with you when they have possession of the vehicle. If the seller balks at the idea of working with the car transport company, perhaps it’s a good idea to question whether you want to work with the seller.

The seller should mail all the car documents rather than placing them in the car during shipping, since the car transport company isn’t responsible for any items left in the car. Work with the shipping company to make arrangements for delivery and/or pick-up of the car once it reaches your town.

Register the Car in Your State

Once you’ve received your vehicle from the car shipping company, head straight to your local Department of Motor Vehicles to take car of registering the car in your state. You’ll also need to get new license plates for the car, and don’t forget to add the car to your auto insurance. Once you’ve taken care of all this, you’re ready to take your new car on the road!

Give us a call if you’re considering buying a car in another state, and we can walk you through everything that’s involved with the paperwork and with making arrangements for transporting your new car.