It's tempting to think you can get a better deal — or avoid sales tax — by shopping out of state. But when you try to register the car in your home state, it could turn into a bureaucratic nightmare. So before you make a deal, find out what your state's registry will require to make the vehicle street legal.
There are three areas to research up front:
1. Emissions requirements
2. Sales tax collection
3. Transporting the vehicle before you register it
As you consider these issues, keep in mind that buying the car from a private party will be different from purchasing it at a dealership, which can answer registry questions and provide the necessary paperwork. When you buy from a private party, you have to deal with these issues on your own.
There are other out-of-state buying concerns we don't cover here, such as prepurchase vehicle inspection and shipping. Follow the links at the end of this article for more information on those topics.