How to Buy a Car Out-of-State

couple buying a new car

It’s far from uncommon for drivers to focus on their own state’s market when they’re searching for their next ride. After all, with so many differing laws and regulations, learning how to buy a car in another state can feel like a daunting task! It doesn’t have to be. Sandy Sansing operates a close network of dealerships spanning Florida and Alabama, and since we frequently meet drivers from both sides of the border, we know everything there is to know about this sometimes-tricky process. Get the help you need today!

Registering a Car Bought in Another State

Whether you opt for a new vehicle or a used car, you’ll need to know how to register it in the state where you actually live! Here’s what you’ll do as soon as you’re done buying a car out-of-state and driving it home:

  1. Whether you buy out-of-state from a dealer in Mobile, AL or buy out-of-state from a private seller in Pensacola, FL, you’ll want to ask for a bill of sale with your purchase. Make sure the purchase price is listed and labeled clearly. You should also receive a title, labeled with the state where you purchased the vehicle.
  2. Locate the closest DMV in your state of residence. If you don’t know, use the website, DMV Near Me.
  3. With your bill of sale and your out-of-state title in hand, collect your photo ID, proof of residence, and proof of insurance. Then, head to the DMV and follow the clerk’s instructions. 
  4. After processing the new title request, the clerk will return your bill of sale, but keep the old out-of-state title. They’ll send you your new in-state title in the mail.

cockpit of 2018 Nissan Maxima

What Taxes and Fees Will I Pay on My Out-of-State Cars?

Most of the fees and taxes will be taken care of by the time you’re done buying the vehicle out-of-state and driving it home to Daphne, AL. However, you’ll still need to pay:

  • Any required local sales tax
  • The difference between the out-of-state sales tax and the in-state sales tax
  • Any processing fees or requirements at your local in-state DMV.

Although there might be a few extra steps involved, you can rest assured that for the most part, there’s no enormous difference between buying a car in-state and buying a car across state lines. It’s not as though you’ll have to spend hundreds of extra dollars or spend weeks filling out and sending in forms.

Sandy Sansing Is Your Trusted Interstate Car Dealer

Whether you’re located in Florida, Alabama, or beyond, it’s easy to expand your options and find an even better deal when you’re willing to cross state lines! Now that you’ve seen how to buy a car in another state, we’d guess that you’re ready to start searching! If so, check out our full new vehicle inventory today.

Have you already found the vehicle that you’d like to purchase? Since Sandy Sansing has plenty of experience with interstate purchases, our finance team is well-equipped to see you through the process from start to finish. Contact us today to get the help you need.