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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Buying car out of state?

Hello to all! I am new here looking at buying a 2019 RAV4 this summer when my son graduates college.

Please forgive me if this has been covered- I tried using the search function but could not find anything.

I am curious about the process of buying a car out of state.

Does the out of state dealer process all the necessary paperwork? Or do you have additional paperwork to do at your home state?
How are the taxes done?
Any other major issues that have to be dealt with?
Additional fees?

I am sure this has already been discussed somewhere but I could not find it. If so, please direct to where I should look.

Thanks to all for the help and insight!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 12:05 PM
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I am in the process of buying from an out of state dealer and its been very easy so far. The dealer will take care of all necessary paperwork (registration and title) and I will switch my plate when I trade in my car. Taxes are based on the state you register the car, not the state of purchase. If you have a trade in, tax is based on what is owed after the trade in. You can likely expect a "dealer fee" to process the paperwork. Some don't have it, but most do and it can be negotiable. Additionally, you'll want to watch out for an extra fees like VIN etching that they may try and tag on.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the quick feedback!
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 02:00 PM
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This one in on selling a car but you may find some info from this Michigan Attorney.

When I buy cars or trucks out of state I get the title and bill of sale and run registering it in CT thru DMV myself. Probably been thru that for myself or friends many dozens of times over the years. One advantage of doing it that way is you have all the seller's information on the title. Altho being pressured by dealers about paying sales tax in the selling state I never have. FL is bad about it but RI takes the cake.

When my BIL from AK bought his RAV4 from a RI dealer the dealer insisted he pay RI sales tax. But his wife, a CPA, explained that AK has no sales tax and they were by no means going to pay it to RI. A standoff ensued. The dealer's resolution was they had to deliver it out of state. So while we rode along they had a salesman chauffeur us over the RI/MA line with another salesman following us to take him back. We then proceeded on our way tax free.

In your specific case I don't know if a dealer in the other state can register a vehicle in MI and I don't know what regulations apply, but if they say they can it must be true.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dr. Dyno View Post
This one in on selling a car but you may find some info from this Michigan Attorney. Used Car Buyer's Checklist - Lehto's Law Ep. 2.13 - YouTube

When I buy cars or trucks out of state I get the title and bill of sale and run registering it in CT thru DMV myself. Probably been thru that for myself or friends many dozens of times over the years. One advantage of doing it that way is you have all the seller's information on the title. Altho being pressured by dealers about paying sales tax in the selling state I never have. FL is bad about it but RI takes the cake.

When my BIL from AK bought his RAV4 from a RI dealer the dealer insisted he pay RI sales tax. But his wife, a CPA, explained that AK has no sales tax and they were by no means going to pay it to RI. A standoff ensued. The dealer's resolution was they had to deliver it out of state. So while we rode along they had a salesman chauffeur us over the RI/MA line with another salesman following us to take him back. We then proceeded on our way tax free.

In your specific case I don't know if a dealer in the other state can register a vehicle in MI and I don't know what regulations apply, but if they say they can it must be true.


Thanks for the video! I will check it out.


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 08:51 PM
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I registered Rav4 hybrid last year in Connecticut. I purchased from Dealer in PA to get advantage of extra 2000$ customer cash.

Dealer provided me Certificate of Origin. They did not register the car in CT or charge any sales tax. Dealer provided temporary tags. I registered in Connecticut myself, handing in certificate of Origin and paying sales tax ( on sales price. 3K Customer cash is treated by Connecticut like mail in rebate even though I never paid it).

Connecticut then issued the title and plates.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cthindi View Post
I registered Rav4 hybrid last year in Connecticut. I purchased from Dealer in PA to get advantage of extra 2000$ customer cash.

Dealer provided me Certificate of Origin. They did not register the car in CT or charge any sales tax. Dealer provided temporary tags. I registered in Connecticut myself, handing in certificate of Origin and paying sales tax ( on sales price. 3K Customer cash is treated by Connecticut like mail in rebate even though I never paid it).

Connecticut then issued the title and plates.


Sounds like a good deal! Thanks for the input.


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 10:01 PM
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I recently purchased my RAV4 out of state. I’m in Delaware and purchased from a dealer in Maryland. As others have mentioned, taxes are based on where you plan on registering your vehicle. I traded in a vehicle and kept my Delaware plate, and the dealer completed all of the associated paperwork, including in my case a temporary tag for Maryland while my Delaware transfer paperwork is processed. Very easy from my perspective. I hope this helps.
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