Buying Out of State FAQs

Buying out of State; image features a person on a computer

One of the most asked questions we receive at BMW of Schererville is whether buying a car out of state is possible. If you’ve been wanting an answer to this question because you have your eye on a new or quality pre-owned vehicle at our Indiana BMW dealership, you’ll be pleased to learn the answer is yes.

You can buy a vehicle out of state regardless of whether you live in Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, or other surrounding areas. It’s not as challenging as you might believe, but there are a few key questions you might need answered before you agree to drive off our lot.

From understanding if buying out of state is legal and the tax implications to learning how to register a new car in your hometown, we’ve answered all the frequently asked questions of those interested in owning a BMW. With the help of our BMW dealership near you, you can rest assured you’re receiving the best possible BMW ownership experience from start to finish.

1. Is It Legal To Buy A Car Out of State?

In recent years, more individuals have turned toward buying vehicles out of state because it gives them more options. After all, online shopping has made buying a new car easier than ever. This is especially true for individuals wanting to purchase a new BMW from dealerships like BMW of Schererville.

However, when people begin their buying journey, they often ask if buying a car out of state is legal, and the answer is yes. This will remain true if you follow your state requirements for new vehicle purchases.

For example, if you buy a vehicle in Indiana at BMW of Schererville and you live in Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, or elsewhere, you’ll need to ensure you meet your DMV’s legal requirements.

2. Are There Sales Taxes?

Many people are surprised to learn that they must pay sales taxes when they buy a vehicle and in their local city if they have bought out of state. However, this doesn’t mean you need to necessarily pay double, and it is usually applicable to make two payments when dealing with a private seller or dealership.

If you purchase a vehicle from a dealer like BMW of Schererville in Indiana, the dealer (us) will collect and send your vehicle’s sales tax to your state’s tax collector. If your home state’s taxes are higher than where you bought your new car, you will then be responsible for paying the difference.

You should also note that the DMV in your local state will check your bill of sale to ensure you’ve paid the correct sales tax.

Fortunately, a dealership’s hassle-free buying process and finance department allows you to spend more time focusing on your new car and less time on the legalities of the purchase. The dealership will give you the bill of sale and help you determine how much to pay in out-of-state and in-state sales taxes.

3. How Do You Get The Car Home?

So you’ve bought a new car out of state but need to get it home. How do you do this? There are a few options, and which you choose depends on your needs, preferences, and budget.

If you buy a car out of state, you must acquire temporary registration. If you’ve bought a car from an out-of-state dealership like BMW of Schererville, you will get the temporary registration and title paperwork you need for your local state. With this temporary registration, you needn’t worry about being pulled over by the police. However, this registration is temporary, so be sure to find out when it expires.

If you don’t want to drive your new out-of-state vehicle back to your local state, you can have your car shipped. A BMW dealership can help you with this process, but you should note that it could be pricey, with fees ranging from $500 to $1,800 or more, depending on location.

4. How Do You Register Your Car If It’s Bought Out of State?

If you plan on buying your new car out of state in Indiana and then driving it back to your residence, you can put a license plate on it after visiting a local DMV.

Here is the process you will need to follow if you want to bypass the temporary license step after buying a vehicle online or across local state borders:

  1. Get the bill of sale from the private seller or dealership where you bought the vehicle. You must show this document to the DMV you visit, so make sure it clearly shows the amount you paid for the car.
  2. Bring copies of your ID, proof of residency, the bill of sale, and proof of insurance to the DMV. They will need these documents to register your new car. Just be sure to tell the DMV clerk you speak with that you bought the car out of state and want to register and title it to your current living address.
  3. After registering your vehicle, the DMV will ask you to pay the difference between Indiana’s sales tax and your home state’s sales tax. (Your dealership might have handled this step, so find out).
  4. After you pay the sales tax and register your car, you’ll receive the title in the mail shortly thereafter.

5. Do You Need To Insure Your Out-of-State Vehicle Purchase?

Many buyers make the mistake of purchasing a car out of state and driving it home without insurance. Unfortunately, this is illegal, and you must have insurance on your new car before you drive it home.

Depending on your insurance carrier, you might have coverage for your new car for a short period of time before you need to add it to your policy. However, most insurances don’t provide temporary coverage, so you’ll need to set up a new policy.

In addition, if you’ve taken out a loan with an Indiana car dealership, you must ensure you meet the lender’s specific insurance requirements.

Buying A Car Out of State Is Simple At BMW of Schererville, Indiana!

Since BMW vehicles are sought after for their craftsmanship, luxury, and reliability, purchasing the model you want in your home state can be challenging. That’s why BMW of Schererville readily serves customers in Indiana and the surrounding states of Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Illinois who are considering buying a car out of state.

Whether you are looking at buying a new or pre-owned vehicle, you can contact us to speak with one of our out-of-state representatives. We can tell you more about our inventory, financing assistance, new vehicle specials, and more.