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      07-20-2018, 07:37 AM   #1
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Advice on buying a car from out of state?

Hi guys, so I am in this process and want to seek advice. Short story: itís an old Ď89 car located in NC. I live in Massachusetts. Private individual. Things that I am worried about:

1. Mass doesnít issue temp tags to be able to drive this car home. It has to be registered so you can get plates to drive it home. Such a hassle to go to NC, pay, fly home again, get it registered, then get the car and drive it. I am thinking of transporting it, but the cost is about a third of the value of the old car (itís THAT old). ButI guess this is the easiest route.

2. If I were to transport it, how does the transaction work? So I send him certified payment, then he overnights me the title and bill of sale, then I give copies of that to the transport company? Or do they require originals?

3. If choosing transport, then I was thinking of not going there any more to see the car as a BMW specialist will be doing the PPI and the seller was honest enough (?) to show me the flaws of the car with 100+ pics. This will save me at least $500 (current plane ticket prices). Is this advisable? Or should i still make the trip and at least test drive it and visually inspect abd at least know the seller personally ?

My point is I want to be able to save $$$ and the hassle of flying to/fro and at the same time make sure itís a quick, seamless transaction. I may have missed putting in a few things here like using an escrow account (is it worth it if the car is less than 5K as I know they get a percentage of your money, again money out of pocket). Setting up PPI was easy so that wasnít a problem.

Thanks for the advice.
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      07-20-2018, 07:59 AM   #2
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In NC: Take notarized title, proof of insurance, and an inspection tag that is current to DMV to obtain a 10-day temporary registration for $5.

Most NC dealers will give/get you a 30-day temporary registration without the buyer having to go to DMV, but if buying from a private party, the above is the best way.
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      07-20-2018, 08:07 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by usshelena725 View Post
In NC: Take notarized title, proof of insurance, and an inspection tag that is current to DMV to obtain a 10-day temporary registration for $5.
I did read about this. As far as I know, this is illegal in Ma as you canít drive a vehicle w temp tags if youíre licensed in mass. Maybe this is because the state of Ma doesnít issue temp tags. This is going to be a prob only when I get to Mass though.

But this isgood to know that at least I can fly in, pay seller, and drive off w the car , albeit w temp NC tags. It might attract attention of cops in all states Iíll drive through though. Iím just averse to any risk I guess. Like I said, the more money I save and least hassle is the way to go.

Thanks for the tip usshelena725!
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      07-20-2018, 08:32 AM   #4
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I went through this twice so I can certainly provide help. I too live in Massachusetts. One car I got from SC years ago and I got my m3 from PA less than a year ago using the same process.

1) Yes mass does make it exceptionally hard to buy a used car since you cannot drive it home. A few options I considered before I shipped both cars were... Take a pickup truck and drive to the car to see it, rent a car dolly down there 1 way and trailer the car home. You can also rent a pickup if you don't have access to one. Adding up gas, tolls, rental, and time off from work it wasn't worth it for me to go this route.

2) The transportation company doesn't require paperwork. Just somebody present to sign off on it at pickup and delivery. Yes you would send a certified Bank check and then once he confirms payment you schedule shipping and he overnights you the title and bill of sale. For the bill of sale I filled out two and mailed them with the bank check, then he filled out both and kept one and mailed me one back with the title so we both have original hand written copies.

3) Yes a PPI by a company familiar with that car is the way to go. They should be able to send you a long report and even sometimes speak with you on the phone regarding the inspection and test drive. What I also did with both is a live Skype or FaceTime with the seller. It was about 20 minutes each time. Just to talk about the car for a few minutes and have him show me around it. Then I want to hear a cold start and idle. Then they had their girl or whoever hold the phone and do a drive by on throttle with a few shifts. I see all that, no smoke out of the tailpipe, a good PPI etc, I am confident enough to buy the car. Both cars I got like this have been perfect. I bought both cars without seeing them in person.


As for how the shipping works, lucky for me my buddy owns a shipping brokerage so I don't have to pay him his cut but here is how it works. You never speak with the company who is actually moving the car until they are about to pick it up. You speak with a brokerage, a whole different company. You give them the pickup and drop off addresses and they see what the going rate for that trip is. (It cheaper if the pick up and drop off are in cities and near highways as this will be less out of the way for the driver) The broker then puts you bid out there for the job. You can tell them you want to bid low but it may not get picked up for some time, you can bid in the middle and it should only be a couple days tops or bid high and it will get picked up very fast. Once your job is out there truckers will take the job. Your broker calls you and gives you the information of the trucking company and you are done with the brokerage and it's time to pay them. The trucker calls u, sets up pick up and drop off and it's cash on delivery for the truck driver. Estimated 150$ to brokerage and 400$ cash to truck on arrival for a trip like that I am thinking. There are multiple threads on here about shipping companies you can read. Also if you chose enclosed trailer the price is way higher. I did not do enclosed and the car does come a bit dirty so assume the first thing you do on arrival is a good hand wash.


Edit. Mass doesnt accept any form of temp tag. Call your insurance company. They will tell you that you will be uninsured if you go through another states laws to obtain some sort of temp plate to drive the car.
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      07-20-2018, 09:05 AM   #5
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Just drive it home no plate or plate from your old car. Carry BOS & insurance card with you. This is how I have always done it. PA won't give you temp tag either. It's bs.
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      07-20-2018, 09:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Never_Enough View Post
Just drive it home no plate or plate from your old car. Carry BOS & insurance card with you. This is how I have always done it. PA won't give you temp tag either. It's bs.
Insurance in ma won't cover you. You can risk it but it you hit somebody you are paying for your own car and that car out of pocket.
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      07-20-2018, 09:13 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by eatsleepboost View Post
Insurance in ma won't cover you. You can risk it but it you hit somebody you are paying for your own car and that car out of pocket.
Not sure how insurance in MA works, but here if you have insurance, it covers your new car while you're driving it. Especially when I put the car on my insurance before I go pick it up. You can't do that? Just fib & say you just picked it up earlier the day you call. Have em email you the ID card.
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      07-20-2018, 09:47 AM   #8
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How do you buy a car in MA without temp tags? Do they give you a plate when you buy the car? That is very silly
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      07-20-2018, 11:06 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Never_Enough View Post
Not sure how insurance in MA works, but here if you have insurance, it covers your new car while you're driving it. Especially when I put the car on my insurance before I go pick it up. You can't do that? Just fib & say you just picked it up earlier the day you call. Have em email you the ID card.
You cannot add insurance without the title and bill of sale. Simply calling and saying add insurance to this Vin is not an option. If you call the big out of state companies like Geico and progressive and say add insurance they will tell u that you are all set but in fact you are not under mass law. I had a friend do that then get into an accident and he paid it all out of pocket. The only way you could do this is if the previous owner keeps it registered to them with their plate and you drive it home then send them back their plate. After that you cannot drive it until you bring the title and bill of sale to your insurance then they give you the rmv1 form to bring to the DMV to register it.
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      07-20-2018, 11:10 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by smrtypants44 View Post
How do you buy a car in MA without temp tags? Do they give you a plate when you buy the car? That is very silly
It is very silly and it is one of the hardest states in the country to buy used vehicles because of this.

When you buy a car new yes you have a hard plate. They send a "runner" from the dealer with you paperwork to go register it for you and get your plate and they do the inspection so when you pick it up you are all set. There is no temporary tags, you cannot simply bolt on your old plates without going to the DMV with title and rmv1 form, and you cannot drive with no plate. You would be pulled over in minutes with no plate. A dealer or repair plate if you know somebody that owns a car lot would work but those people pay thousands of dollars a year for that plate so you better know them well or they won't loan it out.

When I was buying my last car from PA the sales manager kept saying there must be a way to drive it and we can give you a temp tag blah blah blah. I told him it's illegal. He called the next day and said he spoke with the sales manager in Massachusetts and I was correct. There is no way to do it. He said it's the worst policy he has ever heard of and has dealt with many many other states and has never heard of that before. So I had the car shipped.
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      07-20-2018, 11:12 AM   #11
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You guys over think things sometimes. I bought a car in Allentown and drove it to Toronto, just wandered in.
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      07-20-2018, 11:26 AM   #12
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You guys over think things sometimes. I bought a car in Allentown and drove it to Toronto, just wandered in.
Lol. I am not driving any unisured car. Not taking the risk to get into an accident and loose my house due to it.
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      07-20-2018, 12:35 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by eatsleepboost View Post
I went through this twice so I can certainly provide help. I too live in Massachusetts. One car I got from SC years ago and I got my m3 from PA less than a year ago using the same process.

1) Yes mass does make it exceptionally hard to buy a used car since you cannot drive it home. A few options I considered before I shipped both cars were... Take a pickup truck and drive to the car to see it, rent a car dolly down there 1 way and trailer the car home. You can also rent a pickup if you don't have access to one. Adding up gas, tolls, rental, and time off from work it wasn't worth it for me to go this route.

2) The transportation company doesn't require paperwork. Just somebody present to sign off on it at pickup and delivery. Yes you would send a certified Bank check and then once he confirms payment you schedule shipping and he overnights you the title and bill of sale. For the bill of sale I filled out two and mailed them with the bank check, then he filled out both and kept one and mailed me one back with the title so we both have original hand written copies.

3) Yes a PPI by a company familiar with that car is the way to go. They should be able to send you a long report and even sometimes speak with you on the phone regarding the inspection and test drive. What I also did with both is a live Skype or FaceTime with the seller. It was about 20 minutes each time. Just to talk about the car for a few minutes and have him show me around it. Then I want to hear a cold start and idle. Then they had their girl or whoever hold the phone and do a drive by on throttle with a few shifts. I see all that, no smoke out of the tailpipe, a good PPI etc, I am confident enough to buy the car. Both cars I got like this have been perfect. I bought both cars without seeing them in person.


As for how the shipping works, lucky for me my buddy owns a shipping brokerage so I don't have to pay him his cut but here is how it works. You never speak with the company who is actually moving the car until they are about to pick it up. You speak with a brokerage, a whole different company. You give them the pickup and drop off addresses and they see what the going rate for that trip is. (It cheaper if the pick up and drop off are in cities and near highways as this will be less out of the way for the driver) The broker then puts you bid out there for the job. You can tell them you want to bid low but it may not get picked up for some time, you can bid in the middle and it should only be a couple days tops or bid high and it will get picked up very fast. Once your job is out there truckers will take the job. Your broker calls you and gives you the information of the trucking company and you are done with the brokerage and it's time to pay them. The trucker calls u, sets up pick up and drop off and it's cash on delivery for the truck driver. Estimated 150$ to brokerage and 400$ cash to truck on arrival for a trip like that I am thinking. There are multiple threads on here about shipping companies you can read. Also if you chose enclosed trailer the price is way higher. I did not do enclosed and the car does come a bit dirty so assume the first thing you do on arrival is a good hand wash.


Edit. Mass doesnt accept any form of temp tag. Call your insurance company. They will tell you that you will be uninsured if you go through another states laws to obtain some sort of temp plate to drive the car.
Hey eatsleepboost,

Thanks for the detailed reply, appreciate it and definitely answered a lot. So transporting it is the way to go? What do you think about a direct transporter like Intercity? They said they're not brokers and quoted me $1295 for the car. Am not sure if that's covered or not (it's an old car, probably does not matter if it's open). Maybe you can hook me up w your buddy!

I agree with everyone here saying that MA laws suck for this kind of situation.

What do you think about the "trust" factor with me sending payment if all is well with the car (the car has a somewhat well documented history on forums so I kind of know the history, though of course a test drive and visual definitely trumps that- the PPI is trust enough for this)? I'm just afraid the seller might run with my money and the car. Any ideas on how to mitigate that risk?

I also agree w you that yeah with all the hassle of flying back and forth, tolls, renting a trailer and of course TIME spent driving the trailer and NOT the car, going there is just a waste. Add to that the registration issues, forget it.

Again I appreciate the lengthy reply and it did help a lot w my queries and confirmed my frustration with current MA laws in this regard.
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      07-20-2018, 02:52 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by $iriu$black View Post
Hey eatsleepboost,

Thanks for the detailed reply, appreciate it and definitely answered a lot. So transporting it is the way to go? What do you think about a direct transporter like Intercity? They said they're not brokers and quoted me $1295 for the car. Am not sure if that's covered or not (it's an old car, probably does not matter if it's open). Maybe you can hook me up w your buddy!

I agree with everyone here saying that MA laws suck for this kind of situation.

What do you think about the "trust" factor with me sending payment if all is well with the car (the car has a somewhat well documented history on forums so I kind of know the history, though of course a test drive and visual definitely trumps that- the PPI is trust enough for this)? I'm just afraid the seller might run with my money and the car. Any ideas on how to mitigate that risk?

I also agree w you that yeah with all the hassle of flying back and forth, tolls, renting a trailer and of course TIME spent driving the trailer and NOT the car, going there is just a waste. Add to that the registration issues, forget it.

Again I appreciate the lengthy reply and it did help a lot w my queries and confirmed my frustration with current MA laws in this regard.
Pm me if you want my help using my buddies company to broker your ship. I actually have 2 friends that are part of the company. I co-owner and a manager.

Yes I would ship unless you have access to truck trailer and have time to do the drive. That price seems extremely high. I got my car shipped from PA 10 hours away for 350$ cash on delivery. Add in broker fee u should be closer to 500$ unless prices have went way up in the past year. They do fluctuate but your quote is extremely high regardless. 600$ should be a number you are looking for I would think. Open trailer ship is fine. Especially this time of year with no salt on the roads and it's not a new car.

For me the trust factor was eliminated by my credit union. I did take a loan on the car so now the car is basically theirs, the check gets sent out and if it gets cashed and then you don't receive car or title the bank is the one who goes after them since they are essentially the owner of the vehicle. Check with you local bank or I recommend credit union. There should be a way they will cover you.

Correct. I think ship is the way to go unless you absolutely want to see the car. Being in Massachusetts we really get screwed trying to buy used vehicles out of state. No matter how you slice it it's a hastle.

Glad I could help. Post here or pm me and I can continue to provide my .02
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      07-20-2018, 03:39 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by eatsleepboost View Post
Pm me if you want my help using my buddies company to broker your ship. I actually have 2 friends that are part of the company. I co-owner and a manager.

Yes I would ship unless you have access to truck trailer and have time to do the drive. That price seems extremely high. I got my car shipped from PA 10 hours away for 350$ cash on delivery. Add in broker fee u should be closer to 500$ unless prices have went way up in the past year. They do fluctuate but your quote is extremely high regardless. 600$ should be a number you are looking for I would think. Open trailer ship is fine. Especially this time of year with no salt on the roads and it's not a new car.

For me the trust factor was eliminated by my credit union. I did take a loan on the car so now the car is basically theirs, the check gets sent out and if it gets cashed and then you don't receive car or title the bank is the one who goes after them since they are essentially the owner of the vehicle. Check with you local bank or I recommend credit union. There should be a way they will cover you.

Correct. I think ship is the way to go unless you absolutely want to see the car. Being in Massachusetts we really get screwed trying to buy used vehicles out of state. No matter how you slice it it's a hastle.

Glad I could help. Post here or pm me and I can continue to provide my .02
Thanks! I sent you a PM.
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      08-09-2018, 06:32 AM   #16
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It is ridiculous. I live in MA and have bought a couple used cars out of state and sold a handful of used cars to others. In every instance, the buyer (and myself) have brought a set of plates from their old/different car and driven the car home (as safely as possible). I think everyone realizes it is technically illegal/uninsured but I suspect that is what is done in the majority of private transactions.

$iriu$black, so what did you end up doing? Did you buy the car sight unseen and transport the car back?
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      08-25-2018, 05:52 AM   #17
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I agree with what Eatsleepboost has said. A friend of mine too live in MA and has encountered the similar problem of yours as he purchased his new car from his hometown in Boca Raton and wanted to get it transported to the current city safely. In the end, he decided to go with Florida Transporter team, as suggested by his dad for the safe delivery of his vehicle. Just go according to the way you feel safe to get your car transported.
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      08-25-2018, 06:38 AM   #18
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I would have done all the paperwork with the seller, then paid for his time to road trip the car to MA and paid is flight home. Maybe even take him out for a nice steak dinner.
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      08-25-2018, 07:13 AM   #19
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I would have done all the paperwork with the seller, then paid for his time to road trip the car to MA and paid is flight home. Maybe even take him out for a nice steak dinner.
Also not a bad option if you find a cool seller willing to do that. I would consider that if I was the seller but i feel many may not have any interest in that and tell you to pay the 600$ or whatever and ship it. The seller takes the risk ot an accident or something breaking on the drive.
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      08-25-2018, 07:49 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eatsleepboost View Post
Also not a bad option if you find a cool seller willing to do that. I would consider that if I was the seller but i feel many may not have any interest in that and tell you to pay the 600$ or whatever and ship it. The seller takes the risk ot an accident or something breaking on the drive.
20 years ago I lost out on a near-mint 1965 Lincoln Continental. It was in upstate NY near the border of Massachusetts. If found it by just passing by a local small NY car dealer on a day trip. It was a MA car and the seller picked it up in an estate sale years before. Back in the day (1960s) MA didn't require titles for cars, so all the seller had was the last 20-years past registration (circa 1975) or so. I lived in Maryland at the time, which is as bad as MA for car titling etc. I asked the seller to get a Massachusetts title before I'd buy it ($5,000). It took the seller 3 months to finally get a title and by that time I got cold feet.

Massachusetts is a PIA when it comes to cars.
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      08-28-2018, 09:09 AM   #21
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I realise you're the "united states" but the power you give to states and municipalities will never cease to amaze me. Nothing but red tape and chaos.
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      08-28-2018, 11:57 AM   #22
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I would have done all the paperwork with the seller, then paid for his time to road trip the car to MA and paid is flight home. Maybe even take him out for a nice steak dinner.
As a seller, I would never do that & many folks have asked me to.
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