Author Topic: Possibly buying used car in a different state, tips?  (Read 506 times)

mozar

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Possibly buying used car in a different state, tips?
« on: July 21, 2019, 01:57:47 PM »
I am interested in buying a used honda fit, 2007 or 2008. I live in Maryland and all the cars I want to look at are in Virginia. Most suggest going to the mechanic with the car owner before buying the car. How do I know the mechanic is reliable? Should I ask them the name of the mechanic and look for reviews? I've never bought a car before.

ketchup

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Re: Possibly buying used car in a different state, tips?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2019, 04:04:45 PM »
My only advice is get the title in hand, no loan, no funny business.  I have a friend (in IL) that bought a car in WI, and has temporary plates expiring in a couple weeks.  His title is somewhere in between the WI dealer, the WI DMV, the IL DMV, and his credit union.  He has been on the phone with someone along the chain almost every day since buying the thing, and he can't get IL plates until he figures it out.  Don't get in a mess like that.

mozar

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Re: Possibly buying used car in a different state, tips?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2019, 05:00:03 PM »
Sure, I assumed that the owner would give me the title. I didn't know there was a different way to do it.

lhamo

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Re: Possibly buying used car in a different state, tips?
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2019, 06:43:27 PM »
It won't be the cheapest option, but for peace of mind/option of returning within the first 7 days if a mechanic finds a problem you might want to go with Carmax -- there are several Fits in the Baltimore area (not necessarily your specific years) that can be transferred store to store for free:

https://www.carmax.com/cars/fit/honda

DCteach

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Re: Possibly buying used car in a different state, tips?
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2019, 07:59:34 PM »
I believe MD makes cars pass a pretty strict safety inspection before you can register it there. Things that might not be an issue in VA might be required repairs in MD. Might want to have a mechanic in MD be the one to look it over, if it's possible.

mozar

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Re: Possibly buying used car in a different state, tips?
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2019, 09:41:03 PM »
That's a really good point about Maryland laws. Makes sense now why a used car in Va would cost a 3rd of a car in Md.
I guess that when people say you should visit a mechanic first they mean their own mechanic near where they live.

If I got a car from carmax it could be from a different state and it still might not pass inspection, so I don't see how that would be peace of mind.

Thanks for helping me think about this. What I think I'll do is go to a used car dealership in Va. Some of them have 3 or 5 day money back guarantees. I can get a car from there and have mechanic look at in Md. I could only find one used honda fit being sold in Md. In Va there's tons of them for sale for under 5k, prices are dropping...they seem desperate to get rid of them.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2019, 10:31:49 PM by mozar »

MsPeacock

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Re: Possibly buying used car in a different state, tips?
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2019, 01:02:05 PM »
Carmax gives you a bumper to bumper warranty for something like 30 days. I purchased a car there (in MD), found several things with the mechanic, and brought it back to Carmax. They repaired everything and gave me a loaner car. It was quite good customer service. Be aware that the "inspection" that the car dealerships do is minimal at best. E.g. if the car has an a/c button they will say it has A/C - even if said A/C does not work.

Both MD and VA require vehicle safety inspections and they are similar to each other in terms of requirements. You can find the details online via google. If a car passes the VA inspection it will most likely pass the MD one w/o issue.