The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Long time reader, first time post (on this forum).

Can someone explain the best way to buy a car thru an online forum? Since these cars aren't produced in high numbers, there is a larger chance that I might seek out a car from the opposite coast.

I guess the first question is, do you have it shipped to you or do you fly out there and drive it back?

Also, what about paperwork, title transfer, tags, etc. If I'm in North Carolina, and the car is in Texas, do the owner and I go to the Texas DMV to transfer the title and tag, and then I have to get a new tag in NC once I get home :shrug:

Has anyone just said "I'll buy your car, meet me at the airport and I'll just fly in and drive it home?"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
438 Posts
I will try and answer you to the best of my abilities and memory.

I am in PA and I bought a car from TX.

First transport:

I think either is a good option. If you have the time to fly out and drive it back that is the best choice in my opinion because you get to see the car before you buy it. And I am sure you would have a great drive on the way back. But if you are like me and you dont have the time for that you can have it shipping. I personally used Fedex which was an enclosed carrier. The other nice thing about Fedex is they took care of the money for me, I mailed a cashiers check to them and their driver took the check to the owner. The drive did a visual inspection of the car and then loaded it up. It took about a week to come to me from TX. The driver of the truck was awesome and I could call him at any time and he would tell me exactly where he was.

The other thing you can do if you are buying it sight unseen is try and find a forum memeber close to the owner to check it out. Or have the owner take it to a lotus dealer where for a couple hundred dollars they will inspect it inside out for you.

Papers:

If I remember correctly the ower signed his title for me and wrote up a bill of sale. He then mailed them to me once he got his money. I then took that (along with the car) to a notery by me and I signed it. This worked in PA i dont know if NC is different.

Mine worked out quite well for buying a car sight unseen, and the previous owner was awesome and always answered my questions.

I hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,498 Posts
breinhar is pretty much right on the money. I've bought three cars out of state before. On each of them I made a verbal commitment to buy the car if it was as advertised. I also sent anywhere from 200-1000 non-refundable deposit for the seller to hold the car. I always did this through paypal on a creditcard just for some protection.

On one of them I had them take it to a shop that I trusted on the west coast ($150 fee for inspecting) and the other I had them take to the dealership ($200 fee) and then talked to the service manager who looked it over. Next I flew out and looked at the car myself. Of course these three vehicles were ones I was familiar with so I knew what to look for on them. In my case all three checked out perfectly and I drove them home. But I was preparred to walk away and pay for a flight back home.

As far as titles go, just make sure you get a bill of sale from the owner and the title. Only in one case did I leave without the title (bank had it and we paid his loan off at the bank when I was there and the bank sent me the title directly). You will pay your sales tax and registration (if your state has them) when you get the car and title. If you have a loan through a major bank sometimes they will do that for you.

All in all I don't have a problem doing it. Just be prepared to walk if it's not what you want. Two plane tickets and a deposit aren't worth getting stuck with a car you don't want or isn't as described.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
451 Posts
yep. what the others said. I bought my car from out of state, had a verbal commitment if the car was as advertised to buy. I sent $500 downpayment, had a cashiers check from the bank, flew in, checked out the car, my gut said to buy it, so I did and drove it home (from New York to Chicago). I did not have a shop check the car out, but I probably would do this if buying again (nothing has gone wrong with my car, but it's always better to be safe than sorry). I did look at all the posts the previous owner had made, he had all the service records, etc, so I was fairly comfortable without having a shop inspect it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
488 Posts
From a dealer

I bought mine from Park Place Ltd., 2000+ miles away, just from pictures on their site. They shipped via a trusted carrier, closed (though open would have been cheaper and the car would have been fine, I think).

The transaction and shipment were fine, the car exactly as described. However, the gentleman who sold it to me did not disclose to me at the outset that the dealership did not have title to the car, that it was being sold on a contingency basis, and that it would take almost ONE MONTH for the actual owner to pay off his or her loan after receiving my payment and produce the title. So my insurer refused to insure the car until I had a title, and at the same time I risked exceeding the NJ deadline for registering it. Most of all, I just wanted to drive it! So ask about the title.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
451 Posts
Oh yeah, temporary tags depend on where you buy the car. In New York I got a temporary plate that I put in the rear window that was specifically for transferring the car out of state. It cost $10, they verified I had insurance for the car before they let me have it. I paid taxes on the car when I returned home. Different states do it differently though. If I had bought one in Florida, I would have had to pay taxes there, but then they would have been applied to my Illinois taxes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,901 Posts
when I bought my Esprit, I drove with a friend to Tennessee from Colorado. Saw the car, did the test drive, took the car to my friend's aunt's house and took it apart to really get to know it (fixed some things that were broken). Went back to the seller and negotiated price. That monday we went to his bank, and had his bank call my bank in CO. Once they had thier info, he gave me the car and I drove to the TN DMV to get temp tags ($14). Drove home.

I suggest getting a letter of credit from your bank if you don't want to take cash or send a check. You can take that to the sellers bank. Pretty safe way to do it. Also bought my DD from a local dealer that way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,108 Posts
A guy from Texas flew out and bought my car. He checked my posts to see what kind of person I was (and he still bought it), and I had all the paperwork and maintenance records. We went to his bank and got a cashiers check.

If you do buy one from here and have it shipped, you want to make sure it's canyon carving complient. I can do that for you and won't charge you a dime.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
Being in NC you may have to do something "creative" to save a bunch of money. The Hendrick family (NASCAR, and own a lot of car dealerships) are very politically powerful. They and other dealership owners got a state law passed that essentially tries to tax to death out of state car purchases. Check with the NC DMV before buying a car out of state. I know I bought a car from Michigan while living there, not realizing this "tax" law. The state wanted 15% tax to bring it into NC. I had family in Mich (in-laws) so I registered it in my father in-law's name and got Mich plates on it. There was another way. Find a friendly dealer and have them "purchase" the car for you and do the paperwork through them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
+1 to everyone else. I have looked 3 cars out of state and made verbal commitments over the phone,asking a ton of questions, requesting lots of pics. Then I buy a one way ticket, plan for a potential flight back and go see the car in person. 2 of those times the car was great and as advertised. 1 I walked away from... Totally not what I was told it would be. I would still be upset today if I had not flown out personally to see it and know it was crap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
338 Posts
I bought my '05 Elise from Texas Direct Auto out of...well...Texas :-D

I let them handle the financing, though I may later refinance it through my local bank. I put a $500 deposit down while we waited for the financing to get wrapped up. Rather than fly out and drive it back, I chose to have it shipped. It was about $900 if memory serves. I'm in NC. The car was shipped on one of those open car transport trailers, and like the user above who used fedex, I was able to call the driver and check the status/eta directly with the driver.

The who process was so smooth and simple, the only hard part was waiting for the car to arrive.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top