Should I Buy a Car Before or After I Move?

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The choice will depend on a few key elements. Your needs and circumstances will determine everything. In order to help you make decisions, we'll go over a number of scenarios.

A brand-new car is fantastic to have, even if it is only "new to you." Choosing whether to buy your car before or after moving to a different state or across the nation may be difficult.

The choice will depend on a few key elements. Your needs and circumstances will determine everything. In order to help you make decisions, we'll go over a number of scenarios.

Moving Without a Car

Depending on where you reside, living without a car may be typical. Consider relocating from New York, where public transportation is accessible everywhere, to California, where getting anywhere requires a car. In that case, waiting until after your move to buy a car can be challenging.

To make a decision, compare prices, and complete the transaction without feeling rushed, you might want to think about how you might approach the purchase locally with the dealership or a private seller.

Now you can move your car to a distant state by using an auto shipping company. Make it a driving experience as an alternative.

If you're just moving and need a car

Sometimes it involves more than simply a car's new or used pricing. Without a car, adjusting to a new location could be challenging. Even if it can cost a little bit more, you might choose to purchase a car in advance.

It will be crossed off of your likely lengthy to-do list once you complete this. The possession of an automobile would undoubtedly rank first on that list.

If you are using ride-sharing or taxis when you arrive, it could be very stressful. Having a car already can help you feel less stressed.

Important Scenarios to Consider

Car Prices

Unbelievably, in some locations, some cars are more desirable than others. That means if you're looking to buy a car for both where you are now and where you're moving, it's a great idea to conduct some research and see what others have paid for the same vehicle in both regions to make sure you stay within your budget.


If you're seeking shipping information, you've come to the right location because this is where you can get the shipping costs from the car shipping calculator.

State Sales Tax

Which state has the lowest sales tax? In California, Tennessee, and Rhode Island, the sales tax is 7% or more, while in Oregon, New Hampshire, Montana, and Delaware, it is 0%.

Taxes and Registration fees

If you acquire your vehicle in the state from which you are moving, you will also be given a local license plate and be required to register, title, and pay fees for it. Most states allow you to register your car there 20 to 30 days after your move. You will have to re-register.

To avoid losing the money you saved by making your purchase in the state you left, carefully examine the transfer expenses.

You have the choice of shipping your car or moving with a newly titled and registered car from another state. In fact, the majority of people who export their cars go through this, even if they bought the vehicle years ago.

When you register in your destination state, keep in mind that there can be an out-of-state tax if you buy and register in the state where you previously lived.

Verify with the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) in the state you are moving to whether you need to pay taxes there.

Getting your new license

Most states give you 30 days to change your address when you relocate to another state. No matter when you buy a new car, you have to finish this.

However, your car may normally continue to be registered at your previous location for the same period of time whether you're exporting or driving an automobile. Before you may register your vehicle, you often first need to renew your driver's license with proof of your new residence (s).

License, Registration, and Insurance Updates

A police officer may write you a ticket if you don't have both your registration and your license current within the necessary timeframe. Make sure to verify your destination state to find out how long you need to complete everything before you can drive your car home.

Everywhere you drive, insurance protects you, but if you don't keep it up to date, there could be issues with a claim. When you register at the DMV after your move, it will be necessary to have current insurance.

Keep in mind that insurance companies may charge you extra if your new home state has a higher accident rate or a higher population density because such residents tend to spend more on coverage.

Save Money When Buying a Car After Moving

There are creative ways to buy an automobile outside of your state and have it shipped to you in order to save money and get the car you want.

Here's how:

1: Get your car registered in your new state if you bought it in another

In this case, it would be similar to purchasing a car out of state and sending it to a resident of your newly relocated city or state. It could originate from anywhere. Before making an offer, only ask for an immediate quote to determine the shipping costs.

2: You can hold a vehicle at your local dealer with a deposit

You can benefit from purchasing a car from the state in which you previously resided by paying a deposit to hold the vehicle and completing the transaction after you have established a new residency.

After relocating, you may still thoroughly examine each automobile in person, take it for a test drive, and save the hassle of car shopping.

Once your license has been updated with the DMV, complete the transaction and only pay the taxes and registration fees once. Shipping between states is a straightforward process that occasionally costs less.