I live in Washington State and I found a car I wanted, but it was located 3,000 miles away in Conneticut. At first I thought it wasn't realistic to buy it, but after some research I was wrong. Here are some things I learned:
It really helps to have a friendly and motivated seller. A lot of work has to be done on both ends. When it comes to the title transfer, paying for the car and all the paperwork, your bank will pretty much take care of everything. They ask you for information, Overnight the docs to you, and take care of just about everything needed. It is actually a fairly easy process, just a little time consuming. I did my entire loan online and over the phone thru Bank of America. I won't set one foot inside a bank during the entire process. All the work has been done from my desk at home and office.
If you don't have time to flyout and drive your new car back, you can have it shipped to you. I personally used http://www.autotransport411.com/
. You fill out the form and within minutes you get bombarded with tons of quotes on shipping rates from many different companies.
Things you need to know about shipping companies:
1) For the most part, they all post your car on the same "pickup board". These companies are basically booking agents.
2) Be aware of the deposit rate. If you rate is $1200 and the deposit is $200, the drive gets $1000. If your rate is $1200 and the deposit is $300, the driver get $900. Which car do you think gets picked up first?
3) Lower rates may mean a longer wait. If your a truck driver, would you take the vehicle that you make $1,000 on, or the one you make $800 on?
4) The deposit is paid up front to the booking agent, the rest is COD paid to the driver at delivery.
5) make sure your vehicle stays on 1 truck from pickup to delivery. Your car is only insured when it is ON the carrier. If they transfer it to another truck and it is damaged during that move, your SOL.
6) Make sure it is transported to you on a truck the entire time. Some companies may drive it long distances to a regional hub. You don't want some idiot rallying your car do you?
7) Pick a company that tracks the car for you. You wouldn't want to wait around for weeks not knowing where your vehicle is.
8) When you have selected a company, your car will be posted and it will take anywhere from 1-10 days before it is even picked up. During peak season (summer), your car may sit for several weeks if the rates are low, or you live in a out of the way location. Getting a car to Seattle,WA is much easier than getting one to Bend, Oregon. Offering to pick up your car at the nearest big city may save you time and money too.
9) Make sure your car is Insured!
Recieving your car
1) Before you pay, check out the car for damage. If you sign the paperwork and find damage later it is TOO BAD FOR YOU. The person handing the car over at the pickup spot will sign a condition waiver, so make sure what you see matches up. Picture really help too.
2) Cash is your friend here. Cashiers checks also work. Make the driver happy and he maybe more willing to cut you a deal or drive a little extra for you. Personal checks or money orders are not as secure of a form of payment, so some driver may refuse to accept them. NO PAY, NO CAR.