Buy a car in california or colorado?

I’m moving to colorado from California. What if I buy a car from a friend in california, get added onto her insurance temporarily, and register in colorado for a cheaper sales tax? No theorists please, only respond if you know, thanks.

You will still have to register in Cali. Here’s a fee calculator for California. See if the cost with your ruse and CO registration is less than a straight up Cali registration.

It might be difficult to get a California car “tuned up” in Colorado.

Thank you jtsanders for your insight, excellent notion! And yes, Docnick, the difference in emissions requirements have been a concern, but I’ve been unable to locate information to compare the two states. I will continue searching and would appreciate any insight that might shed light on this subject. Thank you,

If it’s a newer car, both the California emissions and Colorado altitude issues should be moot.

Also, I’m not sure why you would have your friend put you on her insurance. Just get insurance from a national company where you live now and update your information when you move. A car doesn’t have to be registered in your name for you to insure it.

This is a little bit of theory, but can you just get a temporary tag from CA until you move and then register it in CO when you set up residence there?

You are trying to do what people do all the time. You don’t have to go illegal or semi-legal. Your friend’s insurance company would refuse to pay if you had an accident. You should pay the Ca. sales tax and the smog certification and drive to Co. Be legal and protected. Risks that don’t work out could hurt you for a lot of years.

You pay the sales tax that corresponds to the address you give when you register the car. If you already have a Colorado address you can use, you can buy the car in Calif and register it in Colorado, just as though you had lived in Colorado all your life and were buying the car on eBay. The two possible glitches I see are 1) Do you have to show up in person at DMV to register a car in Colorado? And 2) Does Colorado require that it have a Colorado emission or safety inspection within 30 days or so before they will send you a plate. That may not fit with your travel plans.

The insurance question is not so clear cut. I can’t think of a reason why she cannot hold an insurance policy on a car she does not own, but I would check with her agent to be sure. This would be analogous to a parent buying insurance for their 16-year-old kid’s car because they don’t trust the kid to keep it paid up.