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Buy car in CO or CA

I am moving to CO from CA. I will probably be buying an AWD vehicle. Should I wait till I am in CO to do so? And why? I also currently have a Toyota Tacoma Access Cab SR5 PreRunner. Will they be good enough for CO? Thornton area.

I would wait until I got to CO. Reasons include the potential for lower prices, buying from the dealer who would actually service the car, lower sales tax in CO, not to mention title change fees, etc, which would be required if you bought in CA and transferred title when you got to CO.

Lots of folks drive non-AWD in CO with great success. Winter tires are recommended and occasionally really needed (as well as chains to get through the passes at times), but my part of the family who lives in CO (Denver/Ft Collins) do well with all season tires and no AWD.

When you move, you may have to pay licensing fees twice. I would wait. You can look on line at dealer prices on anything you want. Just go to,say, the Toyota USA web site and look for dealers within 50 miles of your current zip code and the Thornton zip. Dealers often provide discount pricing on line.

If you want to replace your pick-up, I would definitely wait. Thornton is flat, as is almost all of the Denver area. See if you are happy with the way the PreRunner handles in Denver. I think you will be. I’ve been on business trips to Boulder and never needed AWD, even in the winter.

I’ve lived here in CO for 36 years, many of which were at 7,000+ ft west of Boulder. I’ve been driving RWD BMWs for most of those years with four real winter tires. Never got stuck once. My RWD BMW with four winter tires would run circles around my wife’s AWD Audi A4 with “all” (read three) season tires. AWD is good if you are driving up a steep hill in unplowed snow, but does not stop or steer better.

One other reason to purchase the car in Colorado. Some cars sold in high altitude states come equipped with somethng called a “high altitude kit”. It dithers the fuel/air mixture to compensate for the thinner air when driving at high altitudes so the car runs smoother. If you buy your car in Calif, and it needs this to run properly at 7-10K feet, which you’ll likely drive at from time to time – the drive to Pikes Peak is amost 14K as I recall – well you won’t have to purchase this high altitude kit extra if you buy the car in Colorado in the first place.

In Colorado, what you drive depends considerably on where you live in the state and at what elevation…2/WD pick-up trucks are only found on the flatlands, Denver area and east…

“High altitude kits” went out with carburetors 20+ years ago. All modern fuel injected cars are computer controlled for elevation, fuel octane rating, temperature, humidity, etc.

One vehicle you don’t want is a CA emissions car. BMW made low-emissions 3-series CA cars about 10 years ago. One part of the emissions control was a special fuel tank with an internal fuel pump. My Denver BMW independent mechanic ran across one about a year ago. His first thought was that it was a gray market car imported from Europe. Nope, a CA low-emissions one with a bad fuel pump. Cost to replace the fuel pump – sit down for this one – $7,000! Yes, that’s not a mis-print. To replace the fuel pump, first drop the entire rear suspension. Next, drop the fuel tank. Next replace the fuel pump and re-assemble. BMW dealerships outside of CA are not required to repair these cars outside of warranty or outside of CA. Guess what – ship it back to CA for repair. Trust me, you don’t want a CA emissions car outside of CA.

One other reason to purchase the car in Colorado. Some cars sold in high altitude states come equipped with somethng called a “high altitude kit”. It dithers the fuel/air mixture to compensate for the thinner air when driving at high altitudes so the car runs smoother. If you buy your car in Calif, and it needs this to run properly at 7-10K feet, which you’ll likely drive at from time to time – the drive to Pikes Peak is amost 14K as I recall – well you won’t have to purchase this high altitude kit extra if you buy the car in Colorado in the first place.

You didn’t give the year of your current Tacoma. If it is a fairly new truck you might get a better price or trade in deal in CA. 2WD trucks might not sell as well in CO. Perhaps you should sell your truck in CA and then buy the next truck after you’ve moved to CO.

it’s a 2010 with about 15k miles on it.

I would take the Tacoma to CO and then take some time to decide if it continues to meet your needs.