Buying a car out of state in I crazy or are they screwing with me?

I have been looking specifically for a 2010-2011 Lexus IS250 and found exactly what I want at a California dealership. Very low miles, clean AutoCheck and CarFax, one owner, fleet lease vehicle that simply wasn’t driven. I called and figured I would ship it after inspecting it. I was told by the Sales Manager that I had to physically be there and present a Driver’s License before they could sell it to me. They would not accept a deposit. They would not hold the car for more than 24 hours. This of course means I would have to buy a last minute flight with no savings. I asked about shipping and was told that I still had to go there to complete paperwork before they would ship it. I checked everywhere else and this is simply the best deal going. I called back. I have financing through Capital One approved and was going to put down about $10,000. I once again was told I have to go there. Then I was told that I could not take possession of the car until funding cleared, which could be 2-3 days (I’ve never had funding not clear in 2-3 HOURS). THEN I was told that, to avoid the paperwork of taxes (didn’t quite understand this part), they had to deliver the car to me over the CA state line, about 2.5 hours away in Nevada. Am I nuts or is this part of purchasing a car in CA from out of state? I am doing my best to give them my money, and they seem determined not to take it. BTW, I am paying what they are asking for, which, again, is a good deal. Any input?

You told us where the car is located, but where are you? Rules and regulations vary state to state, so it is hard to tell if this dealer is overly cautious or knows the rules better than you do. With so many financial scams out there it seems they want to be sure they have the money before they let the car go. I can’t say I blame them. If you really want this to happen I see a trip to CA in your future. You can have the car shipped from anywhere to anywhere once you have assumed ownership.

I live in Texas. I have bought a car out of state once, but it was from a private seller in Little Rock. I got financing for the private seller (Capital One doesn’t do that anymore). I flew to Little Rock, showed them my DL at the airport and they tossed me the keys, and I drove it back to Houston. As far as having it shipped, I still have to go there unless I pay them cash, certified check, or wire the cash to them. I figured if I had to pay out the nose for a one-way flight, why pay it for a round trip AND the cost of shipping? I hope I get some more responses, I just am wondering if this is normal.

Far too many people have tried pulling scams with car sales; though mostly private sales, I imagine.

Put yourself in their shoes. They’ve got someone wanting them to hold the car for them for an undetermined amount of time. Though willing to make a deposit, you didn’t say how. AND you’re wanting them to ship the car to you. That would reek of a scam to me as well.
I had 2 or 3 people try the ‘Give money order now, you ship to me and give me the difference back’ scheme when I was selling my Chevelle a few years ago…

Capitol One isn’t one of the best banks to deal with, from what I’ve heard

The salesman might have decided he wants the car himself… In California, dealers may or may not have to collect sales tax…In many states, taxes are collected when you apply for a title at your local DMV… but Ca, bankrupt and desperate for money, might demand sales tax be collected at the point of sale…Car dealerships HATE cash sales…They expect to make most of their profit arranging financing, insurance, extended warranty’s, all those extras that have high mark-ups, that’s where the money is… If you want to buy a used car from an out of state dealer, you best have the cash in hand…

My father has bought many CA high end cars from a dealer who specializes in this, He takes delivery in OR, where we have no sales tax. I do not know the particulars.

I can’t speak with any authority about the financial deal whys and why nots behind this car but buying a low miles, fleet leased vehicle sight unseen could be a problem in the mechanical sense.

Low miles doesn’t mean anything if the oil was never or seldom changed and both Carfax and AutoCheck should not be totally relied upon as source of info for any car. They can be a bit of an aid but that’s it.

A dealer I worked for some years ago bought about 3 dozen low miles, fleet leased vehicles (all Chevys in this case) pretty much sight unseen and every single one of those cars had engine issues due to lack of oil changes.

Where did you find this car? Craigslist by any chance? Seems a little shady to me. I’d look closer to home. It might cost more in the short term, but probably not the long run.

IF you have to have THIS car, I can’t see why they would not hold it for a few days with a significant deposit. Talk to the OWNER! Can they take a credit card for $500 over the phone? I’ll bet they take plastic for service work. (Assuming they are a legit dealership with a service dept.) Assuming that you DO have to show up in person to get the car, have the full price agreed with your lender. Once you are on site, and agree to take the car OR FORFEIT YOUR DEPOSIT, your lender can wire the full amount to their account. I did that on my airplane when I purchased it 1200 miles from home. The guy called his bank, they said the wire transfer had arrived, and I took off. The wire transfer took about two hours. I didn’t want to carry a ton of cash, and the seller wouldn’t take a cashier’s check.

As for paying sales tax, ask the TX DMV. Don’t believe some Calif car salesman. If a car is sold by a dealer in my state, and will not be registered here, the sales tax is not collected until it is registered wherever the buyer lives.

You can do this, if the deal is legit, see if there is an affiliated dealer in your area. I.e., if the dealer in California is a GM dealer, then go to a GM dealer in your area and arrange for a transfer. The dealer in your area will probably get the car at a discount and ship it to your their lot. You would end up paying the same plus shipping. But you will probably be obligated to buy and put your down payment at the local dealer before they will process it for you.

Frankly, this deal has a certain odor to it.