Car Purchase Process from Private Seller Out of State?

I found a car/porsche in my neighboring state. I will visit personally to have a look/test drive.

It has been a long time I bought a car from private seller and I have never bought it out of state esp. private seller.
3 issues/questions.


  1. For inspection, should I take to local Porsche dealer or some independent shop. I am not familiar with area and I will using YELP review as my guide!
  2. Porsche has some computer tools (not sure if these are proprietary or any good mechanic will have it) which tell you engine running time and how rough (red line, high rev RPM) car has been used. Basically you can get some idea if odometer has been manipulated to show low miles!

Buying Process
I am bit hesitant to hand over someone 70K check for car. How to pursue it? I can do at bank (my big bank has branches in that area) where I can hand over certified check and bank notary (most banks have notary service or at least they used to have) can verify person ID or signature or title? not sure if they provide such service since they are NOT making loan or will be NOT make money from this transaction?
Whenever anyone go to buy a car or even test drive, dealer will make and keep photo copy of my driving license. Should I ask and make a copy of seller’s license? I want to make sure they are rightful owner and no scam is going on.

It is 300 miles away. How to pursue it? I can rent a car and drop rental car in that town and drive new car home or use transport service? Since it is private seller, how tags will work? Does states provide temporary tags to individuals and if yes than which state my home state or seller’s state? Or I take my cars plate and use it as temporary tag!

That is not a good idea . If a law officer runs that plate and it shows it belongs on a different vehicle you will be suspected of being a car thief and find yourself in a lot of trouble.

I would only use a Porsche dealer for inspection . As for shipping a web search will find you vehicle shipper .

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I have done this many years ago…
The owner signs over the title to you just like a sale in your own state after you pay them. Meeting at your bank’s branch office would give the seller a good feeling and a verification the check is real. A notarized bill of sale would be useful as well and the bank will have a notary.

You may be able to go to your state’s dmv and get a temporary or transport registration plate to allow you to drive it back home. Call them and ask what you need… maybe the VIN of the car you are buying.

I would use the nearest Porsche dealer for the pre purchase inspection.

I bought a car in Wisconsin once and the plate stayed with the car until I registered it in Minnesota. Once I got MN plates, I sent them back to the seller to use on other vehicles. Wisconsin allows plates to be swapped to other cars. Other states require the plates to stay with the car. Gotta just check with the states involved.

As far as a $70,000 check, I would never take a certified or other check at this point or cash even. There is just too much counterfeiting going on with each.

@sam4 With all the questions you have asked I almost think you might be better off leasing a new Porsche from a local dealer if you have one . At least that way you have a warranty ( considering how expensive Porsche repairs can be ) . And at the lease end you can just walk away or buy it then.

Volvo-V70: I want to save 70K! and this particular car type is no where near me.

How are you going to save 70000.00 ? No one is going to sell their vehicle for that much under market value .

Well most lease car are new or newer. This one old 10+ year. So I am trying to compare this price vs lease one option (which you suggested). Question is why buy old vs brand new or newer?

+1. I know a guy who went to jail for that in California. It’s a felony there, and he’s very lucky the prosecutor took pity on him and dropped it to a misdemeanor if he agreed to surrender his unlicensed car.

I’d lean toward the dealership unless there’s a specialized Porsche mechanic in town with good reviews. You don’t just want a good mechanic, you want one who knows Porsches well enough to look for problems particular to that model.

And if the guy you’re buying from has any sense, he’ll be reluctant to take it. :wink: Your bank will provide you with notary service for anything, not just loans. You can even get stuff that’s totally unrelated to banking notarized there. It’s a perq banks offer their customers.

If the seller is running a scam, he’ll give you a fake ID, so that won’t help. Have the seller send you the VIN before you go out there. Look up the VIN online to find the registered owner. If it’s the seller’s name, you’re probably good to go.

As far as transport goes, it depends. In some states, the plate stays with the car after a sale. In others, it doesn’t. Ask before you go out there if the plate will stay with the car. If it will, then you’re fine to drive it back. Otherwise, you will need a transit permit, either from your state, the state you’re buying it in, or in some cases both. And don’t forget to tell your insurance company what you’re doing, because you’ll want it to be covered as soon as the other guy signs over the title.

The other option is to rent a U-haul car trailer and haul the car back, but that’s kind of a pain.

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What is this 10 year old Porsche and have you even checked to see if the price is fair ?

it is turbo? higher end line. I don’t think one can find out Private owner’s information like name/address from VIN search due to privacy concern (not sure on that one). However I have seen dealer name if owned and listed by dealer. I can see city, state from VIN report same as seller’s listing.

WI DMV. Never leave the license plates on an auto or light truck (8,000 pounds or under) when selling or junking the vehicle .

You are an outlaw.

The vehicle must be registered to that plate before it can be placed on the vehicle (registration transfer).

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You don’t know if it is ? Why don’t you want to say what this is that you are looking at ?

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You do not say what state you are in or what state you are buying from but I w ill tell you my expeiience I live in Ga. and bought a truck in Tenn. the seller and I went to the Tenn. DMV they did the necessary paperwork and issued me a temporary tag then I called my insurance agent and he faxed me a temporary insurance untill I got it home and went to the Ga, DMV to get everything needed for the state of Ga,

You usually need to present the vehicle title to be issued a temporary movement permit, you will want to do this at the location of the vehicle.

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If you use the dealer for the pre purchase inspection you may be able to use them to transfer the title. They will be able to track the title. In my old hood there is a private company that basically does nothing but title transfers. They check the title and issue a new state registration card and temp plate, the title is mailed from the state. See if there is a similar company in the area. In my new hood I saw a facebook market place post for an older pick up, screwdriver for the ignition and no title.

Funny story about a stolen car in the UK.
Locked up? Thief brings stolen $200G McLaren to get new locks, gets caught instead | Fox News

I thought you guys were done slinging oatmeal for the day? At any rate that was over 20 years ago so maybe it changed. The seller was a reputable realtor so should have known WI requirements. Never had any trouble with DMV registering it with the WI sales info. Never ever buying or selling a used car have I ever had or heard of a “temporary movement permit” in Minnesota. You sign over the transfer information on the title and go to DMV for the transfer. The plates on the car stay with the car. The only time you need a the permit is buying a new car before plates are issued.

Does someone who has threads about where to buy tires , batteries or what brake service does really have any business with a 10 year old Porsche ? Asking for a friend :thinking:


Sure, why not? It’s a Porsche, not a ballistic missile submarine. There’s no requirement that you know anything more than how to drive to a shop when you own a Porsche.

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