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Moving + Buying Car + Insurance (currently uninsured - w/o car)

I currently live in NYC and don’t own a car. I will be moving to PA, but staying in DE for more than 1 month, but probably less than 2. I will need to buy a car, and need to buy it before I move to PA in May. My license is a NY license.

  1. What is the best way to tackle insurance? Is my license a part of this process? I’m guessing my permanent residence is (it’s NY). I’m lost with the process on this one, so any help is appreciated.
  2. What are suggestions about registering the car? I’d prefer to register in PA, but will have a NY license and no proof of residence in PA until 5/1 (maybe a few weeks earlier at most) when I actually buy the vehicle. I need the car by the end of March

Let me know if you need more info - thanks!

How about a two month rental car. The monthly rates are much more reasonable than the daily or weekly rates. Then buy a car when you settle down in PA.

I think that legally you will have to register the car in New York until you can transfer your residency to PA. That might mean two sets of registration fees and maybe even additional sales tax, the taxes and registration fees alone might justify a two month rental.

Agree +1 Check several local car rental companies including Rent A Wreck for a long term (2 month) rental. It will probably prove to be cheaper than any other option…Look into a van or truck, handy when you are moving…

Agree +2. Most law enforcement types don’t like it if you don’t have matching states for license, registration and insurance. I ran into this a couple of times while PCSing to a new base while in the Air Force.

Rental is an option and monthly rates can be pretty reasonable but you will need to either have insurance or buy the rental insurance which may not be cheap.

Here’s the deal. Your drivers license has nothing to do with registration or insurance. When you move, you will need to get a new drivers license from PA. Every state has a residency requirement of 30, 60, 90 days whatever it is, that you can be in the state before having to get the license from that state, so just check with the PA DMV. Every state honors the license from another state for a period of time, as well as Canada, Mexico and Europe.

When you buy the car, the sales and car license tax (registration) will need to be done in that state. So if you buy it in NY before moving, you’ll need to register it etc. in NY first. Then again once you get to PA, you have that certain time period again to register it in PA and get new plates there.

You will need to get an insurance policy when you buy it. So again if you buy in NY, you get the insurance there and then when you move, let them know and change your address. You can’t get insurance without the car though since you need the VIN. I’d go with State Farm or another nationwide company to make it easier.

I think you’re going to find though that NY is the most expensive place to buy and register a car though so it would be much better to wait until you are in PA with an address. Then you can just do it all at once and just once.

You can buy a car in DE or PA or NY…doesn’t matter. Insurance goes to where the vehicle is registered. If it’s registered in DE…then you pay DE insurance rates. If PA…then you pay PA insurance rates. If you buy the vehicle in PA and register and insure it there BEFORE you spend the 2 months in DE…that would be the easiest.

The trickiest part is moving the insurance from one state to the next. Insurance is NOT national. A State Farm insurance policy written in NY will NOT transfer to PA. They’ll have to write you a new policy in PA.