Moving - IL to CA: Where to buy 2nd car?

Hello all, hoping some can advise us. We are moving from Chicago to California in Feb and will need to get a 2nd car. Not sure yet if we will lease new or buy used, but either way, wondering if we are better off doing it in IL before we leave or once we arrive in CA.

Thanks -


Are you not aware of the damage done by Mid-west winters (and road salt)? Then again I have seen rust on CA. cars that live near the ocean. A CA. car probalby has more miles (but freeway miles).

You don’t say how old a car you are in the market for.

A few weeks ago we discussed the percieved problems getting a out of state car smogged in CA.I believe the thread ended up concluding a late model car with emission gear intact and functioning and no mechanical engine problems will not be a problem getting smogged in CA. You must pay sales tax to CA on out of state cars.I don’t know the formula,something you should look up.

California has emissions regulations that differ from other states. I suggest you wait until you get settled in your new home, then do some research on the used car scene in California.

You don’t want to buy a car that you will have trouble with in CA. Wait until you get there, then buy something that meets the CA regulations.

thanks guys - we’re looking for a 06 - 08 Outback or Rav4, so pretty new still. Hadn’t thought about the emissions, but that makes sense. Also, good to know about the taxes. Appreciate the help and insight.

I’d wait until I moved to get a second car. It’s a long drive, especially in a caravan. If you need the second car shortly after moving, consider a certified used Rav4 or Outback. You don’t get a long bumper-to-bumper guarantee, but they do choose good cars and give them a lot of TLC before selling them. The factory does not want problems with CPO cars and will ensure that the best ones get certified.

Buy it in Illinois, it will probably be cheaper. You will have no smog check problems. If you want quick DMV action, California is great. I did like buying used cars in Ca. when I lived there. Make sure the owner does the smog check before you buy the car. He should have smog check results. The certification is given to the state by computer, so there willl be no certificate, just the paper that says Passed at idle and passed at the higher RPM. Good for so many days; I think thirty.

Buy your car in CA. The DMV makes it a pain to bring in a car from out of state because of CA’s more stringent emissions rules. Plus, we don’t put salt on our roads so used cars don’t have underbody rust issues.