VICCI Car Auctions: Classic Car Blog

    How to Buy a Classic Car Out of State

    how to buy a classic car out of state

    If you love buying classic cars, you could spend years searching far and wide for the perfect toys to add to your collection. You’ll probably spend much of your time looking out of state, which means you can choose from a much more extensive selection of vehicles. 

    However, this also means you ’ll face some challenges unique to long-distance buyers. Because of this, it’s important to take the right steps early on to protect your investment while getting the best deal on your classic car.

    What Are the Dangers of Buying a Classic Car Out of State?  

    Buying a car remotely can present some unique dangers that you’ll have to take steps to mitigate throughout your search. For starters, you will need to spend some time verifying the identity of the owner and the information they provide you about their car. It’s also unlikely you’ll be able to see the vehicle you want to buy in-person before purchasing it. You’ll also have to figure out how to get it delivered if you can’t pick it up yourself, which can be risky if you don’t work with a reputable company.

    Learn more about our buying process here.

    How to Buy a Classic Car Out of State

    If you are buying a car out of state, you’ll want to run a vehicle inspection report to learn about its history before making any purchase. You will also need to make sure the car can pass all of your own state’s safety regulations, smog and emissions checks, and other requirements for it to be considered roadworthy. It should also have all of the necessary paperwork, such as its title, registration, and Bill of Sale if the car were previously sold. You’ll also need to make sure you are paying your car’s sales tax to the correct state.

    And Having It Shipped

    • Find a shipper that has a track record of successfully delivering luxury cars.
    • Make sure the trucking company doesn’t subcontract to other drivers, or your car could be lost, damaged, or stolen.
    • Insure your car before shipping to protect your investment from damages en route.
    • Don’t cut corners on price or your vehicle could be mishandled or damaged.

    If you are shipping a car from one climate to another, you may have to take precautions to prevent it from rusting or from being damaged in another way. You will also want to check if the shipper can send your car anywhere without problems to gauge their experience. A reputable classic car shipper shouldn’t have any problem taking your car to whatever destination you give them. In addition, the fewer people who are involved with shipping your vehicle, the less likely you are to experience any problems during transit.

    From a Private Seller

    • Verify the seller’s personal information, including their name, address, and contact information.
    • Ask to see the car’s title or Bill of Sale to verify that the seller owns the car in question.
    • Find an independent inspector to check the car you want for any problems.
    • Confirm any agreement in writing to gain recourse if any problem should arise.


    You should take extra precautions whenever buying from a private seller since there are few safeguards in place to protect your investment. You’ll want to verify everything you can about the seller and the car before you commit to buy it. One way to protect yourself is to only pay for the vehicle just after it is on the road to you. Also, if you feel uncertain about a deal, don’t be afraid to back out, since you can probably find the car you want from another seller.

    Related: What to Look for When Buying a Classic Car

    From a Dealer

    • Research the dealer to learn about their reputation and what types of cars they specialize in.
    • Prices for the same car could differ by region, so search dealerships across the country.
    • Check to see if they ship out of state, which indicates their experience handling classic cars.
    • Find out what guarantees they offer in case the car has any hidden problems.

    Buying from a dealership can be much safer than buying from individuals, but it isn’t without risk. While dealerships can provide you with a wealth of information, you’ll need to verify every piece of it before completing your purchase. Many fraudulent car dealerships exist online, but you can screen for these by calling them directly. Real dealerships will be much more willing to take direct calls and answer your questions, and won’t rely solely on texts or e-mail to communicate.

    From an Online Car Auction

    • Research the platform to see if they are a legitimate site with a proven track record of sales.
    • Find out about their shipping options to make sure you can get your car without incident.
    • Review the seller verification process to make sure only legitimate sellers are on the site.
    • Check the car listing to see if your bid is still the top bid before the auction ends.

    VICCI is a safe online auction platform that can help you find the classic car you’ve always wanted. VICCI lets you contact sellers from all across the US and Canada and bid on their cars in a safe environment. In addition, VICCI provides extensive information about thousands of different models, including historical prices, specifications, and why collectors want to buy them. VICCI also makes sellers go through a lengthy six-tier vetting process to verify their identities, significantly reducing the risks for buyers.


    When you are looking for a classic car out of state, it’s important to learn all that you can about the car and the seller. Buying a car online allows you to quickly find all of the information you need to better make this decision, from pictures to VINs. It can also provide you with a safe platform on which you can conduct your purchase. In fact, even though you may never see the car first-hand until it arrives at your home, you could learn more about it by buying online than you ever would by going to a local dealership.

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