Buying a used car out of state, and other car questions?

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I’m 19 and just started looking buying a used car a few months ago (my first car). I’ve done a lot of research and finally found what seems to be a good car, but it’s in a TN dealership and I live in AL. I’m concerned on who to pay taxes to, and will I be able to drive it home that day? Or will I have to go to the AL DMV and get temporary tags and drive all the way back?

I also just recently transferred my driver’s license from MD to an AL license, but my hard copy has yet to come in the mail—will the dealer accept the paper copy I have?

This is going to be a dumb question, I just need to ask it. My bank is all they way in MD, and since I live in AL, I can’t get my hands on enough cash to pay for the car. I do have enough money in my bank account to buy the car, though, so I was just planning on writing the dealer a regular check. Can I do that? Do I need to contact my bank to let them know there’s gonna be a withdrawal of that amount?

One last question. As of right now, I don’t have a car or drive, so I don’t have any insurance. I’m going to get insurance with USAA, and I already have my policy built, I just don’t want to buy any for the car until I know I’m going to actually be buying it (I still have the test drive and PPI to take care of). I can do it online, and the website says the insurance will take place immediately, so I’m assuming there’s some proof of insurance I can print off. Problem is, I want to have insurance for the drive back to AL, so I’ll be dragging my laptop to TN to buy it, but my printer isn’t very mobile. If I have the proof of insurance saved to my laptop, will that be good enough if (God forbid) I get pulled over?

I know I have a lot of questions and I sincerely thank whoever takes the time to answer them.
I live in northern AL, and the dealer in TN in only a little more than an hour away. I’ve been scrounging the internet for a car in AL, but I have yet to find one that fits my specifications, so I decided to go with this TN car.

I have mobile banking that I can use to prove I have the money in my account. Or do you think showing him a copy of my bank statement would work?

  1. Reply
    November 10, 2011 at 6:01 pm

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  2. Reply
    November 10, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Im not sure the dealer is going to accept a check from a 19 year old out of state buyer unless he can get immediate electronic confirmation and Im not sure he can.

    In AL a bill of sale and you are good to drive for 10 days without a tag. TN may be different and I suspect it is. Not sure how you would get around that.

    About 15 years ago, I flew to Nashville, bought a car at what was then Nashville Auto auction and drove it to Bham without incident. But, I did notice that most dealers leaving that auction had dealer tags so I suspect TN laws are tougher.

    I don’t know where in AL you are but I suspect you could find just as good a car without going so far to get it.

  3. Reply
    November 10, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Most of your questions should be directed at the dealer. They are use to all of these problems. Just give them a call.

    One other suggestion, print out the data on the car you want and take it to a similar brand dealer in your city. They might be able to transfer the car down there or find one like it.

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