Buying an RV can be intimidating and downright frustrating. If you feel like you’re striking out with finding the right RV locally, it might be tempting to throw in the towel. Before you call it quits on your RV search, consider expanding your search boundaries. If you’re willing to look outside your home state, there are some great options. Today, we’ll break down the process of buying an RV out of state in hopes of helping you find your perfect match.
Is Buying an RV Out of State Possible?
You’ve found what you think is the perfect RV. It’s got everything you need and at the right price. The only problem is that the RV is out of state, but is it even a problem? Thankfully, buying an RV out of state is possible. If you can’t find an RV locally that checks all of your boxes, you can buy your RV from out of state. There’s no need to only stick to neighboring states either; you can buy from across the country.
What Are the Pros of Buying an RV Out of State?
When you start looking to purchase an RV, you’ll likely look within your own state. This makes sense and is often more convenient. However, are there some pros to broadening your search? Let’s take a look!
Wider Selection of RVs
When you expand your search area, you’ll find a much greater variety of RVs. There are hundreds of RV layouts and manufacturer combinations, especially if you’re considering used RVs. Looking outside of your state can open you up to seemingly endless options.
If you live in a state with a higher cost of goods, you’ll pay more for your RV regardless of whether it’s new or used. Those able to expand their search to include states with a generally lower cost of goods can snag better deals. This will also be true for areas with lower demand. Try looking in northern states in the winter months for a great deal.
What Are the Cons of Buying an RV Out of State?
Buying an RV out of state isn’t the best choice for everyone. There are a few cons to consider, especially when making a purchase as large as this one. Here are a few reasons why you might avoid buying an RV out of state.
Travel or Delivery to Get the RV
Not everyone has the time or desire to drive halfway across the country to pick up their RV. Whether you don’t have the time to take off work, or have other obligations, making the trek simply isn’t in the cards for everyone. Not only will a long haul to pick up your RV take you time, but it also can cost a significant amount of money in fuel. You can easily add on a grand or two just in fuel to make your round trip drive. If it’s a multi-day journey, don’t forget the cost of hotels.
Paying Sales Tax in Your Home State
If you think that you’ll save money by buying your RV in a state that doesn’t charge sales tax, think again. Even if you purchase an RV in a state without sales tax, you have to pay the sales tax to your state when you register it.
The only way to avoid paying sales tax on your RV purchase is by having your domicile in a state with no sales tax. Changing your domicile simply to avoid paying sales tax could be more hassle than it’s worth unless you buy a higher-end model, making your tax a significant amount. You can see substantial savings if you RV full-time and can legally choose a state with no sales tax as your domicile.
What Is the Cheapest State to Buy an RV In?
The cheapest state to buy an RV in can change with the seasons. Summer in the south and winter in the north lead to savings. Arizona, Texas, and Florida tend to have lower purchase prices. Texas and Florida are common domiciles if you happen to be a full-time RVer, making those states even better for purchasing an RV. Indiana and the surrounding states can also have lower new RV prices due to their proximity to Elkhart, Ind., where many RVs are made.
Which States Have No Sales Tax on RVs?
There are even some states that have no sales tax at all. If you’re lucky enough to live in Montana, Alaska, Delaware, New Hampshire, or Oregon, you won’t need to pay sales tax on your RV. Those who are full-time RVers and are purchasing expensive motorhomes might want to choose one of these states as their domicile if they can.
How to Buy an RV Out of State
Buying an RV out of state doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are a few tips for making buying an RV out of state a little less scary.
Search for Your Ideal RV
While it might sound great to have all of the RVs in the country available to you, that can get overwhelming very quickly. Narrow down your search to avoid decision paralysis. Scrolling through endless pages of motorhomes is a waste of time if you’re not in the market for a motorhome. Use the search filters to your advantage to find your ideal RV faster.
Compare Local Dealer Prices and Ask About Price Matching
Talk to your local dealer if you find a great deal on an RV, but the dealer is hours away. If a local dealer has the exact model with the same options, they may be willing to price match to earn your business. The worst that can happen is they say no. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a great deal without having to deal with traveling.
Get RV Inspected Before Making an Offer (if Used)
Even if you think you know what you’re looking for when it comes to used RVs, it’s always best to get an inspection. This is even more true if you’re purchasing the RV from out of state. When purchasing from out of state, you may feel rushed due to being on a deadline for returning home. Hiring an inspector can save you from making a bad buy.
Buy RV With Cash or Financing
Unless you’ve somehow managed to find a free RV, you’ll need to come prepared for payment. Know how you’ll pay for your new RV and discuss this with the seller ahead of time. How you go about paying for the RV will vary slightly based on if it’s a private seller or dealer sale. If you’re buying from a private seller who still has a lien on the RV, stay in direct contact with the bank, possibly even going to the bank with the seller to complete the sale.
Arrange for Pickup or Delivery
Because you’re purchasing out of state, you may not have the ability to retrieve the RV right away. It may be necessary to arrange a later pick-up date or even delivery. Research ahead of time so you know a fair delivery price.
Get RV Insurance
RVs need insurance just like your car does. A quick call to your auto insurance can let you know their options for RV coverage. Don’t be afraid of calling other companies to compare rates. You may see lower rates when you bundle your services together. Be transparent with your insurance company regarding how often you’ll use your RV to get the appropriate coverage.
Register and Pay Sales Tax in Home State
Once the RV has arrived, you still have a few tasks left before you head out on your first adventure. Register your RV (regardless of size and style) with your local government agency. Here, you’ll receive your license plate and pay any applicable fees, such as sales tax. Remember, regardless of whether you purchased a large Class A or a small popup, you’ll need to register your new RV.
Should You Consider Buying an RV Out of State?
There’s no reason to shy away from buying an RV out of state. It may seem intimidating at first, but the process can be gratifying. Expanding your search can open up many more options and could even save you thousands of dollars.
Casual sales between private parties are not subject to Arizona sales tax.