With the massive boom in RV sales, buying an RV these days can require a bit more effort. Scoring a good deal may require you to consider buying an RV out of state. However, this could enable you to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Let’s look at whether you should consider buying an RV out of state for your next purchase.
Can You Buy an RV Out of State?
Similar to any other vehicle, there’s nothing that prevents you from buying an RV out of state. Purchasing through an out-of-state dealer is often easier as they’ll typically handle most of the paperwork for you. However, purchasing an RV through a private sale is also a relatively simple process.
You’ll need to insure and register your vehicle in your state of residence, so make sure you contact your insurance and the local DMV for any specific steps you need to take. You’re not the first person to do this. They’ll likely be able to lead you in the right direction. If you do your due diligence, it doesn’t have to be stressful to buy an RV out of state.
Advantages of Buying an RV Out of State
There are several advantages to buying an RV out of state. By widening your options to include RVs out of state, you improve the chances of finding the perfect RV. You may discover that you’ll have to drive a little farther, but if it’s the RV you want or the price is better, it’s worth the drive.
You’ll have a much wider selection of RVs to choose from, whether you’re purchasing through a dealer or a private sale. By increasing your selection, you don’t have to settle for just any RV. You can be patient and find that perfect RV for your unique situation.
Disadvantages of Buying an RV Out of State
Unless you live close to the state border, when you broaden your search to include out-of-state RVs, you’re more than likely also increasing your driving distance. This can be a pain as you’ll likely make several trips back and forth between your home and the dealership during the process. This could become annoying after the sale if you need to return the RV for maintenance.
Another disadvantage is handling sales tax. The tax on all purchases, including vehicles, typically varies from state to state. You may think you’re getting a better deal because of a lower sales tax in the purchase state, but you’ll end up paying the difference when you register the vehicle in your home state. If you purchase a vehicle in a state with a higher sales tax, you’re paying more taxes than buying in your home state. So don’t forget to consider this when shopping for RVs.
What’s the Cheapest State for Buying an RV?
If you’re looking to score the best deal on an RV, you’re going to want to pick one of the five states that don’t have sales tax. These states are Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon. However, Montana takes the prize as the entire state has zero sales tax. This means you’re not paying a state, county, or city tax when purchasing your RV.
You’ll still need to register your vehicle in your home state. So unless you’re a resident of one of these states, you’re going to pay the sales tax rate for your home state eventually.
Additional Factors to Consider When Buying an RV Out of State
When making any large purchase, but especially an RV, it’s essential to make an informed decision. There are a handful of things we think you should keep in mind while RV shopping.
You’ll always register your RV in your state of residence. This means any fees associated with registering vehicles in your home state will apply to your purchase. If you’re purchasing through a dealer, they’re likely to offer some help making the process as smooth as possible.
Even if you choose to purchase your RV in a sales-tax-free state, you can’t avoid paying it unless you’re also a resident of one of those states. They may not charge you sales tax at the time of purchase, but you’re going to pay any unpaid tax when you register your vehicle.
Even if there’s only a minimal difference in sales tax, your state will collect it when registering your RV. For example, the sales tax in Illinois is currently 6.25%. If you’re a resident of Indiana, with a sales tax of 7%, and travel across the border to purchase your RV, you’ll pay the .75% difference in tax to the state of Indiana when registering the RV.
Besides the fact that you want to protect that beautiful new RV, having insurance is typically a requirement when registering a vehicle or trailer. The cost of insurance varies not only from state to state but city to city. Insurance companies consider several factors when determining potential liabilities. You’ll need to acquire insurance in your home state, where you intend to register the vehicle.
You don’t have to be surprised when it comes to insurance costs for your RV. By reaching out to your insurance provider, you can get an estimate. You’ll need to secure coverage and show proof of insurance when signing the paperwork on your RV. So save yourself a hassle and acquire insurance before heading to the dealership to sign any paperwork.
Changing Your Domicile Before Buying an RV Out of State
If you’re planning to buy an RV, changing your domicile first can help you save on taxes. This is especially true if you’re establishing your domicile and residency in a state with lower sales tax than your current state of residence. You’re not going to get a refund on sales tax once you complete the purchase. So make sure you thoroughly think through the process when making a purchase.
Price Matching at a Local Dealer
Knowledge is power, especially when making a large purchase. You may be able to use the information you gain while shopping to convince a local dealer to price match.
Don’t be surprised if there’s some pushback or they don’t match it exactly. Even if the local dealer can’t price match dollar for dollar, they might be worth it for the convenience of having a local dealer when it comes to repairs and maintenance.
Should You Buy an RV Out of State?
There are many factors to consider when buying an RV, no matter where you buy it. If you’re looking to score the best deal possible, buying an RV out of state can provide more options. However, it does create slightly more paperwork during the initial purchase. If you’re shopping for an RV, we think buying an RV out of state is something you should consider. Have you ever purchased an RV out of state?