When purchasing a commercial truck, it's generally better to get it from a local dealer. If something goes wrong with the truck then you don't have to go far to get the issue resolved. However, the Internet has made it very easy to purchase vehicles from people in other states who may give you a better deal. Here are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing a commercial trucks for sale from a different state.
Protecting Your Financial Interests
While most people who sell commercial vehicles online are honest sellers, you should take a few precautions to help weed out the bad apples:
- It is one thing to get a good deal on a truck, but you should take special care if the vehicle is priced significantly below market value. Sometimes sellers are trying to get rid of commercial trucks fast and thus set the price lower than normal. However, some scammers will also price a vehicle very low to lure victims to them. Do what you can to verify the seller's claims such as requesting pictures or having someone you trust who lives close by inspect the vehicle.
- Do not send money in ways that are untraceable (e.g. money wiring services). Either send a certified check or use a credit card. If you're not sure whether the person you're dealing with is trustworthy, you can put the money in escrow until you pick up the vehicle.
- Get the truck's VIN and run a Carfax (or similar) report. These reports can provide useful information that may help you spot a problem (e.g. show an accident when the seller says otherwise). You should also request proof of the title and registration to ensure the person actually owns the vehicle.
- Do a search online using the person's name, address, phone number and email to ensure the person you're dealing with is who they say they are.
Even if things seem on the up and up, it's a good idea to only send a deposit to secure the truck with the understanding that the seller will get the rest of the money when you pick up the vehicle. This will protect both your interests.
Getting the Vehicle Home
Buying the vehicle is only part of the equation. Getting the truck to your home state may be more of a challenge. You have a couple of options available to you. The first one is to hire a transportation service to deliver the vehicle to your home or business. The upside of this option is the company will take care all of the details related to shipping your purchase across interstate lines. The down side is the service can be expensive. The average cost to ship a large SUV from California to New York is $900 to $1,170. You can expect to pay much more than that for a commercial vehicle, especially if it's big.
A cheaper option would be for you (or someone you trust) to drive the truck to your home. Not only will it cost less but you'll be able to inspect the vehicle when you go to pick it up. This lets you hash out any problems before you take possession of the vehicle.
Before booking your plane ticket, contact the DMV in the state where the vehicle is located and ask about getting temporary tags so you can drive the truck home. Most DMVs will give you a temporary plate that's good for two weeks to a month, which should be plenty of time to get the truck home and registered. Be aware that you cannot haul a load with temporary tags, and you will be stopped and fined if you do.
Once you're on the road, you will be required to stop at weighing stations if you're driving rigs like semis. Be certain to have the bill of sale, title, and insurance information ready for inspection. Since you're not hauling a load, you're not required to keep a truck log. However, you should do so anyway because you may run into an overeager enforcement agent who will ask to see it.
Buying a commercial truck from someone in another state can be a good investment. Take proper precautions to protect yourself and get the best deal possible.