Next Steps For Your Long-Distance Vehicle Purchase

Long-Distance Vehicle Purchase
A Car Pal client in San Francisco recently purchased this BMW X5 M from Florida with Car Pal’s help.

Once our clients have decided to work with us and sent us a good faith deposit, many of them ask us “What are the next steps for my long-distance vehicle purchase”. In other words, they’d like to know what to expect in the long-distance vehicle purchase process. So, without further ado….this is the itemized step-by-step list of “expectations” we send. We figured the general public might also appreciate access to this list.

Step-By-Step Guide to Your Long-Distance Vehicle Purchase Through Car Pal

  1. Inspections (pre-owned vehicles only): If third party inspection: that will be taken care of on your behalf within the next 48 hours and we will interpret the results and negotiate with the dealer for anything that is red flagged (rare to have anything red-flagged since our “Pre-vetting” is so thorough, but say the battery needs to be replaced or there is a scratch that can be easily buffed out, we’ll take care of that for you!
  2. Cash purchases: If paying cash (ie: no lienholder or third party financing) every dealer varies on how they want to be paid. Most will take wire transfer OR bank check.
  3. Financing: If financing through your own third-party service (or one Car Pal found for you with a much lower rate with the dealership) We will need the lienholder address and phone number. Since third party financing is facilitated by Car Pal but the lender has to interface with the buyer only, it is super helpful to get the current lienholder address and phone number as sometimes it varies depending on what branch you’re working with.
  4. Signing your purchase documents. Part I: The most FAQ we’ve ever had is why can’t I just sign for my car entirely online? This is because only 3% of all dealerships have e-signing as their total out of town or out of state solution. You may be asked to sign paperwork online (and your Car Pal rep is ALWAYS available to answer any questions you may have) – however the finance department will (99% of the time) also have you sign hard copies of some other documents. Some dealerships require a notary witness/stamp and most do not.

    Part II: Be sure to give your Car Pal the best address for your overnight package- otherwise, we will assume it is your home address. Car Pal will have the tracking info. Overnight is rarely overnight these days. Expect it in two days and if it really comes overnight, then we are all pleasantly surprised!

    Part III: What to do with the contents. The dealership will indicate (with arrow sticker or highlighter) where you should sign. All of this paperwork is boiler plate. The power of attorney is limited just to process the titlework.If you have ANY questions (all of it is boilerplate so there is really nothing you can “skip” signing anyway, but if there are any errors other than your email address, we would want to know at once) about what you’re signing, you’ll call or text your Car Pal rep.
  5. Returning the signed papers to the dealership: When you return the papers to them, you return ALL copies (after they do what they do, you will get your copies back… usually by e-file, sometimes hard copies. Usually whatever client prefers. sign and return ALL copies in the pre-paid return envelope. Snap a photo of the envelope/tracking number when you drop it off so Car Pal can track the package back to the dealership and follow up on receipt. Note: if you would like copies for yourself, please take photos or scan. The dealership needs all copies (even customer copy) back because they have to do their thing, then they will scan and send your copies back to you. (or send you hard copies by mail if you prefer to have a bunch of paper!)
  6. Shipping. If you will be receiving your vehicle via shipping, the shipping company will have your cell and email and reach out to you directly. However, we are always the “go to” for timing and questions about your special delivery! Shipper is NOT released to go pick up your vehicle until everything is confirmed as IN HOUSE and ready to go. Everything = your signed paperwork and your money. The shipper is covered by their own insurance. Click here to read the article (written by our CEO) about how to receive your shipment and what to expect.
  7. Car Pal for life. Part I (Tags/registration) – Even though you will pay Car Pal the final balance due on the day you receive your shipment, we are here for any and all follow up q’s about your title work and tag. That can take up to 60 days to process and depends fully on what state in which your vehicle will be titled. We are here for any follow up Q’s and to follow up if you start to worry (everyone does!) about the title and final registration. You will find it reassuring to know that while many worry, there is a 100% success rate of the title and registration being completed and zero arrests in the history of Car Pal’s work for registrations that take place (due to ongoing COVID DMV slow downs country-wide…) for expired temp tag (temp tags do sometimes expire, but as long as you follow the law with regards to your driving habits, you will NOT be arrested.)

    Part II (a mechanical issue). While those are rare with both the used cars we source and all of the new cars we source… sometimes there are mechanical issues. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for assistance as to how to best handle the nuisance. We are always here for you.

For further reading, be sure to see Checklist For Buying A Used Vehicle From Out Of Town Or Out Of State In 2021 and Shipping a Vehicle Long Distance: Steps for Receiving an Out of State Car Purchase

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