What State Is Best to Buy A Car: Illinois Or North Carolina?

7 minutes read

When deciding between Illinois and North Carolina for buying a car, there are several factors that need to be considered. Here is an overview of what you should know about each state:


  • Chicago, the largest city in Illinois, has a diverse car market with a wide range of options and prices.
  • The state has a higher sales tax rate compared to many other states, including North Carolina.
  • There are more extensive regulations and requirements for emissions testing in some parts of Illinois, especially in the Chicago area.
  • Insurance rates tend to be higher in urban areas, like Chicago, compared to rural parts of the state.
  • Illinois has a "lemon law" that provides protection to consumers who unknowingly purchase a defective vehicle.

North Carolina:

  • North Carolina has a lower sales tax rate compared to Illinois, which may help save money during the purchase.
  • The state has relatively fewer regulations and requirements for emissions testing compared to Illinois.
  • Auto insurance rates in North Carolina tend to be lower than the national average, potentially reducing your overall costs.
  • The state's lemon law protects consumers who purchase vehicles with substantial defects.
  • North Carolina is known for having a larger market for trucks and SUVs due to its rural areas and outdoor lifestyle.

Ultimately, the choice between Illinois and North Carolina should be based on your personal preferences, budget, and specific needs. It's crucial to research the car market, taxes, insurance rates, and any specific regulations that may affect your decision.

How to check the vehicle history in North Carolina before buying a car?

To check the vehicle history in North Carolina before buying a car, you can follow these steps:

  1. Obtain the vehicle identification number (VIN) of the car you are interested in purchasing. The VIN can typically be found on the dashboard, driver's side door jamb, or on the vehicle's registration and insurance documents.
  2. Visit the official website of the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) at www.vehiclehistory.gov. NMVTIS is a national database that provides information about a vehicle's history, including title information, past accidents, repairs, and other important data.
  3. Click on the "Access Vehicle History Reports" button on the NMVTIS website, which will redirect you to a list of authorized vehicle history report providers.
  4. Choose a reputable vehicle history report provider from the list, such as Carfax or AutoCheck, and visit their website.
  5. Enter the VIN of the vehicle you wish to check and complete the necessary payment or subscription process to access the full vehicle history report. These reports may come at a cost, but they provide comprehensive information about the vehicle's past records.
  6. Review the vehicle history report carefully, paying attention to any reported accidents, salvage titles, odometer discrepancies, flood damage, or other issues that may impact the vehicle's value or safety.
  7. Additionally, you can conduct a title search through the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website. You can search the vehicle's title history by visiting the DMV website, navigating to their "Vehicle Title History Check" section, and entering the VIN of the car. This will provide you with information about the vehicle's title status, previous owners, and any reported liens.

By following these steps, you can access valuable information about a vehicle's history in North Carolina before finalizing your purchase decision. It is always recommended to review the vehicle history thoroughly and consider having a professional inspection conducted before purchasing a used car.

What is the process of transferring the car title in Illinois?

To transfer a car title in Illinois, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare necessary documents: You will need the original title of the vehicle, signed by the previous owner, and a completed Application for Vehicle Transaction form (Form VSD 190). If the vehicle is less than 10 years old, you will also need to provide the Odometer Disclosure Statement (Form VSD 333).
  2. Get a Safety Inspection: Vehicles that are more than four years old require a safety inspection. Take the vehicle to a certified inspection station and obtain the Illinois Vehicle Safety Inspection Report.
  3. Obtain emissions test (If applicable): If the vehicle is newer than four years old, it must pass an emissions test. Visit a state-approved emissions testing facility and obtain the Vehicle Emissions Inspection Report.
  4. Complete the Application for Vehicle Transaction form: Provide the necessary information, including your name and address, the vehicle identification number (VIN), mileage, and the purchase price of the vehicle.
  5. Pay the required fees: The title transfer fee is $95, and the state sales tax is also applicable, which varies based on the purchase price. You may be required to pay additional local taxes.
  6. Submit the documents: Take the completed Application for Vehicle Transaction form, original title, Safety Inspection Report, and Emissions Inspection Report (if applicable) to the Illinois Secretary of State Vehicle Services Department or a local Secretary of State facility.
  7. Receive the title: Upon successful submission of the required documents and payment of fees, you will receive a new title in your name.

Note: If there is a lien on the vehicle, additional steps may be required to remove or transfer the lien to the new owner.

How to determine the best state to buy a car between Illinois and North Carolina?

When deciding between two states, Illinois and North Carolina, to buy a car, several factors should be considered. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you determine the best state for your car purchase:

  1. Research Vehicle Sales Taxes: Start by investigating the vehicle sales tax rates in both Illinois and North Carolina. Typically, this tax is a percentage applied to the purchase price of the car. Compare the rates in each state and calculate the potential difference in costs.
  2. Consider Registration Fees: Look up the registration fees in both states. Registration fees may vary depending on the type and age of the vehicle. Compare the costs between Illinois and North Carolina to determine which state offers more favorable registration fees.
  3. Evaluate Documentation Requirements: Understand the documentation required to buy a car in each state. Check if there are specific paperwork or fees associated with transferring vehicle ownership. This information will help you assess the administrative burden and associated costs.
  4. Review Insurance Costs: Contact insurance providers in both states to obtain quotes for car insurance. Insurance rates can differ significantly between states, so it is essential to compare the costs to consider the overall expenses of owning a vehicle.
  5. Assess Titling Process: Research the process for obtaining a vehicle title in both states. Understand the time, effort, and potential costs associated with transferring the title under your name. Delays or complications in the titling process may affect your ability to drive the car legally.
  6. Consider Climate and Road Conditions: Climate and road conditions play a vital role in the longevity and maintenance of a vehicle. Compare the weather patterns, seasonal changes in roads, and their effect on vehicles in both Illinois and North Carolina. This consideration is particularly important if you are purchasing a specific type of vehicle that may be affected by such conditions.
  7. Explore Vehicle Availability and Prices: Check online marketplaces, local dealerships, and other sources for vehicle options in both states. Compare the availability of your desired vehicle models and their prices, as they can vary regionally. Keep in mind that transportation costs may be needed if purchasing from an out-of-state dealership.
  8. Examine Lemon Law and Consumer Protection: Research the state-specific lemon law and consumer protection provisions in both Illinois and North Carolina. Understanding your rights and the state's regulations can provide additional protection when buying a car.
  9. Consider Distance and Travel Costs: Evaluate the distance between your location and the desired state for purchasing a vehicle. Consider the potential costs associated with traveling to complete the car purchase, such as gas expenses or transportation tickets.
  10. Weigh Personal Preferences: Lastly, consider your personal preferences and lifestyle. Think about factors like living conditions, job prospects, family, and social networks in each state. Choose the state that aligns better with your overall needs and goals.

By carefully considering these factors, you can make an informed decision on which state, between Illinois and North Carolina, would be the best to buy your car from.

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