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yes, i bought my legend from a guy in maryland (i'm in VA) who was pretty cool. i knew i could trust him when he simply let me have the keys for a few days to drive it around and see how i like it before i made my decision. plus he didn't care too much about the price either that he was selling it for because he said he'd much rather prefer to sell it to somebody who'll take care of the car the way he had.

reason he was selling was because he had just bought a 99 GS400 and also had an Xterra (which was his wife's car) so he had to sell the legend.

the car had Texas license plates since the owner had been in the military in texas and never had to change his plates...and he let me drive with the Texas plates on until I got my plates.

but i have no regrets and me and that guy still keep in touch every now and then just to say what's up.

i know for a fact tho that this does not represent most of the private owners who sell their cars because he was very helpful and nice (and so unusually trusting too, that I voluntarily pulled out my license and let him get the info off of it in case I just disappeared with the car! haha, which i wasn't going to do). overall it was one of the simplest and smoothest transactions i've ever done.
 

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Yup, I bought my legend from private owner in Rochester, NY while I'm still in RI.

Usually you have to bring your own license plate, or you can apply temporary plate from your DMV. But, if the seller is kind enough, he/she will let you drive the car home with his plate. My seller allow me to borrow his registration, so I'm all set with that.

And, before you register your car, usually you have to have the car VIN# to be inspected by your local DMV to make sure that the car is legit, not stolen, etc. And you can register the car later on.

And now, for the tax. In RI, if you buy it from the private owner, the tax is assessed from the book value of the car, so eventhough you have a bill of sales for 1 dollar (cheating), the tax is still the book value, but different state might be different. In RI, you have to have insurance before you register the car, but it's pretty easy. In MA, it's different though, you need to get insurance, and the insurance company will send you the registration form with stamped verification that you had insurance from them already.

And, as soon as you get insurance, of course you need to get the car inspected for safety and emission (if any). And, usually your car need to be inspected too for the insurance company to prove that your car is in good condition, so you cannot cheat on them later on.

I think that's about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am considering buying a car some 850 miles away, meaning that I'll have to fly there and drive the car back. It seems a little scary to trust someone I don't know. I was thinking of asking that person to take that car to their local dealership to get it checked out (i will call the dealership in advance of course and ask them to evaluate the car on my bill).
If i'm gonna fly there and I don't like the car, there is no really a way back for me, so I have to be sure.
 

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You need to have the vehicle inspected by an Acura dealer in the area in which the vehicle is located. This has been mentioned, but it is extremely important as it could save you an 800 mile trip. Run a Carfax if not already done. Make sure the Owner has paid off the bank and can give you the title on the day you hand over the check. You need to contact your insurance company with the Legend's VIN so you are covered on the return trip. I have driven a new purchase using the old plate, but technically, you may not be legally registered.

You need to have an unbiased third party inspect the vehicle. I know first hand how frustrating it is to travel over 500 miles to view a car which was not in the condition specified.

Many states require that a private vehicle sale over a given amt of money be warranteed against major component failure for 30 days. Check this out re the state in which the vehicle is located.
 
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