Help: Marylander buying a car for elderly mother in Michigan

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Topic Author
amonduulii
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Help: Marylander buying a car for elderly mother in Michigan

Post by amonduulii »

Hi there,
I have what I thought might be a simple question on best approach. I live in Maryland. My elderly mother needs a new car and is not convenient to a dealership (aiming for Subaru or Honda). I'd like to purchase the car for her and have it titled in MI presumably so she can insure it and register license plates etc. I suppose the Title could still be in my name using her home address if I purchase it. Would you buy this car locally in Maryland or Virginia with temporarily license plates, or try to "remotely" purchase it in Michigan and look for local delivery transportation to get the car to her front door?

Looking for ideas and suggestions!

Thanks in advance!
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Picasso
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Re: Help: Marylander buying a car for elderly mother in Michigan

Post by Picasso »

My parents were able to buy a car, title it and ship it to me when I lived in WI and they were in PA.

The vehicle showed up on a car carrier and I just drove it away. Very easy. I would just talk to a local dealer on how to make this work out.
lakpr
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Re: Help: Marylander buying a car for elderly mother in Michigan

Post by lakpr »

Having recently bought a car from out of state, I think the process is very easy at any dealership. You just need a copy of the driver license and another proof of address where the vehicle is going to be garaged; in my case a water bill. The dealership just collects the sales tax of the state the driver is living in (in my case NJ), and temporary plates from the state where the car is bought in (in my case PA). You can ask for the car to be delivered at your address (dealership asked for $399 for that service) or pick up the car and drive home yourself for no additional charge. I did the latter.

The permanent lice see plates are also delivered home by UPS by the dealership where I bought the car.

Your bottom line calculations should be to buy just where you can get the cheapest (price + delivery fees). That can be MD or VA or MI or any state in between. Most buy transactions can be done over the internet without having to set foot in the dealership at all.
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Watty
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Re: Help: Marylander buying a car for elderly mother in Michigan

Post by Watty »

amonduulii wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 10:21 am My elderly mother needs a new car and is not convenient to a dealership (aiming for Subaru or Honda).
What does "not convenient" mean?

That could mean 20 minutes in a suburban area or 2 hours in a rural area.

If you are talking about a new car, or a used car that is still under warranty, then I would stick with a brand that is reasonably convenient for her.

Even if that brand would not be your first choice that would likely work better if she would be a really long way from a Subaru or Honda dealership. If it is a new car she will likely need to take it into the dealership occasionally.
amonduulii wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 10:21 am Looking for ideas and suggestions!
What type of car do your or a spouse drive?

It might make sense to let her have one of those and then you could buy a replacement car without worrying how to get that to her. You could basically just sign the title over to her then she could register it in Michigan.

That might involve you driving it out to her then flying back but you should be able to do that in a long weekend and you would get to see her and explain how all the buttons and knobs in the car work.

With some new cars all the controls can be a bit intimating, don't underestimate that if she is not a bit tech savvy. I bought a new Subaru a few months ago even to me it all the controls were a bit intimidating and I am a retired computer programmer. :D
amonduulii wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 10:21 am I suppose the Title could still be in my name using her home address if I purchase it.
You likely do not want it to be in your name since you could be sued if she is in a car accident.

It was not clear if you were buying it with your money as a gift to her or if she is going to pay for it with her money. If it will be a gift then will need to fill out a gift tax form but no taxes will be usually due. That only comes into play after you die if your estate is above around $11 millions(??) dollars and estate taxes are due.
sailaway
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Re: Help: Marylander buying a car for elderly mother in Michigan

Post by sailaway »

My in laws have to drive nearly two hours for warranty repairs. That is inconvenient. Are there any dealers of reliable cars convenient to her?
rooms222
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Re: Help: Marylander buying a car for elderly mother in Michigan

Post by rooms222 »

I live in MI, and have found that the MD/DC dealers appear more competitive on price and negotiations(especially for Japanese/Korean brands), and have considered buying there and driving it to MI. There is also the possibility of drop shipping the car, you buy at the dealer in MD, and have it delivered in MI. This is done regularly for commercial purchases. This is particularly true if you order a car.
lakpr
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Re: Help: Marylander buying a car for elderly mother in Michigan

Post by lakpr »

sailaway wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 12:02 pm My in laws have to drive nearly two hours for warranty repairs. That is inconvenient. Are there any dealers of reliable cars convenient to her?
That sounds surprising. If you bought a new car, you can get it serviced at any dealership while under warranty. I can vouch for this for Honda and Toyota brands from personal experience. I bought a new Honda Odyssey in 2004, moved (sold and bought my current home an hour away) in 2008, and my oil changes etc could be scheduled at the dealership nearby. I donated that car this year ....
sailaway
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Re: Help: Marylander buying a car for elderly mother in Michigan

Post by sailaway »

lakpr wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 1:10 pm
sailaway wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 12:02 pm My in laws have to drive nearly two hours for warranty repairs. That is inconvenient. Are there any dealers of reliable cars convenient to her?
That sounds surprising. If you bought a new car, you can get it serviced at any dealership while under warranty. I can vouch for this for Honda and Toyota brands from personal experience. I bought a new Honda Odyssey in 2004, moved (sold and bought my current home an hour away) in 2008, and my oil changes etc could be scheduled at the dealership nearby. I donated that car this year ....
Right, but if the dealership is inconvenient from home, as OP says...
Topic Author
amonduulii
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Re: Help: Marylander buying a car for elderly mother in Michigan

Post by amonduulii »

Wow -- thank you all for the constructive and helpful replies! She is about an hour away (45-60 miles) from the nearest Subaru or Honda dealership. Only thing in her local area is cadillac, buick, ford, chevy, etc. She could potentially go to the dealers further from her, but as another PP said, dealers seem less willing to deal on price in MI for Japanese makes.

Appreciate the other PP who commented on the gift tax issue too, thank you for bringing that up.
tenkuky
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Re: Help: Marylander buying a car for elderly mother in Michigan

Post by tenkuky »

Have you considered Carvana?
Will deliver to her door.
We had good experience with no hassles.
psteinx
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Re: Help: Marylander buying a car for elderly mother in Michigan

Post by psteinx »

Close to dealerships in domestic makes, but far from Subaru/Honda.

In Michigan, where I'd guess there are cultural preferences for domestic makes.

I like Hondas, too. But in this situation, doesn't a domestic make perhaps make a little more sense?
Topic Author
amonduulii
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Re: Help: Marylander buying a car for elderly mother in Michigan

Post by amonduulii »

tenkuky wrote: Sun Sep 12, 2021 9:26 pm Have you considered Carvana?
Will deliver to her door.
We had good experience with no hassles.
I have begun to keep an eye on it. The main issue for me seems to be the infalted used car prices means that a used Subie with 10K miles seems to be around the same price as a new one. It would certainly solve the delivery problem though!
DetroitAvant
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Re: Help: Marylander buying a car for elderly mother in Michigan

Post by DetroitAvant »

Here in SE Michigan with COIVD many dealers also are offering delivery and even for service they are picking up/dropping off cars. It might be worth at least talking to the closest dealer and see what they can offer. There's even a couple of guys who have essentially become brokers. They take care of finding the cars, doing the paperwork with you, and delivering it. This was a guy in the local news:

https://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/ ... 533934002/
https://www.bcautomotivegroup.com/
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goingup
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Re: Help: Marylander buying a car for elderly mother in Michigan

Post by goingup »

amonduulii wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 10:21 am Would you buy this car locally in Maryland or Virginia with temporarily license plates, or try to "remotely" purchase it in Michigan and look for local delivery transportation to get the car to her front door?

Looking for ideas and suggestions!
I'd fly or drive out to Michigan and buy my elderly mother a car in person. :happy
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