The laws concerning registration of motor vehicles vary from state to state, so this is just a typical description. Most states require the owner of a motor vehicle to have a car title or certificate of ownership that must be registered with the state motor vehicle bureau. When you buy a car, the seller must produce these ownership papers. Usually, the buyer and seller must appear before a motor vehicle registration official and affirm the sale, sign the papers and send the registration to the state motor vehicle bureau to be recorded. At this time, the buyer must pay a registration fee, must pay any sales tax on the purchase and can purchase license plates for the vehicle. These registration officials are located at all automobile club offices, at many large auto dealers and in small offices in most towns and cities. Be careful when someone offers to sell you a car without proper papers or offers to give you his license plates. You may be purchasing a stolen car and may spend part of your vacation in jail. Just ask a legitimate car dealer, an automobile club or a policeman about the proper procedure for buying a car in the state.
We do not recommend this approach. It is difficult to buy a good reliable car at a cheap price, difficult to find insurance at a reasonable rate, and difficult to sell the car before you leave the country. Driving across this huge country of ours will require hundreds of hours of driving. Some of the driving will be through monotonous country with nothing interesting to see. It is much more convenient, and probably much cheaper to rent a car for a few weeks in one place, buy an inexpensive airplane ticket to another interesting part of the US, then rent another car for a few weeks.
Buying a Used Car - Advice, Negotiation Tips and …
New cars are usually sold by factory authorized dealers that specialize in one or two brands of car. In some larger cities, there are now big car marts that offer a wide selection of different brands of cars under one roof. A few Internet companies promise to find the best price for a new car of your choice that they will deliver to any local dealer. All new cars will have a paper attached to a window with a list of all the features and options in the car and the suggested retail price of the vehicle. Remember that price is usually negotiable and most buyers pay less than the "window sticker" price.