Hey all, I've been a lurker here for awhile and finally decided to register! I've always loved the WRX, and finally the time has come to take the plunge and buy one.
So here's the deal. I currently live in MA, but come this summer, I'll be off to college in Cali. While I'm out there I'll certainly need a car and I'm fortunate enough to be able to afford a used WRX. I've been lurking here long enough to know that you guys know everything about the WRX, including buying/owning one, so I'd like to ask everyone's advice on my biggest question (also feel free to chime in about anything else you think I'll need to know).
Do I buy the car in MA or in CA???
I've never bought a car, and all the research I've done on the laws and taxes of car ownership is either inconclusive or ridiculously complicated.
Here's what I know so far:
1. The car from CA will be in better condition.
2. ALL the cars I can find online for sale in CA are modified in some way(warranty void?).
3. The prices seem to be the roughly same in both areas.
Here's what I'm hoping someone can help me with:
1. Emissions. How does this factor in? If I understand the emissions laws correctly (I probably don't), a car bought in MA won't pass CA's emissions test for registration.
2. Registration. The car will spend all but the summers in CA. Where should I register it?
3. Insurance. I KNOW it will be cheaper to insure in MA because of the area where my college is. But I don't think I can insure it in MA because the car will be in CA for 3/4 of the year.
4. The purchase. Where should I buy? Is a "legit" Subaru dealership the only way to buy if I want a used WRX with a warranty? Or can I buy from one of those smaller dealerships that sells a mish mosh of different brands? Also, I'd like to be able to take the car to a dealership for tuneups, repairs, etc. Does this mean I have to buy it at a "legit" dealership?
5. Taxes. I know CA charges a higher sales tax, but do I need to pay that since I'm a MA resident? I think I'd pay the MA sales tax either way...
6. Where to buy. Please tell me your ultimate decision. What would you do? Also, what have I forgotten? I know I didn't think of everything!