tips for buying long distance?

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I am looking at several croozers in a different state from mine (AZ) to buy (one).

What tips can you recommend for buying a car from a different state?

I was thinking of offering a deposit prior to traveling to see the car - to hold the car.
Finding a local MUD-er to go see it, or have a dealership look it over.
Setting up an escrow account to arrange funds to help the buyer know that I am committed.
And then either flying over and driving it back or, shipping it back...I have wondered if 15 mpg makes it a wash between driving and gassing vs. shipping it.

What's worked well for you?

You are on the right track. Best option is to see if a local Mudder can check the car out for you. Personally I think a dealer inspection is worthless because I really don't think dealers see enough cruisers to know which end is up and they will of course want to sell you fluids/brakes and other ancillary services that are high margin items but will leave you none the wiser as to the actual competency of the vehicle. If you are looking in a market like mine (Atlanta) where very knowledgeable cruiser specialists shops exist (like ACC) then their inspection is worth its weight in gold. Otherwise I'd trust a Mudder's opinion over a run of the mill mechanic's. As for shipping/flying, if you are confident in the vehicle.................ship it............unless you have time to burn and don't mind racking up the miles on your new ride. Shipping will be cheaper than flying and I'd rather get my new rig in my driveway, take the time to get to know it with short trips, perhaps baseline some maintenance items rather than hoping all is well and heading off across country in a vehicle I am in no way familiar with. I sold a cruiser to a guy in Texas............he put a non-refundable deposit of I think $1000 on it and then it took him a couple weeks to line up shipping. I think you will find that putting a deposit will make most sellers comfortable and will allow you time to get your ducks in a row. Good luck in your search.
I have used both dealers and local mudders. I've had good luck with both. Post something in a nearby club asking for some help. Someone will chime in.

I have also shipped but preferred driving them home. Last cruiser this spring my 10 year old son of mine and I drive from very tip of south Texas to northern Colorado. Have some fun with your purchase!

Good luck with your search!
Hi, Local muddier would be good, they can be the most objective, if they are not interested in it. Mike

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