Car Buying 101: Part 2

Filed in car buying, Loans by on June 3, 2013 1 Comment


This is the second of a two-post series on Car Buying 101. See the first post here.

Now that I’ve taken you through the all-important steps of lining up financing and finding a reliable used car, we come to the no-so-fun part of the car buying process.

STEP 3: Tax, Title and Tags

I was glad to avoid the icky used car salespeople and go the private seller route, but that meant I had to handle taxes, title and tags (another thing dealers normally take care of).

Carmax has a great calculator for estimating these costs, which I financed. I could have paid these fees out of pocket but pigs don’t have pockets.

I provided the tax/title/tag fees estimate from the above-mentioned calculator (which was spot-on) to my helpful credit union car loan processing dude. SECU (yes, I can say they’re great even though they pay me to blog) then simply rolled that amount into my loan and deposited the money for these fees into my checking account. Shut up!

So, my loan included the car purchase price plus the cost of taxes, title and tags. My credit union gave me a cashier’s check for the seller and cash for the MVA. Huzzah!

After exchanging the check for the car, keys and title with the my seller, I went to the MVA and wrote them a check for the three Ts (tax, title and tags – haven’t you been paying attention?). They gave me the plates, tags and registration and I was done – almost.

What was left? In Maryland, if you didn’t know, you’ve gotta return your old license plates or they’ll fine you.


What a rigamaroll. But I probably saved a couple grand versus going to a dealer because I got a good, non-former-rental car with super low mileage from the original owner.

And the monthly payments are deducted from my credit union checking account to my credit union loan account automatically (I got a rate discount for doing that). Set it and forget it – the smart green pig is also a busy green pig.

Now that was a successful used car purchase. The only thing that would have made it better would have been having the benefit of this brilliant and excellently written blog post series on Car Buying 101.

Now you have that benefit and there’s no doubt it will save you time, effort and money.



Flickr photo courtesy of Uncle Fezter


About the Author ()

Melvin is the Smart Green Pig. "Smart" as in intelligent. Some would say "Super Intelligent" or perhaps "Genius". But also "Smart" as in surly and sarcastic, so watch your Ps and Qs! By the way, Melvin gets paid (quite handsomely) by SECU, so even though he's completely unbiased, some might think otherwise. Just sayin' (disclosin').

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  1. Car Buying 101, part 1 | June 3, 2013

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