Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.

Private sale out of stare buying guide


May 28, 2021
Lancaster, PA
Hi there,

I'm in Pennsylvania but found a 2016 Tesla Model S 90D that I'm interested in buying from a private seller in Nevada. Since this is my first Tesla and also first our of state buying experience, I wanted to ask if anyone can share some tips, ideas, and experiences to make this go smoothly.

I'd like to know if anyone has had experience with these:

- Car shipping service to recommend
- Car registration tips
- moving car to new owner with Tesla so FUSC carries over
- temporary tags in NV
- other things to look out for

I appreciate the help. Thanks!


Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
Colorado, USA
The most important rule: Never ever EVER send money w/o seeing the car in person and meeting the seller in person. Period. Ignoring this may work out for you but you're opening yourself for fraud and there's a LOT of it going on these days especially using Teslas that seem like too good of a deal to be true.


May 13, 2018
Edmonds, WA
If you're not very mechanical have him take it to Tesla for a thorough inspection. They may mark you if you take it. (i.e take away FUSC)

I use UShip for getting bids to ship big things. There's another one I can't remember ATM since I'm 67.

Should be able to get temp tag on the NV DMV website.

And remember, you can't sue them "out of stare" if something is terribly wrong, except in expensive federal court.
  • Like
Reactions: Dreier


Sep 7, 2014
Washington, DC
I bought my 85D from WA, all the way on the other side of the country. I’ve bought a couple of vehicles at a distance previously, one of which I shipped, one of which I flew and collected. And I’m in the process of selling another vehicle to a buyer in Wisconsin. With my S, the seller had provided good enough pictures of the exterior that I was confident in the condition, plus it had enough warranty remaining that any immediate issues cold be addressed. And with the car I’m selling, I provided 150+ photographs plus a very detailed description, including any flaws. I want the buyer to be delighted with his purchase.

It’s always a gamble, though. In the case of my S, I could have been ripped off and lost a large amount of money. Thankfully there was only one real issue; the seller described my car’s interior as ‘immaculate’. It wasn’t. It wasn’t in bad shape, and probably better than most six year old used cars, and I figured it was never going to be ‘immaculate’ anyway. But there were some marks etc, and you’d think he could have vacuumed it.

Car shipping is often a bit of a sh!tshow. You deal with a broker, or sometimes two or more layers of brokers, before your load is assigned to a truck. Timings are always approximate. I had good experience this most recent time dealing directly with SGT Auto Transport, rather than going through an extra middleman like uShip. But YMMV.

If the car has not passed through Tesla’s ownership since it was new, FUSC should transfer no problem. If it has, it depends on timing. Mine was bought preowned from Tesla in April 2019, but that was before they started removing FUSC so I was reasonably confident FUSC would transfer - and it did. TBH though the car would have been a good deal even without FUSC. It’s ‘nice to have’, not essential.

Transferring ownership (at least in my case) was quick and easy; the seller initiated the process, entered my details, and I received an email from Tesla inviting me to complete the process. Again, though, YMMV.

Final thought: Why not fly out and drive it home? It would be a fun road trip.
  • Like
Reactions: Dreier


May 28, 2021
Lancaster, PA
Thank you for the tips. I appreciate the advice.

It would be a fun trip to drive it back but it would also take up a lot of time away from work and home.

Also, how does it work to transfer ownership and ability to use the Tesla app and all the features?

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.