How to Buy a Car in Nevada

If you need a new vehicle in Nevada, you can purchase one from either a local car lot or from an individual seller. The buying process is similar for buying both new and used vehicles. When you buy from a car lot, the dealer takes care of processing the majority of the paperwork for you. With an individual buyer, you must visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles office on your own. If you are going with an individual seller, inspect the car title before agreeing to purchase to make sure it does not say “Salvage” at the top because salvage vehicles are difficult to register in the state.

Find a vehicle that you want to purchase by visiting local car lots and browsing through classified ads in your local newspaper or online, such as on Craigslist or eBay Motors (see "Resources").

Attain financing, if you do not already have money for the car. If you are at a car lot, you can fill out a loan application on-site. You can also fill out a loan application with your local bank in Nevada.

Sign the sales paperwork once you agree on a price, have financing and are ready to buy. If you are at a car lot, the dealer will present you will all of the paperwork that needs completed. If you are buying from an individual, the seller will likely have a bill of sale for his records for you to fill out and you will fill in the “buyer” section of the car title. You must get a car title that is signed by the seller if you are buying from an individual, otherwise you cannot register and title the vehicle.

Visit your local DMV office with the signed title to register the vehicle and get the title in your name, if you bought from an individual. If you bought from a car lot, the dealer will take care of this for you. The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles website (see "Resources") has a list of office locations.


  • Run a VIN check on the National Insurance Crime Bureau website for free if you are concerned about buying a stolen vehicle.