Maryland Cars for Sale

Maryland is alternately known as the “Free State,” “America in Miniature” or “Little America.” Approximately 5,773,552 Marylanders share an area measuring about 12,407 square miles. Maryland is famous for its tidal wetlands and varying climates. Subtropical highland zones change to humid subtropical climates, which results in a variety of localized weather patterns. Summers do not usually get hotter than 91 degrees Fahrenheit, while winters generally do not have temperatures that fall below 21 degrees Fahrenheit.


Getting a Feel for the Locale
Maryland shares a state border with Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. Its largest cities are Annapolis, Baltimore, Bowie, College Park, Cumberland, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Hagerstown, Rockville and Salisbury. The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) reports that there are an estimated 302 new-vehicle dealerships within the State of Maryland; they generate an annual total of $11.7 billion in revenues.

Motorists rely on the I-68, -70, -83, and -95 to travel through the state; other important thoroughfares include the I-270, -495, and -695, as well as assorted state highways.


Maryland Car Guide to Taxes
There is a 6 percent excise tax on vehicles registered in the state. Taxing authorities levy this tax on either the purchase price noted on the bill of sale or the automobile’s book value, whichever figure is greater. It is noteworthy that old cars with a very low book value or purchase price are assigned an automatic taxable base worth of $640. This rule holds true when buying from a dealer and when buying a for sale by owner vehicle.


Minimum Car Insurance Requirements for Marylanders
Maryland minimum insurance image
Motorists must carry liability insurance when driving in the Free State. Applicable state law specifies the Maryland minimum requirements for any driver:

  • Carry a $20,000 bodily injury/death liability insurance policy to cover one person involved in the accident
  • Purchase a $40,000 policy to recompense parties for all injuries/deaths resulting from an accident
  • Buy a $15,000 property damage policy that reimburses others for destruction of their property caused by an accident
  • Opt for uninsured motorist coverage that carries similar minimums. This protects you against damage done by a driver who is found driving – and causing accidents – without having the benefit of insurance coverage. Another additional coverage to buy is a $2,500 personal injury protection (PIP) policy.

It is always a good idea to purchase additional insurance products — or increase the minimum limits — to avoid or minimize personal liability in case of a civil lawsuit. Consider the purchase of additional insurance products. This is true especially if you own a variety of assets that may become the subject of a civil action in the wake of an at-fault accident.

A first offense carries a $150 fine as well as a $7 per day fee for each day after 30 consecutive days of driving without insurance. A one-year jail term and/or a $1,000 fine are assessed, if you are found to be driving with a fraudulently manufactured proof of insurance card.


Maryland Car Title and Vehicle Registration FAQ
Cars for sale in Maryland come with several paperwork requirements that both sellers (dealer and those selling by owner) and buyers must meet. If you are moving to Maryland from another state, be sure to title and register your car in the state within 60 days; failure to do so results in your inability to apply for a tax credit on the registration monies paid to your state of origin.

  • If you purchased a brand new car from a dealership, verify that it is your duty to title and register the automobile. Maryland car dealers usually handle these transactions as a courtesy to their customers.
  • Check your purchase title’s wording. If your purchase title features one or more names, all of which are joined together with “and,” everyone named must appear in person at the motor vehicle office. If the names are joined with “or,” it is enough for one named owner to appear.
  • Fill out the Application for Certificate of Title (Form VR-005). Whether you bought the car out of state or within Maryland, you must present the manufacturer’s certificate of origin as well as the bill of sale. If you are titling a used car, bring along the signed-over title.
  • Bring the vehicle with you. The law may require that a state official conducts a physical VIN check during a title application, especially if there are prior title irregularities.
  • If you are financing your car, bring along the loan paperwork that shows the lender’s name, address as well as your account number. Bring the original, not just a copy.
  • If you purchased the Maryland motor vehicle from a private party, bring the original title. Cars younger than seven years must be accompanied by a notarized bill of sale that names all the parties to the transaction and states the purchase price – unless the back of the original title is properly written over to you.
  • Pay the 6 percent state excise tax on a car bought from a private party.
  • Show proof of insurance. Registering a car with the state is impossible without affirming that you have bought insurance.
  • Pay the $100 title application fee. There is an additional $20 lien recording fee, if another party will hold the car title until the note securing the vehicle is paid off.
  • Pay the two-year registration surcharge; for passengers cars this fee is between $128 and $180.


What about Tags?
When you buy new cars in Maryland, you usually only have a temporary paper tag. Private parties selling used cars in the Free State are required to remove the license plates and turn them in. Fill out the New Plates/Stickers & Transfer of Plates Form VR-008. The cost for the service is included in the registration fee; if you are planning on transferring plates from a previously owned vehicle to a new car, there is a $10 fee. Specialty plates, vanity plates or personalized plates come with a variety of surcharges; for example, an organization tag with a logo carries a $25 fee. A vanity plate has a $50 annual fee.


What about Emissions?
Maryland state law has instituted the vehicle emissions inspection program (VEIP) to oversee the testing program. On-board diagnostic tests (OBD) apply to cars made since 1996. Cars with model years falling between 1984 and 1996 must submit to the treadmill test. Older vehicles undergo the idle test.


Where Are the Maryland Car Auctions?

BSC America
Location: 803 Baltimore Pike; Bel Air, MD 21014
Phone: (410) 879-7950
Auctions Run: Every Thursday at 8:30 a.m.

Capital Auto Auction – Temple Hills
Location: 5001 Beech Road; Temple Hills, MD 20748
Phone: (301) 316-4980
Auctions Run: Every Saturday at 9 a.m.

Central Avenue Public Auto Auction (CAPAA)
Location: 8621 Central Ave.; Capitol Heights, Maryland 20743
Phone: (301) 324-1100
Auctions Run: Every Friday at 8 p.m.

Please check each Maryland car auction site for additional details.