Buying/shipping outside of California

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Buying/shipping outside of California

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Buying/shipping outside of California

  • Buying/shipping outside of California

    Posted by Doug on September 8, 2022 at 1:49 pm

    In many states, there are franchise laws that allow a legal purchase of a car only through a registered dealership. Purchasing directly from the manufacturer is illegal. Tesla has found a workaround in some states.

    How is Aptera planning to deal with delivery to states that prohibit direct-purchase?

    • This discussion was modified 6 months ago by  bbelcamino.
    Lane-Costilow replied 3 weeks, 3 days ago 35 Members · 57 Replies
  • 57 Replies
  • Buying/shipping outside of California

    Lane-Costilow updated 3 weeks, 3 days ago 35 Members · 57 Replies
  • chris-hale

    September 8, 2022 at 2:00 pm

    The laws only effect direct sales from those particular states. That means that they cannot set up a satellite store to directly sell to those in those states that requires sales through dealerships only. Anyone can order directly from California, and have it shipped to wherever they want to. This is what Tesla did and are still doing here in Texas where I live.

  • Lou

    September 8, 2022 at 2:56 pm

    Regarding sales tax- I believe one pays the sales tax of one’s home state, not the tax of the state vehicle was purchased in. My last vehicle was purchased in NC while I was living in VA. I paid the VA sales tax, not the NC sales tax which was higher!

  • kerbe2705

    September 8, 2022 at 10:34 pm

    @Doug Happ Aptera is NOT an automobile: It’s either a motorcycle or an autocycle, depending upon state/province/country definitions. There’s not requirement that motorcycles or autocycles be purchased through a franchised dealership.

    You’ll be purchasing your Aptera online – you won’t be carrying a check or bag of cash to the factory. You’ll pay the sales taxes in the jurisdiction in which you make the purchase – just like buying from Amazon.

  • paul-schultz

    October 24, 2022 at 5:15 pm

    A new ‘Move’ item has been added to the menu options on the Aptera web site. It helps those in states that either ban direct car sales or require use of helmets to send an email to your representative.

    For those in one of these states it would be helpful for you to send a message.

    • This reply was modified 10 months, 3 weeks ago by  bbelcamino.
    • This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by  Gabriel Kemeny.
  • Biker

    October 24, 2022 at 5:22 pm

    Steve covered this in his AOC YouTube channel:

    Do we even need car dealerships anymore? – YouTube

  • Drdan

    October 25, 2022 at 9:09 am

    Here is what I wrote to the Texas Department of Moving Vehicles (aka TXDMV).
    I am about to purchase a 3 wheeled vehicle from the manufacturer in California. It is called an Aptera. It is a fully enclosed autocycle. It has seat belts, airbags, and all other safety features found in a standard 4 wheel vehicle. <div>

    <div>I understand Texas classifies all autocycles as motorcycles. I also understand Texas law does not permit consumers to purchase a new vehicle directly from the manufacturer. They may only be purchased from a dealership.</div><div>

    The question then is may I legally buy an Aptera directly from the manufacturer in California and accept delivery in Texas because it is classified as a motorcycle?</div><div>

    My alternative is to go to Colorado (the nearest state without this law), purchase the Aptera there and trailer it back to Texas. I much prefer to give my sales tax money to Texas and not to Colorado. </div><div>

    Thank you very much for any advice. </div><div>


    <div>**** – This is their reply – ***


    Hello Dan,

    Thank you for contacting us. We hope your day is going well. It is my pleasure to assist you today.</div><div>

    We understand you will be purchasing an Aptera from a manufacturer in California. Please be advised that Texas law does prohibit a Texas licensed manufacturer from retail sales. If you are certain that the manufacturer is not licensed in Texas, you may proceed with the purchase a standard sell and transfer of ownership so long as the manufacturer is operating by and following the laws of California.</div><div>

    To apply for title and registration, submit the following in person to your local county tax office:</div><div>

    Manufacturer Certificate of Origin</div><div>

    Completed Title and/or Registration Application (seller signature is not required, and may be a copy)

    Applicant’s current driver license or government-issued photo identification

    Proof of current insurance

    Proof of current inspection


    Estimated total average fees may be around $119.00 plus 6.25% sales tax

    Fees vary depending on several factors, such as: vehicle type, vehicle weight, and county of residence</div><div>Contact your local county tax office for exact fee amount and payment.

    Be sure to complete your title transfer within 30-days from the date of sale; otherwise, penalty fees may apply.

    Now all we need is confirmation from Aptera that they are not licensed in Texas. I am hoping someone with more clout with Aptera than I is able to get us some confirmation of this from them. It would be prudent for Aptera to also edit their “MOVE” link on

    • This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by  Dan McKelvy.
  • kerbe2705

    October 25, 2022 at 9:56 pm

    Isn’t this all dependent upon the state recognizing Aptera as an AUTOMOBILE? The last I heard there were no laws anywhere about motorcycles/autocycles only being able to be sold by franchised dealerships – and we’ve not seen any evidence of any state recognizing a three-wheeled vehicle as an AUTOMOBILE.

  • Dr.D

    October 27, 2022 at 11:54 am

    If you take a look at you will see that there are many states in which a customer could not buy an Aptera.

    OK, what can be done about that? In Virginia, contacting our representatives won’t help. The next legislative session is already crammed full. Tesla somehow managed to get around the regulations prohibiting direct sales. But only Tesla.


  • old-boot

    October 27, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    Would it be possible to buy it in California, drive it home and pay state taxes?

    • Firedog-FL

      November 5, 2022 at 8:20 am

      Yes but you will pay California sales tax at purchase and most likely sales tax in your state at registration

  • bruce-mengler

    October 27, 2022 at 12:10 pm

    It is legal to buy an Aptera in Tennessee, Maryland, Delaware.
    Perhaps you could make arrangements with Aptera to take delivery in one of the 3 states above.

    FWIW – For non-Californians who want/can buy at the Assembly Plant, California offers a 7 day registration which would allow for “legal” road trip back to your home state for full registration there.

    • Lane-Costilow

      September 2, 2023 at 11:58 pm

      I think I would prefer that. Take a flight to San Diego, drive back, pay 4% car tax in NM.

  • joshua-rosen

    October 27, 2022 at 12:13 pm

    It’s an online transaction, states can’t prohibit interstate commerce with the sole exception of alcohol (prohibition wasn’t completely repealed, states were given powers over alcohol that don’t apply to any other good). You buy the vehicle from Aptera in California, they then hand it to a third party shipping company who delivers it to you.

    Almost everyone will be buying them online as they won’t have stores or delivery centers. I’m unclear as to how taxes are handled. With regular online transactions you are taxed by the state you live in not the state that where the retailer is located, is that the same for cars. The only out of state car purchases that I’ve done are in New Hampshire which doesn’t have a sales tax. In those cases the dealer gave me the paperwork which I took to the Massachusetts RMV along with a check for the sales tax and I registered the car.

    • bruce-mengler

      October 27, 2022 at 12:24 pm

      I am retired & live about 15 miles from Aptera’s Assembly building.
      I volunteer to provide at-cost/no profit shuttle service to any Aptera buyer in CONUS.
      No state can prohibit private party sales, so worst case I buy from Aptera in CA & sell to you at any location you specify. This NOT intended to be a tax dodge; just away around dealership restrictions.

  • michael-jordan

    October 28, 2022 at 6:17 am

    I read the bill for Oklahoma. I can’t find out if it passed or not, it looks like it only made it out of committee in the House. However, if it DOES pass, it just has to be sent to a Motor Vehicle Dealer. That means I can have it shipped to a local car dealer if they will take some money to process the transaction. Aptera doesn’t have to have dealerships, they just have to deliver it to a licensed Motor Vehicle Dealer in the state. I can also become a Motor Vehicle Dealer for $300. I would suggest $300 is what I would offer a dealer to take delivery for me.

  • Chris

    October 28, 2022 at 9:41 am

    We are establishing partnerships in the affected states to ensure that our reservation holders can purchase and obtain Aptera. The team will be announcing more information in the future, but in the meantime, please know that we are making significant progress. Thank you for being part of the paradigm shift. There is great strength in numbers!

  • JbWondering

    November 3, 2022 at 2:51 pm

    Hello all! I live in Alabama, and, while my state has hopped on the bandwagon in the aspects of ev battery production (Tuscaloosa Mercedes) I’m in hopes that there are ways around the whole “dealership law” here. I’ve seen Teslas on the road here, so I assume there is a work around. Granted I’ll go all the way to Cali to get my Aptera, I’d rather not have to. Any info on this would be greatly appreciated.

  • camille-mosley-pasley

    November 3, 2022 at 5:41 pm

    I had no idea there would be obstacles on the state level. I’m glad I live in MD instead of an adjoining state. I noticed AL isn’t included on the Freedom to Buy/Contact your rep page but MS is. I’m wondering if they colored the wrong state green.

    • ROMAD

      November 3, 2022 at 5:51 pm

      The MS state legislature is trying to ban direct sales, but so far has failed. Aptera is telling residents they need to be alert and block future attempts.

  • LowGear

    November 4, 2022 at 12:16 am

    I just contacted the folks that represent me in Washington state. It’s pretty easy using the boilerplate provided by Aptera in the “Move” section of the main menu over there on the left. I changed my address to include the second four digits of my Zip Code. Political people kind of read it as code for “I vote” which is a hack they understand. And you can modify it to be more personal and take some of the mystery out of BEVs for our leadership people.

    If your state isn’t green on the map then get off your ass and get it done. Hmmm; I wonder what the black state letter looks like?

  • Doug

    November 27, 2022 at 6:53 pm

    I believe buying an Aptera in California and driving or shipping it to one of the 14 states that ban direct sales from a factory is not an issue. I will go to California and buy the vehicle while in that state, and then drive it to Washington to register it. That ban only applies when a factory is selling vehicles in one of the affected states.

  • _-T

    March 1, 2023 at 12:07 am

    Hawaii residents, Shall we attempt to share a container to ship our Apteras to Hawaii and protect them from salt spray? Or is there a better way to get them to the islands? Share your thoughts / experiences and wisdom gained from shipping anything across the ocean.

  • inside808

    March 5, 2023 at 12:09 pm

    I am on the Big Island, so our Aptera will probably be sent to Hilo.

    • _-T

      March 5, 2023 at 6:16 pm

      I’m also on the Big Island and want to bring mine into Hilo as well, since I live nearby. @scott-gilbert suggested future Aptera owners meeting in Honolulu but maybe Hilo Aptera people should meet somewhere closer like maybe UHH library lanai – or maybe for inter-island schedule a zoom session. There’s also the Big Island EV association that occasionally gets together but I don’t see any meet-ups planned at

    • scott-gilbert

      March 7, 2023 at 9:55 am

      The Accelerator Program with the plan to build the LE vehicles has stipulated that the first 2000 will need to be picked up in Carlsbad , CA. Meaning driving it to Long Beach or LA to get it scheduled for Pasha or Matson shipment as vehicle / cargo transport to Hawaii. Aptera will eventually have a delivery plan for “overseas” purchases.

      • _-T

        March 7, 2023 at 11:16 pm

        Pasha ships from San Diego. Here’s the response I got back when asking Pasha about just shipping a single Aptera to Hilo:

        “We would be able to ship the vehicle is you drop it off at our San Diego location. We would also need to know if there are any special starting instruction and if there is any damage on the vehicle. At the time of shipment the unit will need to be full charged. The price from San Diego to Hilo would be $2150 if you book with an agent over the phone and $2100 if you book online. If you have any further questions or concerns please contact us at 866.363.7485.”

        I haven’t asked if this is on deck (probably so) or in a container. I would prefer being shielded from all the salt.

        • ApteraNinja

          April 9, 2023 at 3:34 pm

          My Arcimoto was shipped from San Diego on one of Pasha Hawaii’s RORO, (Roll-on/roll-off), vessels. It was dropped off at Pasha’s San Diego Terminal where it was then driven onto the ship where it traveled below deck for the voyage over. I then picked it up from Pasha Hawaii’s Vehicle Processing Center at Pier 1 in Honolulu.

          I am hoping to have my Aptera shipped via the same method.

  • scott-gilbert

    March 5, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    For those who dream of driving their Aptera under the sunny skies of Hawai’i nei…. how about planning a Starbucks meetup to share the excitement? I propose 5pm on April 1st at the Kakaako Salt area Starbucks! Lots of seating for the huge crowd expected as we discuss these shipping ideas and many Aptera Outings!

  • scott-gilbert

    March 5, 2023 at 9:48 pm

    Sure can do …

    Send an email to

    and I will get us all together for a meet and greet!

  • colen-thomas

    March 14, 2023 at 6:34 am

    I plan to have my Aptera shipped to my address in Florida. Do I pay the California sales tax or the Florida sales tax?

    • Drdan

      March 14, 2023 at 6:57 am

      Howdy Cole,

      Since as far back as I can recall these are the words.

      Buyers pay sales tax where they are when the purchase is made. If you are in Florida and you buy it there then you are subject to Florida taxes. Vehicles are a little different. Sales tax is assessed by and paid to the state where the vehicle is registered and due at the time of registration.

      Sellers pay income tax where they are when the sale is made. Aptera handles their own obligations.

      Hope this helps.


      • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Dan McKelvy.
    • joshua-rosen

      March 14, 2023 at 7:53 am

      As long as it’s delivered to you in Florida you only pay Florida sales tax. From what I’ve read in the Tesla New England forums there are two states that levy a sales tax on out of state buyers if the delivery occurs in the state, one of which is Massachusetts, and the other is California. The Massachusetts info is definitely true, I’m not absolutely sure about California because my only reference is a post in a forum. But as long as you take possession in Florida the sale is deemed to have taken place in Florida.

  • Dr.D

    March 15, 2023 at 7:42 am

    OK, say I’m thinking of investing over $10,000 new funds into the AAP. One thing may hold be back from that: What does it cost to get the vehicle home?

    Perhaps someone at Aptera could research transportation costs, then provide a chart showing the costs for different locations. Not to every home necessarily: For example, I live 20 miles from DC. If Aptera could find an agreeable location in, or near DC, to deliver the vehicles, then I would be willing to Lyft to that location.

    I know some fans here have discussed driving their new Aptera home, but that is not a realistic idea for me (though it would be fun).

    • bruce-mengler

      March 15, 2023 at 8:01 am

      I guesstimate it would be a 5 day drive from SD to DC. For anyone who needs deliver service I am available to bring the Aptera LE to you if you are agreeable to cover my driving expenses & return air flight to San Diego. I am retired & expect to take delivery of my LE Aptera during the first week of production. So I have the time to deliver an Aptera to anywhere in CONUS.

      Just offering!

  • Mike-Mars

    March 15, 2023 at 7:49 am

    My understanding is that it is you (or a consortium of local buyers) who needs to arrange transportation etc. The actual costs would differ according to the number of people / the method / negotiation skills / etc and would be tricky to guess a year in advance.

  • Qiang

    March 15, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    Would be great if Aptera can negotiate with a shipping company, and add a “destination charge” for those can’t pick up from SD. Every car sold has a destination charge so no one will object. Tesla is charging $1390. I bet that’s enough to ship Aptera around lower 48 states.

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