Have you ever been traveling through a different state (*cough *cough California) and noticed an expensive sports car with Montana plates and thought that it was kind of weird? Well, it's not. They are using Montana for big money breaks and you are paying for it.

I spent a good bit of time in Southern California as I roamed around this great nation sowing my radio roots. At one point I ended up on the beach of Laguna, California building a radio station right off of the Pacific Coast Highway. Almost daily I would watch new Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and BMWs drive by with Montana license plates. Being a 4th generation Montanan, I knew something wasn't right, and it wasn't.

Out-of-state luxury car owners have been using Montana as a way to skirt the system to save themselves thousands, only to sometimes pass the cost on to you. 

In Montana, we don't have emission laws. In other states, if you can't pass the emissions test, you can't have that vehicle on the road. So say you have a new high-end Italian sports car that would never pass a California emissions test, well you just register that car in Montana and you're good to go. It's not illegal, but that doesn't make it right. 

How about sales tax? Even if you live out of state if you buy the vehicle and set up a simple LLC to license the vehicle you can skirt literally tens of thousands of dollars in sales tax to your state. Oh, and remember if you need an emissions test in a state with sales tax, well they are skirting that cost as well.

Has your insurance rates increased in recent years? There are many factors for this, but one you might not take into account is the amount of expensive/high-end vehicles that are registered in your area. Insurance companies not only use your driving history and vehicle as a factor in your cost but also other vehicles that are registered in your area. You see where this is going. If there are 5 vehicles worth hundreds of thousands of dollars that are recently registered in your neighborhood, your rates could increase to adapt to those costs due to vandalism, weather, and accidents in that area. Meanwhile, you're struggling with rent and those cars could be cruising down the I-5 right now.

So next time you're on a road trip and you see a new Porsche with White Sulpher license plates, you know what's probably going on.

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Gallery Credit: Ashley

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