What are the benefits of purchasing a vehicle over stealing it (ie does purchasing a vehicle make it behave like the 3 assigned cars)?

At any point are they essentially the same (ie after saving a stolen car in your garage)?

  • For bounty reasons - are you talking in single player or online or both?
    – Zero
    Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 14:14
  • 1
    Unfortunately I can not play the Online game. So, single player. Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 14:15

2 Answers 2


Some cars are pretty rare or you can't obtain it in other ways than ordering online.

There is no other advantage for buying them in Single player mode.

  • 1
    I wish I'd read this answer before I spent all my money buying a car I could have easily stolen. I din't realize that stolen cars would also go to the Vehicle Impound when lost (I thought that was exclusive to owned vehicles). Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 20:00
  • @MichaelDorst I know that feel bro, i spent a bunch of money on the Veyron replica... than my little brother showed a place where it spawns most of the time... then i realized it is also could spawn in the traffic on some conditions
    – Laszlo
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 9:40

In single player:

When you buy a car, you own it. You can get insurance on it and successfully store it in your garage.

When you steal a car, you still do not own it and from reports here, you cannot get insurance on it (but I have not tried). When you steal a car, there is a chance the person you steal it from will call the police.

Personal Experience: I have stolen a car from someone while they were in it (pulled them out of the driver seat). While they were running away, I heard them yell, "I am calling the police! Ahh!". Then I proceeded to get a 1 star wanted level.

Note: You can still upgrade the car you have stolen, but if you trash it or lose it, you cannot get it back.

In GTA Online:

Including the items above, a bounty can be placed on you from NPCs. This usually ranges from $1,000 to $9,000... to which other players have to kill you to earn that bounty.

  • If you trash or lose an owned car, what happens? Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 14:28
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    @chargingPun You can make a claim with your insurance (just open your phone and dial your insurance). It will cost some money, but then they will say your car has been delivered to a location on your map. (it is pretty painless)
    – Zero
    Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 14:59
  • When you do that, is the car returned in its optimal (upgraded, if applicable) state? or is it stock? Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 15:22
  • I am 95% sure its in the same state as your last save - So if you upgraded it, saved the game, and then made a claim, you should get it in that last upgraded state.
    – Zero
    Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 15:23
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    There is no insurance in single player mode, and if you lose either a bought or stolen car you can go to the Vehicle Impound and get it back. There is absolutely no benefit to buying a car other than that it is easy (you don't have to find it, and you don't have to steal it). IMO it's probably never worth the money unless you can't find the car you want on the streets. Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 19:58

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