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The Mishnah (Kiddushin 1:5) differentiates between how one acquires movable and immovable property (translation follows Yachin):

נְכָסִים שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהֶם אַחֲרָיוּת נִקְנִין בְּכֶסֶף וּבִשְׁטָר וּבַחֲזָקָה. וְשֶׁאֵין לָהֶם אַחֲרָיוּת, אֵין נִקְנִין אֶלָּא בִמְשִׁיכָה. נְכָסִים שֶׁאֵין לָהֶם אַחֲרָיוּת, נִקְנִין עִם נְכָסִים שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהֶם אַחֲרָיוּת, בְּכֶסֶף וּבִשְׁטָר וּבַחֲזָקָה. וְזוֹקְקִין נְכָסִים שֶׁאֵין לָהֶם אַחֲרָיוּת אֶת הַנְּכָסִים שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהֶם אַחֲרָיוּת לִשָּׁבַע עֲלֵיהֶן:

Land is acquired with money, documents, or an act of ownership; movable property is only acquired by dragging it. Movable property can be acquired with land, with money, documents, or an act of ownership, and we stand up movable property with land to swear on them.

Ignoring Dina d’Malchusa considerations, how do things like cars factor into this? They can’t be picked up by ordinary means, but they can be driven. Is a car considered movable property, then, and one can acquire a car by driving it, which would be considered like dragging it? Or is a car considered real estate, and one can acquire a car by driving it, which would be considered an act of ownership? A practical difference between these approaches is whether one can acquire a car with a document or along with land.

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    would a car be equivalent to an animal that can be ridden? – rosends Apr 8 at 16:12
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    I'm certain that things like wagons are discussed in the Halachah. I'd assume that whatever the Halachah is for those would be the same for cars. – Salmononius2 Apr 8 at 16:15
  • @rosends Not sure. The previous Mishnah gives different ways of acquiring animals; potentially they’re all forms of Meshichah and indicate that animals are no different than movable property, potentially they’re their own category, and potentially they’re considered immovable property and those are forms of Chazakah, not Meshichah. Gemara spends most of the time dealing with elephants, which certainly can’t be picked up, but I don’t see a clear proof one way or the other from them. – DonielF Apr 8 at 16:15
  • @DonielF The case with the elephant is considering it a movable object, seeing as right at the end it suggests a form of hagba’a (which can only be used on movable objects). – Lo ani Apr 8 at 18:55
  • Interesting yerushalmi sometimes quoted on this mishna – Dr. Shmuel Apr 9 at 0:35
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We learn the halacha about a car by first looking at the halacha by a boat.
A boat is a movable property and is acquired by:

  • meshicha "pulling" from a property to another
  • mesira "transmission of an object" in the public domain and by schirut makom (leading its place) in the domain of the seller.

In Bava Basra (75b - 77a) there is a long discussion:

Rambam Hilchos Mechirah (3:3):

הספינה--הואיל ואי אפשר להגביהה, ויש במשיכתה טורח גדול, ואינה נמשכת אלא לרבים--לא הצריכוה משיכה, אלא נקנית במסירה; וכן כל כיוצא בזה. ואם אמר לו המוכר לך משוך וקנה--אינו קונה הספינה, עד שימשכנה כולה ויוציאה מכל המקום שהייתה בו: שהרי הקפיד המוכר שלא יקנה זה אלא במשיכה.

Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat (198:7):

הספינה הואיל וא"א להגביה ויש במשיכתה טורח גדול ואינה נמשכת אלא לרבים לא הצריכוה משיכה אלא נקנית במסירה וכן כל כיוצא בזה ואם אמר לו לך משוך וקנה אינו קונה הספינה עד שימשכנה כולה ויוציאנה מכל המקום שהיתה בו שהרי הקפיד המוכר שלא יקנה זה אלא במשיכה:

It's impossible to rise a boat. To drag it is very difficult because dragging it needs numerous persons. Chachamim required only mesira. The rule is the same for great objects. But if the seller want to buy by dragging only, the buyer needs to pull the boat on a length of an entire boat.

Thus

By extension a car can also acquired by these ways.

  • I will explain Gemara – kouty Apr 8 at 18:44
  • A car might not fall into יש במשיכתה טורח גדול because it's easy to drive. (A boat might also be easy to sail but sefaria.org/Bava_Metzia.9b.7) – Heshy Apr 8 at 19:04
  • On the dock with a cord, you pull the boat along the dock #Heshy – kouty Apr 8 at 19:09
  • Pulling a big boat is harder than driving a car. I don't think it's obvious that the טורח is comparable. – Heshy Apr 8 at 19:23
  • Maybe you are right. So you think that mesira isn't an appropriate kula bli neder tomorrow I will review the sugia – kouty Apr 8 at 19:30

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