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  1. Default Please help west coast road trip

    Hi all,

    A friend and i are planning a 6 month trip to america and central america. We will be leaving in November and had a few questions to anyone who think they might be able to help:

    1) We want to fly from london to Ney York, stay there for a few weeks then fly to Vancouver. Is this easily done? do we need a seperate visa to get to canada?

    2) From vancouver we plan to drive a car south down the west coast.. any suggested routes, major attractions not to miss.

    3) do we need a different licence to a UK licence to drive in america, and also if we buy a car do we need to register it.

    4) We would like to pass through vagas and make some money to continue our trip south in to mexico, now would it be easy to drive straight to mexico across the border. Also would we easily be able to sell the car in central america for similar prices for north america.

    Your help would be much appreciated. Cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default challenges

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I don't think your trip is going to be quite as easy as you might hope.

    First off, Flying from NY to Vancouver shouldn't be too difficult, and while I'm not an expert on Canadian Immigration Laws, as long as you are only staying in Canada for a few weeks, I'm quite sure you won't need a visa as a British citizen. Having said that, it will probably be cheaper, and could be easier to fly from NY to Seattle, and then drive to Vancouver.

    Your plans to purchase a car will be much more difficult however. Buying a car in the US or Canada is a bit challenging as a foreign tourist. Your UK drivers license is just fine for driving a car over here, but its a bit different when it comes to purchasing a car. For practical purposes, you need some sort of local address in order to pay taxes, register, license, and insure any car that you buy.

    The other huge problem you will have with your trip is that it is virtually impossible to buy a car in one country and sell it in another. When you are drive across the border in many countries, they will mark your vehicle on your passport, and you will not be able to leave the country without that car. Even if you could find a place to sell your car, at the very least you would be dealing with a huge amount of red tape and importation taxes, that could very easily cost more than the car is worth.

    Finally, if you are hoping to "make some money" in Las Vegas in order to continue your trip into Mexico, I don't think you will make it very far. Putting it simply, those luxurious flashy casinos aren't built cheap, and the companies who built them didn't get donations from charity groups to put them up.

  3. Default thanks

    Thanks for you reply. It was very helpful..

    I may have to re-think some of our plans.

  4. #4


    Absolutely no problem flying from Canada from the US. There'll be plenty of cheap Ryanair/Easyjet type flights but, like here, you'll have serious restrictions on the amount of baggage you can take on board so you'll need to keep an eye on that.

    The visa thing is possibly tricky. Normally you'd not need one but, as you don't qualify for the Visa Waiver Program as you'll be staying more than 90 days, it could get complicated. You'll need to check that with whoever is preparing your visa application for you for the US. If it's any help, whilst the immigration people in the US can be a real pain, the Canadians tend to be welcoming and friendly. So at least that's one positive!

    The whole buying a car thing is a subject which comes up over and over on these boards. I do not recall one instance of someone planning a trip to the US and then coming back and saying that they'd found a way to buy, register and insure the car without a US mailing address. I'm not saying it's not been done, but...

    I did read a post a couple of days ago which asked for peoples experinces of a broker who might be able to insure foreign drivers but I am afraid I can no longer find the post. I'll let you know if I come across it.

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by UKCraig View Post
    I did read a post a couple of days ago which asked for peoples experinces of a broker who might be able to insure foreign drivers but I am afraid I can no longer find the post. I'll let you know if I come across it.
    Okay, the company in question was Berglunds Insurance. The homepage of their website seems to be 'temporarily down' but the rest is still accessible.

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