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  1. Default From New york to Miami to California

    Hello everyone!

    im planning a road trip with one friend from the start of October for one month. We are both 23 so are up for experiancing as much as possible in this one trip. We are from London and we are planning on flying to new york to start the road trip. Our plan is to then drive down the east coast to Miami and then across the south over to california. I was thinking of renting a car for around 18 days so that we could spend some time in new york and california without one.

    We would like to see miami, new orleans, texas houston, grand canyon, san fransisco, las vegas and basically end up in LA where we will fly back to the London from.

    Does anyone have any ideas of other places worth seeing?
    Also is this too much to do in the time i have allocated?

    Please help with any advice as this is my 1st time in doing a road trip!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Those Pesky Surcharges

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forums!

    The first thing you'll need to come to grips with is the cost of renting a car for your RoadTrip. Let's assume that you spend a week in New York without a car (very doable), two+ weeks on the road, and a week in Los Angeles without a car (very problematic, but bear with me.) You're then looking at roughly $500 for the rental, $300 for the one way drop-off fee and $700 for two under age drivers for a total of $1500 (£950). To add another week so that you'd have wheels in L.A. would bring the total up to $2100 (£1300). You can probably do somewhat better by setting the car rental up through a European agent, but because of your ages and the fact that you want to leave the car 3000 miles form its 'home', this is going to be an expensive proposition.


  3. Default

    Thank you for your advice. I see what you mean about the cost i didnt originally realise about the extra fees for being under 25 and dropping the vehicle off. We have had another idea which may be possible. We have a good knowladge of hondas in particular and were thinking of pre-arranging to buy one in NYC from Ebay for around $1500 and then sell it in LA when we get there.Obviously we would arrange the insurance and breakdown cover. We would expect to loose some money on the car but just thought it may be a much cheaper option!

    What do you think?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default lose even more

    Sorry, but if you look around on this forum, you'll see your idea comes up quite frequently, but it almost never works.

    First there is the issue of a $1500 car being roadworthy, and while Hondas have a great reputation, that also means you get even less car for your money. For that price, you're probably looking at a Honda that will be nearly 20 years old with high miles. Even the best car is still a machine with parts that break down and wear out, and I would highly doubt its ability to make a trip like you are talking about.

    But even if you somehow did find a car that you could use, the costs for taxes, registration, and insurance will balloon your costs, quite easily by at least $1000 on top of your purchase price. And that all assumes that you can find a way to register and insure a car without having a US address, which is virtually impossible. And even if you did figure out a way to take care of all of that, trying to sell a car in California is tricky because it has strict smog rules that can make it difficult to sell an old car and you'd quite likely have to simply sell it for scrap.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    California is so persnickety about the environment, you may have to PAY a scrapyard to take it.

    The odds of a $1500 Honda being able to pass an emissions and safety inspection without repair costs is not very good either.

  6. Default

    Thank you sooo much for your help!

    I would be able to register the car in NY because i have a friend who lives there but by the sound of it it still wouldnt be worth the hassle. Bloody laws ruining all the fun.

    Do you have any other advice as to what would be the best aproach to our road trip? Bearing in mind we would like to be in the USA for a month and experiance as much as possible!

    We would definatly like to see new york as we can stay with our friend and for me California is a must see. In your experiance would it be worth the money and hassle to drive down to miami and then across to the west coast?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default options

    Just as a point of reference, having a friends address will help for buying a car, but more often you need to prove that you actually are living at the address, which isn't easy to do, unless you are traveling on a full visa.

    As far as what will work best for you, only you can decide how to strike the balance between what you want to do and what you can afford to do.

    What you might consider doing is simply focusing on the east coast to start, where there is reasonable enough mass transit to get by without a car, then fly or take a train out to California and do a loop roadtrip around the west. You'll have extra ticket expenses getting west, but it should make your rental car situation at least a little easier.

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