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  1. Default Where to buy a second-hand van?

    Hello all,

    We ll arrive in US in September and we'd like to buy a 2nd hand van or car which has enough space for us to sleep in. No need to have a big RV, a normal van would do. We land in LA so we'd want to buy the van over there. Can anyone give us some adresses or websites of 2nd hand car dealers around L.A? Are there other things to consider?


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

    Default extremely difficult

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Finding a van isn't the hard part. There are tons of dealerships, websites, etc where you can look for a vehicle.

    The problem is getting a van that you can legally drive.

    It is virtually impossible for someone coming over as a tourist to purchase, register, license, and insure any vehicle. You need to have a valid place of residence to do any of those things, and that's not something you'll have unless you are coming over on a longer term visa.

    There is also the cost factor, even if you can get around the legal hurdles, all of those things also cost money which takes a significant amount of money. Unless you are going to be on the road for at least 2-3 months, its basically impossible to break even vs. the cost of renting.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Not Easy At All

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forums!

    The easy part is what you ask about - findin gsomeone that sells used vans. I'd probably start with places like the L.A. Times classified adds, or specific broadsheets like But as I say, finding a vehicle will be the easy part. The hard part will be the legal red tape involved in buying, getting title to, registering, and insuring the vehicle as a foreigner without a permanent U.S. address. You should start immediately by reading through this discussion of all the hoops you'll have to jump through and then get in touch with the California Department of Motor Vehicles directly rather than relying on advice you get from anonymous web sources. You should also be aware that, in general, unless you plan to drive the car for several months or longer it is usually more cost efficient to just rent.



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