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  1. Default Two Brits - Planning a roadtrip for July 2010

    Hey everyone,

    A friend and I are coming over from sunny England in late june for 5 weeks. We fly into Washington Dulles and plan to get to Pittsburgh where our friend lives.

    We are planning on staying with him for a couple of days until we get a car sorted. The big question is; How can we register a car? I have been looking into this and it seems near impossible for us to do, but we are determined to live the American dream.

    Anyway we can get around this? Our friend can't do it for us, he hasn't got citizenship yet. We really don't want to get a hire car because that would vastly restrict where we could go and just would not be the same.
    Everything I have read has been putting people off doing this but we are determined.

    Any advice greatly appreciated :)

    Cheers
    Edd

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default not good news

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I'm sorry to tell you that we really don't have any better news. Despite many people asking a similar question, we've really never heard from anyone who has told us how they've been able to make things work with registration and insurance. You basically need to get a US drivers license to do either of those things, and you can't do that unless you are at least on a long term visa.

    I will say your friend doesn't need to be a citizen to be able to buy a car. As long as he is a resident who is at his location on a long term visa (not the visa waiver program) he should be able to buy a car. Having said that, driving someone elses car has some pretty serious potential downsides. The biggest is that if you would get into a crash while driving his car, he could be held liable for any damage you cause that's not covered by insurance.

    Honestly, for a 5 week trip, it really isn't cost effective to buy a car anyway. The loss at resale, taxes, registration, insurance, and potential repair costs will all make it quite likely that renting a car would be cheaper - plus you'd get to drive a nearly new car.

    I'm not sure what you are concerned about in terms of driving restrictions, but there really are very few places you wouldn't be able to go in a rental car.

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Welcome to the RTA Forum!


    Honestly, for a 5 week trip, it really isn't cost effective to buy a car anyway. The loss at resale, taxes, registration, insurance, and potential repair costs will all make it quite likely that renting a car would be cheaper - plus you'd get to drive a nearly new car.
    Thanks for the welcome and quick reply.

    Thats the thing, we don't want to drive a boring new car with a 4 or 6 cylinder engine. We want a big van that we can sleep in with a big rumbly V8! We want something thats not going to matter if we reverse into a bollard in, or climb on the roof and put a dent in. Something that we're going to remember forever, rather than a bland retal car that we're constantly paranoid about scratching.
    We're not too bothered that its going to cost us more than renting. We've budgeted for it.

    Edd

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default let us know

    Well, I can understand your desires, I just don't know how you can make it happen. We have several regular members from overseas who have tried to purchase a car, and they haven't had any luck.

    By all means, you can and should keep trying to find a way to make it happen, I just don't think your odds of success are very high. If you do find a way to make it work, please let us know, it would be very helpful information for several other people in your same situation.

  5. Default

    Thanks mate.
    I had an email from my friend who lives over there last night. He said that he had just received all the papers from his lawyer and that it takes 60 days from receipt of application to get his visa.
    If he has a visa he can register a car for us. Fingers crossed! :)

    Edd

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default a step

    Well, that sounds good. Again, please let us know how everything turns out. To be honest, I was under the impression that you typically had to apply for a long term visa before you arrived in the US, and I thought the process to get a visa once you are here was a rather complex one - and one that took longer than 60 days. But I would guess (hope) his lawyer knows far more about the subject that I do.

    And again, remember, that if he buys the car, there are still several issues. He'll have to get the insurance, and likely include you as regular drivers, which still doesn't completely protect him from liability. In fact, I would strongly recommend you have him talk to his lawyer about this issue so he knows exactly what he is getting himself into, and to how to best protect both you and him from having serious legal problems in the event an accident does happen. A great roadtrip won't be so great if he gets sued and starts to face legal and potentially even immigration issues because he didn't know what he was getting into because he did you a favor.

    You also will likely have to finish your trip back in PA, since you won't be able to sell his car without him being there to sign off on the title.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Welwyn Gaden City, UK
    Posts
    7

    Default

    I read an article about a Brit who bought a very cheap 250cc Yamaha motorcycle and rode around the USA. Trouble is I can't remember how he went about it.

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