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  1. #1

    Default 4 Aussies Driving from L.A to the East

    Hi Guys and Girls,

    Me and 3 mates are coming over landing in LA and planning on driving around/across the country. We will be there for 90 days. Will be arriving on the 22nd May and leaving end of August.

    So far looking at Mini Van hire the one way option isnt too affordable.. Like LA to NYC turned out to like a 23k car hire!!!!

    The round trip works out a fair bit cheaper which is around 4k. Anybody have any ideas about car hire? I have been looking into purchasing a car but have read that cannot get a car registered without a fixed address....

    Slowly working together a trip plan and places we want to see, but not to worried about that at the moment. wondering if the loop trip would be possible in that amount of days.. Realistically we ant to take our time and see thigns as we go along and if we like somewhere we will stay a bit longer making our way to the east coast, Miami, New york and such..

    Cheers
    Damien

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Minivans do tend to be extremely expensive for one way rentals, but I really couldn't tell you why. In general, you'll always get the best deal with a sedan and with 3 people that could very well be the most comfortable option anyway, as long as you are getting something thats on the larger (full size) scale.

    You are right that it is virtually impossible for a non-resident to purchase a car. Going round trip will likely be the cheapest option regardless, and with 90 days that's certainly a possibility. It takes about a week to drive from coast to coast, and with 3 months you'd have plenty of time to do a big loop around the US.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 02-16-2011 at 05:16 AM. Reason: typo

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Recommended.

    I would actually recommend a loop with the time you have available. Once you start getting into serious research, you will most likely find yourself needing to Zig-Zag up and down the Country to see places you want to visit while on a one way trip 'across' the country, which can add up to a lot of extra miles. Doing a round trip then means you could select a route 'out' along a more Southerly approach and a more Northerly one coming back.

    Dig around the forums and road trip planning pages above to find suggestions and info and then use the Map Centre to create routes and see what attractions lay along their path.

    Enjoy !!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    219

    Default

    Hi
    You may try www.traveljigsaw.com.au for the rental. We've done several trips like that and always rent a standard SUV. (awd but prob you don't need awd) Big enough for 4 people and luggage. One way rental between LA and NY will add $ 250,-- with National and $ 500,-- plus tax with most others. (we are renting from Europe). You'll have to change cars on your way because max rentalperiode with Hertz is 62 days, National and Alamo are 56 days. The others mostly have shorter periodes. You can save money to make a Western Roadtrip first, rent in California make a loop and deliver the car in Phoenix or Las Vegas. Then rent another car there and make it to the east coast. (if you want to do a one way trip) Often no drop off charges between California, Nevada and Arizona.
    A loop would be possible in 90 days. Take the southern part of the USA first starting may and return north. We always try to avoid the interstates taking it easy. The overall average speed is no more than 45 mph though (with all stops etc etc.) You can go faster than that taking more interstates but never count on more than 55 mph then. No way you can rent a car for 90 days in a row Afa I know. On our last trip we went Orlando-Philadelphia-Las Vegas-San Diego. (with big zigzags) for 80 days. We had to pay drop off in Las Vegas but not between Vegas and San Diego.
    Yeehaw

  5. #5

    Default

    Hey guys thanks for the help..
    Yeah I think that the LA to the EAst along the south and then back across on the top is looking like the plan we are drawing to.

    The websites I ahve been looking at and getting quotes on I have been putting down the 85 or so days and all seem to come up with allowing it.. Will they state when we pick it up that we will have to do a drop off and change somewhere along the line?

    Also a question regarding the Insurance for these things?? In Australia we just have Fully comprehensive insurance, you pay a certain fee and then there is an excess if you need to make a claim. Is this similar with the hire cars? And what do we need to make sure we get so we are fully covered and our excess is as low as possible??

    Cheers

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Insurance primer

    Quote Originally Posted by dewdog View Post
    And what do we need to make sure we get so we are fully covered and our excess is as low as possible
    Here's what you need to know about automobile insurance and rental cars.

    Mark

  7. #7

    Default

    Hey,
    I just stumbled across your post and noticed some problems I was having when first planning my trip to the US. My cousin and I are heading over from Sydney on 4 May and spending 88 days driving from Seattle to Miami.. we looked into renting a car at first but like you have mentioned found the pricing to be through the roof! I found this company in the Lonely Planet guide that buys cars for tourists, registers and insures them and can work within with your budget, the guy I have been emailing (Don) seems really nice and helpful and says he can find us a reliable car for $3500-$4000.. which we can then sell when we reach Miami :) anyway the company is called AutoTour USA (http://www.autotourusa.com/). I would definitely email them and see what they can do for you because it is a much cheaper option, especially with 4 people to split the costing!
    Have fun planning!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    If you do go with that company, please let us know how it actually goes. It, frankly, goes quite a bit against the grain of what generally will work.

    If I were you I really want to know how exactly he handles the whole license, registration, and insurance aspect - because those things are generally impossible without being a US resident. I'd also be at least a little questionable about what car he is planning to get you for $4000. That price is generally going to get you a car that's at least 10 years old and with well over 100,000 miles. And of course, when you go to sell it, you're going to likely lose half of that money because you'll have a deadline and have to get rid of it for a wholesale price, plus you'll have to have the title and other paperwork which can take a few weeks to process - at which point you will no longer be in California.

    It is possible that he has found a way to get around all the hurdles that have stopped pretty much everyone else who comes to this forum from being able to purchase a car as a non-resident, but I want to know exactly how it works - and if you do it and find that it does work, please share the answers to those questions.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    219

    Default

    Wise words by Midwest Michael. I would like to know as well how it went.

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