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  1. #1

    Default LA - Chicago - NY - Toronto - Montreal

    My friend and I are planning a month-long road trip this December. We intend to purchase/hire a car in LA (which is a better idea?) and start our trip there. The destinations that we definitely want to go to are Chicago, New York, Toronto and Montreal. At the end we will probably get a flight back to LA and go home from there. Any feedback, ideas, advice about the trip would be much appreciated! How will it be driving in winter? How long will we be able to spend in each place keeping in mind we have a month altogether? Are there any stops along the way we should go to?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Buying is virtually impossible

    Quote Originally Posted by georgiag View Post
    My friend and I are planning a month-long road trip this December. We intend to purchase/hire a car in LA (which is a better idea?) and start our trip there.
    You need to be aware that purchasing a vehicle in the US is not like purchasing a vehicle at home. In fact, so far, I have found it impossible. I should qualify that. It is possible to purchase anything. There are enough folk who will happily take your cash. It is the registering and insuring as a non-resident, which is the hassle, and, if at all possible (despite trying for a decade I have not yet found a way), could take 6 to 8 weeks.

    Furthermore, for a mere month it would not be financially prudent to purchase a vehicle. Invariably - when taking everything into account - it is cheaper to rent. And as if all that is not enough, it is not possible to purchase a vehicle in the USA and leave it in Canada. Crossing the border is not like crossing State borders at home. I too have found crossing international land borders confusing at times, and hard to get used to.

    Shop around for rental deals, but be aware, when you rent in the US, you must drop-off the vehicle in the US - and similarly in Canada.

    The only alternative, I have heard, is that it is possible to purchase a vehicle in Canada. But still, for a month, it just would not be worth it.

    Lifey in Melbourne

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Lifey hit the nail on the head, purchasing is not an easy process (usually impossible), and it is just not cost effective unless you are going to be on the road for a minimum of 2-3 months anyway.

    I would say that I would strongly recommend that you rework your plan to start and end your trip in the same country. Simply put, it would be much more expensive to start in the US and finish in Canada. There are a couple of rental agencies that may allow you to drop of the car in Canada, but it is pretty rare, and if it is allowed at all, there will be a substantial extra fee. And just for good measure, if somehow you were able to buy a car in one country, you would not be able to sell it in the other. On top of that, it is going to cost a whole lot more for flights, especially if you are planning to fly do an International Flight back to LA before heading home.

    The good news is that a slight tweak would fix that: Simply go from Chicago to Toronto and Montreal and then head back to finish in NY. That should actually be a shorter route anyway!

  4. #4


    Thank you! Great advice - I think we will do that instead :)

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