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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Amsterdam, Netherlands, Netherlands
    Posts
    4

    Default July/August NYC > Destin FL > San Diego/Fransico (>NYC)

    Hi boys and girls,


    My name is Tommie Kuiper and I am 21, living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I like photography, music, drinking late night on nice beaches with cute women, and meeting new, openminded people like I am.

    I am planning a roadtrip for mid July till mid August, so with a duration of about 4 weeks. I don't have any limits so if it takes 6 weeks it doens't matter.

    All my friends have already made plans, most of em under 21, or don't have the courage(money).

    I want to start in NYC and spend about 3 or 4 days there (never been there, so thats why). Then I want to go down the east coast for a bit, before heading to Destin. An uncle of mine lives there, and I am afraid I might never see him in my life. (he's 82 already). So maybe spending also 2 or 3 days there, Destin should be a nice place. Then I want to continue to San Diego, where a dear friend of mine lives, just to bring a visit. I'd like to stay maybe a bit longer than a week, to check out san Diego and san Fransico.

    From there, I could either fly back all the way home or, when there still is any money left, drive all the way back to NYC through a different route.

    I was thinking of buying or renting a big old convertible, like the one in Fear and Loathing. It has been my dream for a couple of years now, and i'd like to live it.

    I don't care too much about who wants to join. Just if you are 21+ and have some money to share the gas for the rental car with, I'd be happy as hell.

    Tommie Kuiper.

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

    Default the downside of a dream

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I have some bad news for you in regards to your dream car. Purchasing a car as a non-resident is virtually impossible. Getting a car licensed and insured without living in the US is very very difficult, and frankly, for a trip that only lasts a month, its not very financially practical. I will say that Florida is one of the states where the hurdles are a little easier to overcome, and with an uncle living there whose address you can use for the paperwork, it might be possible, but it will still take a lot of work and research, and you'd have to figure out other options to get from New York to Florida.

    The other issue is that while a classic convertible does have some great romantic/hollywood imagery, its also a very difficult proposition. They simply will not be available for rent on a trip like this - the only times they are available are through "exotic" rental agencies, where you pay hundreds of dollars a day and have very small mile limits. The reason you won't find them through a standard rental agency is the other reason they aren't a great choice to purchase for a trip. When you're talking about an old classic car, you're at a very high risk of the car breaking down - frankly many of them weren't that reliable to begin with. But they'll also fall into one of two categories: one that needs a lot of repairs and restoration to make roadworthy, or one that is very expensive because it has already been restored.

    Not trying to burst your bubble too badly, because you can have a great trip, but there are some significant issues that will make this far more difficult than just showing up, and hitting the road.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Amsterdam, Netherlands, Netherlands
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Alright, I understand. Its just that i want it to be a convertible, and not from a brand that isn't american. Rental companies that have websites, ask about 2000 bucks for a convertible, and then you have a great chance of getting something all shiny and plastic. Do you know if there is like a website for people who own too many cars and would like to lend one to a nice guy like me? Just kidding. The car problem isn't my biggest issue, it's just something that has to be solid before I leave.. but thanks for the heads-up, though!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Any Relation to Gerard?

    Welkom! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The other sad truth you're going to come up against eventually is your age. At 21, you are considered an 'underage driver' and as such will pay a premium that is typically $25/day over and above the quoted rental price of the car. That would add $700 to the cost of the rental over a month. In addition, if you leave the car on the west coast after picking it up in New York, you are looking at another $300-500 for the one way drop-off fee. Then you're looking at a minimum of $650 in fuel if you just drive to Destin and then the west coast, about $1000 if you drive all the way back to New York. I mention all these because they tend to get overlooked. And your uncle won't be giving you free food and lodging except for a very small portion of your trip - you'll need another $1000+ for those essentials over a month. So unless you've got around $4000 (€3000) currently banked (plus round trip trans-Atlantic plane fare) you may want to put this trip off for a bit.

    AZBuck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Amsterdam, Netherlands, Netherlands
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Thanks again!

    I've asked my relatives (There are more than a few) who are living in the US if they knew anyone who has a car that i can borrow.. you never know, right? This would save me a huge amount of money so if that works out it might be possible.. I will keep u guys posted with the outcome.

    Tommie

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default eyes wide open

    It certainly doesn't hurt to ask, however, don't take it personally if they say no. Asking someone to borrow a car is a much bigger deal that you might imagine. If you were to get into any sort of accident - even a minor fender bender - it could cost them for years to come with higher insurance rates, and if you got into a crash where there were major injuries they could be held financially responsible for anything beyond what insurance covers (which could cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars). I can tell you that I certainly wouldn't let a distant relative borrow a car from me for a long distance roadtrip, and you and your family members should all understand the significant potential complications that could arise if they decide to be generous.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default ... and furthermore.

    Everything Michael said, is the very reason why I won't ask to borrow a car from any relative. It was my son who offered one of his cars for one of my trips, some 25000 miles. He was aware of the implications, but of course, he is also well aware of my driving expertise. Still, all the time I drove that car it was on my mind... I could not forget that my son could potentially lose everything he owned, the family home, everything! if I were in an accident which was deemed to be my fault.

    It does take some of the shine off the enjoyment.

    And you would still need the $700 - $1000 which would have been spent on rental. You will need an emergency fund in case of breakdown. I have had two incidents where the car broke down. Both well maintained low mileage vehicles. The radiator leak in one car cost over $400, and would have cost much more if towing had been required. The fuel pump in the other vehicle cost over $800, plus 100 miles of towing, which fortunately was covered by my friend's AAA membership.

    So as AZBuck advised, you will need all of that $4000 even if your relatives would loan a car. It would be irresponsible to set out without enough funds to cover emergencies. (When you rent a car, these emergencies are taken care of by the rental company.)

    Lifey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Amsterdam, Netherlands, Netherlands
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Hi guys, I really enjoy the fact you're showing all the most important factors for me. I'm like the guy that just dives in and whatever happens, happens.
    I just got an answer from my uncle, who apparently owns a Mazda Miata conv. and is willing to lend it to me. I think I have the money to cover expenses, and also a credit card for anything that is an emergency. (so i can pay those expenses back in Amsterdam when i return). Because of this news, I don't think I am going to do the NYC-DESTIN trip, but just straight from Destin to San Diego. This is a lot shorter, and since this is my first trip, a lot safer. NYC will have to wait till next year or so!

    Tommie

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