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  1. #1

    Default Planning a trip over the pond

    Hey there,

    I'm from England and am planning a 6-12 month road trip next year over to your fair country :) the problem is I can't find much information on how I'm going to be able to buy a car in the U.S and insure it?

    Does anybody have any experience on the matter as my efforts of looking through the net are coming up blank?

    Thanks

    Olly

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default extremely difficult

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    It is very difficult for non-residents to purchase and then register and insure a car. Most places you have to be able to prove you are actually living at a location before you can complete the paperwork. Since car registration is done on a state by state basis, you basically have to look for one of a handful of states that do not require you to prove residentcy.

    However, there could be an even bigger problem with your plans. Getting a visa for a 6-12 month visit is not an easy process. Most people who travel to the US do so on the Visa Waiver Program, however that limits you to a 3 month visit (and for trips of that length, its generally not worth it to buy a car).

    There are some examples on this forum of people who have successfully navigated the process of purchasing a car as a non-resident, however, have you first investigated the process of getting a long term tourist visa? Until you've got that process underway, worrying about the car is kind of a secondary problem.

  3. #3

    Default

    Well getting a B2 tourist visa for 6 months shouldn't be a problem and even for 12 months as I hit each of the criteria they require.

    Yeah I thought there might be a problem being able to buy a car without a permanent address, that does seem like its going to be quite a problem. Does anybody have any links to previous forum members that have managed to achieve this. I planned on starting in New York and selling the car when I'd finished and move onto Central and South America.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    The most detailed thread of a first hand experience comes from Lifey, and you can read all about her experience here. I suspect she may be along at some point with some additional pointers based on what she learned.

    Having a long term visa should make the process easier, as it is a document that shows you are allowed to be here for an extended period of time, which could be useful in some states.

  5. #5

    Default

    Thank you for the link I'll take a look at that shortly.

    Another thing I could do is buy here in the U.K and ship it over to the U.S but again I'm unsure on the regulations and fees.

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

    Default Costly, but for the long term... worth it.

    My beautiful van is about to go into storage, and as I look at her everyday I think of the hassle it all was. But in the end, it has been so worth it!

    During this current trip I have met a couple of people who shipped cars from overseas, and were quite happy with how everything worked smoothly. But I don't know anything about the process.

    Specific links I have I will email, as I am not prepared to put those two on forum.....

    just yet!

    Lifey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    My understanding - which is based mostly on my experience on this forum, and certainly shouldn't be taken as gospel. - is that you can ship a car to the US without any sort of fees or regulatory hassles, as long as the car leaves the US within a year.

    If it stays in the US longer than a year, then you need to deal with import taxes and that sort of thing.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    If you decide to ship a vehicle over, you may not particularly like driving a right hand drive on the right side of the road. If this is what you want to do, you may want to buy a left hand drive car.

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