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  1. Default RV Buy back schemes.

    My husband and I would like to do a four or five month trip round the USA. We have looked at the rental sites and are looking at $15,000 to hire one. We read a little about the buy back schemes... Buy an RV that will suit us for $11,000 and they will buy it back for $4,00. Is this a case of sounds too good to be true??? Has anyone had any experiences with buy backs???? Thanks from OZ

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default No answers, but a few suggested questions.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    I do not have any experience of these schemes, and I have not seen any reports of any members having done so, but I was aware they exist.

    How deep have you looked into it ? The first thing you would need to know about is whether you can purchase and register it as a foriegn visitor and what support they will offer. The paperwork including registration and insurance and having an address to send it too, is a bit of a minefield with different states having different laws.

    The other major thing would be the 'small print,' are there mileage restrictions, what if it has a 'fender bender' knock on it, what warranty comes with the purchase and what are the terms of that. Is it really a garuanteed buy back or are there too many loop holes ? These are just a few questions that spring to mind instantly.

    My main concern would be the 'real' cost when Taxes, insurance and all paperwork are completed and what happens if it all goes wrong ? Lots of big rental companies offer discounts in different ways [check out Cruise Americas 'Hot deals' for example] plus you get full back up if you have a mechanical failure. You have a lot of 'leeway' between the rental and purchasing costs for things such as insurance, registration, [if it can be done simply through the company] servicing on the road, it may also need new tyres and/or brakes on such a long trip and then the big IF, what if the engine or transmission blows ? The possibility of being off the road waiting for repairs and staying in Hotels plus paying for the parts and labour could shorten that gap considerably and be inconvenient.

    I'm not trying to sway you one way or the other, just offer advice on how to weigh up the Pros and Cons and decide whether it's worth a gamble or not, but if you go with it I would make sure you are dealing with a reputable company that are prominent on the Internet with Lots of info and reviews to be found.

    The other thing to consider is whether you really need an RV ? It will be more expensive than a car and Motels by the time the cost of campground fees and high fuel consumption are considered, and they are not that 'friendly' in the City. As a Lifestyle choice they are great out of the urban areas, and we use them for our travels in the USA, but they are far from budget friendly for a couple travelling.

    Depending on your plans, it's possible you could rent one for a shorter period, [for NP's in the Southwest for example ]and then rent a car for other parts of your trip.

    I hope other members have something to tell you that will help more, but if not it would be great if you could update this thread with any findings along the way, as it could be of use to others.

    Good luck !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    There is only one company I know of that has a buyback program - Adventures on Wheels, based in New Jersey. We've had at least one or two people use them and have reported back good results.

    However, the problem is that they only offer the buyback program to US residents. A big reason for that is that it is extremely difficult for a non-resident to purchase, register, license, and get insurance for a vehicle. Most states require you to be able to prove that you are actually living in a state to do all of those things.

    I don't know of anyone else who offers such a buyback program, so if you've found something else, I couldn't really comment specifically.

    Have you already applied for your long-term visa? I've heard that can be a difficult process, however if you are successful, it may make it easier to get licensed/insured if you go the purchase route.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default There's more to consider than a 'buy back' arrangement.

    Do you already have your visa? As you will no doubt be aware, the visa waiver program is for a maximum of 90 days, and that includes any detours into Canada. You will most likely need a B1/B2 visa for a longer stay, and from what we have heard on these forums, they are extremely difficult to get for tourism purposes.

    As already mentioned, travelling by RV is a lifestyle choice, but should never be considered a budget choice. It can be significantly more expensive than car and motel, even if you cook all your meals.

    Michael mentioned Adventures on Wheels, and whereas they will sell and buy back RVs, they require you to have an US driver's licence. They will not sell to holders of foreign licences. Their longterm leases though, can be quite a bit cheaper than regular rentals.

    Lastly, I think it is essential that you read through this experience. It is real, and is something you need to consider.

    If you have your visas and still wish to go ahead with your plans, I may be able to give you some contacts. But there is no point doing anything until you know you can stay for more than 90 days.

    Lifey

  5. Default

    Wow... Great advice thanks folks. It is a shame the company who replied to my enquiry didn't tell me about the difficulties with sale to OS residents. Thanks for taking the time to reply. I guess we will now look at other options

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

    Default They don't know.

    I doubt that the company would even be aware of it.

    You don't say in which State you are, but I know in Vic, it is the dealer from whom you purchase a vehicle, who then arranges the registration and compulsory insurance on the vehicle. Hence the 'on road' extras over and above the purchase price.

    From what I have learned about the US is that folk (individuals and dealers) will sell you a car. The registration etc. is then left up to you to organise. Hence, very few (if any) are aware that it is next to impossible to register a motor vehicle as a non-resident. Most folk with whom I have discussed this are not aware of it.

    Therefore, you will get many offering to sell you a car. They are happy to take your money. They are not concerned about registration etc. Most assume it will be as easy for you as it is for them.

    Glad you came here, before you parted with your precious $$$$.

    (It was through a complex procedure and with the help of a lot of my friends and an attorney, over almost a decade, that I learned how to register and insure my own vehicle. But I would not recommend it for a 'short' holiday. Too much hassle and too many $$$. I finally purchased a vehicle which should last me for many years.)

    Lifey

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

    Default

    Well, I don't think you have to dismiss the idea out of hand, but there are a whole lot of questions you need to ask before you seal the deal. Perhaps they have found a way where a non-US resident is able to take care of the license/registration/insurance in the state they are located. The other "fine print" issues that Dave mentioned also need to be figured out, and you should also consider if an RV really will be the best choice for your trip.

    Having said that, the question about the long term visa is still the most important variable. If you can only visit the US for 90 days, under the visa waiver program, then renting is most likely going to be your best bet, as you really need to be here for more than 3 months before the cost of buying an RV or a car becomes the more economical choice.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Another thought.

    I can't find it, but there is a thread on the forums, somewhere, about an Aussie who spent three months in the US and brought his own car with him. From what I recall, I think he said it cost about $2000 each way, all up. Said it was cheaper than renting for three months.

    If I could have found the thread, I would have linked it here.

    Lifey

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