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  1. #1

    Default Roadtrip problems!!!

    Hello!!


    First off let me introduce myself, I'm Philip, I currently reside in Colombia, I'm flying to Nashville, Tennessee on November 25, once I get there I'll stay for around 4 months to study in ELS, uhm so I was planning to buy a car cause once I finish there I'm heading down to Pembroke Pines FL I'll stay there for around a week, then I'll drive up to Daytona beach, FL to study Aviation at ATP which is going to last for around 10 months. So to reduce costs once I get to Nashville I'm planning to buy a car, my questions are the following

    Can I actually buy a car if I'm under 21? (currently 18), also I don't hold a US citizenship, I only hold my Columbian passport and visas.

    My uncle lives in Pembroke Pines FL, is this a plus? if so, why??

    What documents do I need to purchase a vehicle in the US, Tennessee to be exact.

    I'm not sure if my uncle can add me to their insurance, because Nashville is pretty away from Pembroke Pines which is next to Miami.
    Also I'm unsure if I should fly to Miami, buy the car there with my uncles help, and then drive up to Nashville instead of flying.

    I'm probably going to be alone buying a car, never ever done that in my life, what do I need to know? I've checked a few in a websites where they actually show you the vehicles carfax, however, what taxes, title, and other documentation I would need to pay&sign?. Lets say the vehicles website price is 3500 USD, what would be the final price after all the taxes&title etc...

    Also if I chose to get a car insurance by myself, is it more convenient? how much would I need to pay monthly if the vehicle's model I buy is between 2001 and 2004?

    Thanks for your time!!

    I really want to leave home asap, but at the same time I feel bad about it ):

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Welcome!

    If you have a verifiable US address and a valid student or work visa, you can buy and register a car at the age of 18. It would probably be easiest to use your uncle's address and register it in Florida. If your Colombian driver's license is NOT in English, you need to get an international driver's permit (translation) prior to leaving Colombia.

    Here is a guide for you for the Florida DMV. As a rough guideline, add 10% of the price of the vehicle for sales tax and licensing fees.

    You will need to obtain insurance before you will be allowed to register the vehicle. This is going to be the most difficult and most expensive part.

    Bottom line, I'd fly to Miami first and get a vehicle taken care of with your uncle's help.

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

    Default

    Doing the registration, etc, at your uncle's address might be easier, but there are some downsides - specifically when it comes to insurance.

    As an 18 year old male, your insurance costs are going to be extremely expensive. That's just the reality for any 18 year old driver, even those who are US citizens, because simply your age group is the most likely to be involved in a crash. Here's the thing though, if you are doing all the paperwork at your Uncle's address, his insurance rates are also going to skyrocket because you will be considered part of his household, even if you go with another insurance company.

    At the very least, I'd recommend you talk with your uncle, and make sure you both know what a big request you are actually making if you go this route.

    Your other option would likely to be establish your residency in Tennessee and then start the process of buying a car once you are living there. As someone with a student visa, it would appear that you could get a Tennessee Drivers License, which will then make it easier to get a car registered, and more importantly, it will make it easier for you to get insurance.

    Your school in Tennessee might also be able to provide some help in getting a car and dealing with the paperwork. When you purchase a used car, you should certainly take it to a mechanic to be inspected before you hand over your money.

    GLC's estimate of adding 10% to your purchase cost is in line with what you should expect - the exact costs will depend upon where you buy and register the car. I would guess that you should expect to pay at least $100 per month for basic liability insurance, because of your age. That does not include "comprehensive" or "collision" coverage which would pay for damage to your car in an accident.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    if you are doing all the paperwork at your Uncle's address, his insurance rates are also going to skyrocket because you will be considered part of his household, even if you go with another insurance company.
    This may or may not be true - his rates may not be affected if you are not allowed to drive his car. This is something he would have to ask his insurance company about.

    In TN, you do NOT have to have proof of insurance to register a car, but it IS illegal to drive it without insurance. You also may NOT need a TN driver's license, but you DO need proof of address, proper identification, and proof of "legal presence" in the country.

  5. #5

    Default

    Well if I'm going to be paying around 100-150 dollars monthly for my car insurance if I chose to buy the car in Tennessee and get the insurance alone I'd rather do it then buying it in Miami and then having to drive it up to Nashville, 150 dollars monthly inst a pain in the butt for my family so yeah.

    Also thanks glc for clearing it up, my Colombian drivers license is in English so I think that wouldn't be a problem, I'm going to be living in an apartment building for students, and I got both of my visas (Tourist and Student) to proof my legal presence in the country.

    My question is then, OK lets say I arrive at Nashville, the next day I'd take a taxi to the dealership I saw the car online at, then I'd hand over the money of the vehicle plus Tax, do I pay the title, license and documentation/Notary Fee.($249 according to their website) right at the dealership? or where do I register it?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Typically, if you are buying a car from a dealer in the same state as you reside, all of the taxes and registration fees will be handled right at the dealership.

    But I have to say I would strongly advise you to slow down in your process, and not race into thinking you have to buy a car the day after you arrive. It takes time to find a good used car, especially in your price range, and deals on the internet are not always as good as they seem. Trust me, I've seen plenty of cars that looked like great deals online, only to actually see the car and discover all sorts of issues never included on the ad. And again, even if you buy a car from a dealer, you should still be taking it to an independent mechanic to make sure there are no major problems.

    On top of that, I would again recommend that you take care of the other legal issues, especially insurance first. Technically, you probably do not need a Tennessee Drivers License to purchase a car, and you won't need it to legally drive it, as long as you have your Colombian license. However, as a practical matter, I think you'll have a very difficult time finding anyone who will sell you insurance until you have a state issued drivers license.

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

    Default It ain't necessarily so....

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    However, as a practical matter, I think you'll have a very difficult time finding anyone who will sell you insurance until you have a state issued drivers license.
    Michael, that is not necessarily correct. It also depends a lot on the status and length of his visa. I do however urge Phil to follow all the great advice which has been posted on this thread. Don't be in too much of a hurry. You will probably find there is a lot of help available from the students you will get to know. When it comes to insurance, it can be helpful to actually walk into the office of an insurance broker, and lay your cards on the table.

    As a last resort there is always the company recommended by AAA for non residents.

    But I would spend some quality time after your arrival, looking for a car. By all means do your research before you arrive, so you have some idea of what kind of vehicle you want and can afford.

    Lifey

  8. Default

    If your second-hand car purchase does not come with emergency roadside service and your auto insurance does not include towing, then you might want to consider a one-year AAA membership which will cover emergency road side service and provide maps + guide books for your US travels. Selling the car when you leave versus taking it back with you might be a factor in your choice of car.

  9. #9

    Default

    Is there any foreign-friendly insurance company??

    Quote Originally Posted by CAnative View Post
    If your second-hand car purchase does not come with emergency roadside service and your auto insurance does not include towing, then you might want to consider a one-year AAA membership which will cover emergency road side service and provide maps + guide books for your US travels.
    Also how much would that cost

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default The value far exceeds the cost.

    From memory, my AAA premium membership was around $130 - 150 for the year.

    For insurance, as I posted above, check out local brokers/agents once you are ready to purchase a vehicle. Your student visa is sufficient in most cases. If yours is not, then there is always the recommendation from AAA's international department. Check their webpage.

    It is good to learn all the ups and downs before you come to the US, but I cannot see any point in contacting any of them before you get there, or more precisely, before you find your car. Go look for that car first, and then take the rest from there.

    Lifey

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