Me and a couple of friends from Merry Old England are planning an expedition to the US, and would love to travel the whole width of it via a car. As we're all under 21, we realise we can't rent a car, and so hope to buy one. Except the question of insuance looms (costs, restrictions, etc.) Any idea of who we should contact about this, and any other pointers would be of great help. Many thanks
Doing what you plan seems overly complicated to me -- although I'm certain it can be done. For insurance, because of your age, coverage will be comparatively expensive. Your best bet is to contact an independent insurance agency and see what can be obtained -- they often represent many companies and can shop around for you a bit.
However, as much as I loathe telling someone NOT to take a "roadtrip"...
Here's another option -- our national rail service (Amtrak) offers a "national rail pass," either 15 days or 30 days, only to non-citizens. The cost is reasonable -- in summer, the 15 day will cost you $440 and the 30 day $550. If you travel September through May instead, they are only $295 and $385 respectively.
Bring your backpacks and sleeping bags, etc, ride the trains and get as close as you can to the attractions you want to see -- then take the bus the rest of the way. With the rail passes, you can do the trip on a shoestring, compared to the costs of vehicle purchase, gas, tires, insurance, unforeseen repairs, et al.
Please keep in mind that our rail system is NOTHING like it used to be when it was privately run, nor is it anything like what you are used to in the UK, in terms of service or frequency -- many of our trains on transcontinental runs are every-other-day only, and the rolling stock is getting a bit long in the tooth. But they'll get you there.
Except for the backpack thing, this is exactly what I'm going to do in YOUR country in just about 1 month! Bob
Cheers for the advice, although I must you warn you, you'll probably get bored in the UK within a month -thus, I advise either a trip over the Channel to the Continent, or over the Irish Sea to Dublin for a booze-up. And avoid Glasgow in Scotland, it's a dump; see www.craptowns.com/ for details.