me and one or two of my friends (we're from finland) are planning to go on a roadtrip in the summer next year around the whole of the U.S. I'm planning that we'll fly to N.Y. and buy a used car, or possibly rent one, and then we'll drive down to Florida, to L.A., San Fransisco, maybe Washington state, down to Las Vegas and through some of the northern states back to N.Y. We have about 1½ months to do this and I'm thinking that we should buy a 1994 or newer Dodge, Ford or Chevy conversion van (the ones with captains chairs and sofa/bed in the back). I looked at the prices for hiring a new car today and noticed that it would be a bit cheaper to rent a new car, but if we'd buy one we could possibly sell it when we leave the U.S. On the other hand, hiring a car would be safer, since it would be more reliable.... If we'd buy one we wouldnt give more than 3000$ for it....
what do you think? and do you think 1½ months is enough?
Whether 1.5 months is enough time depends on your viewpoint -- you could do the trip in less, you could do the trip in more. I think you could have a great time with 6 weeks to spend on the American road!
If you buy a vehicle, you have the hassle of registration, insurance, and trying to sell it again when you leave. Whether you should do this or not depends on your tolerance for having to deal with those details, and dealing with the set backs that are bound to occur -- like how do you deal with the problem if you haven't sold it by the time you are ready to leave?
Renting a vehicle would certainly be more convenient, and you may save enough by doing so that you could buy some inexpensive camping gear and camp along the way (when you are ready to go back home, you can donate the used gear to a charity store, perhaps). A benefit of doing this is all the great people you'd meet in the camps along the way -- campers are typically sociable and fun people. Renting also gives you the peace of mind that repairs are someone else's responsibility -- if problems occur, you exchange the vehicle for another one at the nearest agency office and away you go. Be sure to check travel agents in your area for the best deals -- foreign offices sometimes offer prices that you cannot find once you get here. Bob
thanks for the fast answer bob!
after some researching on the internet i found out that it isnt too economical for me and my friends to hire a car since we havent turned 24 yet. I'll be 19 and my friend 20 when we go, and even though you can hire a car wihle you're 18 in N.Y., there is an extra fee of 110 dollars per day :( (at least when hiring from avis, but im going to check some more companies)
so i was wondering what kind of system you have with car insurances in the US? Lets say i buy a car, will i have to pay the insurance for it right away, or will it be paid for for a year, or is the one who buys the car from me going to have to pay the insurance?
otherwise i thougt i we might buy 300$ cars, and just buy a new one when the old one dies. or should we buy o 2000-3000$ van?
thanks in advance!
I kinda shudder at the idea of going on a roadtrip in a $300 car. But, who knows? You might get lucky.
As for insurance. It is illegal in most states to drive without insurance. You will need to purchase insurance immediately upon purchasing a vehicle. Once you sell it, you cancel your insurance coverage and the new owner is responsible for getting their own insurance. You can buy vehicle insurance on a month-to-month basis. However, it is often cheaper to buy a policy for 6 months or a year. You can always cancel sooner.
thanks for the quick answers, i must say this is a friendly forum!
but anyways, im not really sure about the 300$ cars, but could anyone give me an estimate on what the insurance might be? i pay about 700$ per year for my car in finland (but thats because its a new insurance and my car is heavier/bigger motor than usual cars in finland)
Rates vary tremendously. Some of the things that will effect rates are:
* the type of car you purchase
* your driving record
* your age
* where you claim as residence (insurance is usually higher in cities than rural areas, for example)
* the amount of deductible you choose
* what secondary insurance coverages you take or decline
* the state you get insurance from (different rules in different states impact rates)
I wouldn't even venture a guess.
Get some quotes
As Judy states, insurance rates will be highly "personal" to the individual. The only way to get an idea is to contact some companies and ask for quotes -- and be sure to shop around as rates will definitely vary. Bob
thanks once again for the anwers!
ive been trying to get quotes, but since im not a us citizen and i dont have an adress in the us, its quite impossible for me to get quotes :(
i hope its even possible for a non-us citizen to buy a car and insurance... well thanks for the help anyways!
A good resource
There are some really good resources and suggestions in Andrew Vincent's book "Drive USA" about this topic. Plus, we have some really useful resources for purchasing used cars when you are an international visitor on this page
Originally Posted by regular kalle
Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 09-09-2005 at 07:57 AM.