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  1. #1

    Default Summer Road Trip

    Hey everyone,
    me and my friend are planning a roadtrip through the states during our summer holidays from college. We want to drive from the East to the West Coast, mainly through the South. Since we're both from Germany and already have to pay for the flight, we need to budget a lot. We hope that we can afford to travel about a month. So my question is if anyone has some tips for us on how to save money during the time we travel. We're planning on mostly staying at friend's places who live basically all through the South... just in the big cities we'll probably need a motel. Since renting a car for a month is way to expensive, we thought about buying a used car and then sell it afterwards. Do u think it will lose much of it's worth?
    Thanks everyone... Britta

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default To get started...

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    The first thing you should be aware of is the size of the United States. You're going to have to cover about 3000 miles (4800 km) just to get across the country, plus whatever side trips you take. For some general tips on traveling on a tight budget check out these ideas from a couple of our regular contributors. You can also check on line for the cost of motels in the various cities where you need one, and you'll quickly learn which chains offer generally lower prices. Unfortunately, buying a car is not a simple matter for non-citizens. In the United States, cars are registered with the individual states (50 of them) and they all have slightly different rules, but in general it's going to be tough to own a car without a permanent US address and a US driver's license. Then there's the effort and cost to get insurance. Contact your nearest US consulate for some help on where to start, or search the web for the department of motor vehicles in the state where you plan to land in the US. That will at least get you started on determining what's possible. If you find a way to do the purchase, try to get a car that's a few years old. That way you won't lose as much of the car's value while you drive it. And be sure to leave enough time at the end of your trip to find a buyer.

    AZBuck

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks, I wasn't aware of the fact, that it was such a hassel to buy a car over there. But about the insurance thing, is it the car that is insured over there, or the driver? If someone would lend me his car, would I still need to get an insurance myself or would his insurance cover any driver?
    It's so much harder planning a roadtrip through another country, but then, it is so much more fun, too :-)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    The insurance covers the car so, yes, you would be insured if you borrowed a car. I should qualify that by saying that US residents are covered. I have no idea if this applies to foreign drivers as well. Something else for you to check into, I guess.

    But if you borrow a car, you would have to return it, right? So does this mean you are doing a round-trip to the west coast? If so, you're not going to have much time for sightseeing and exploring.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Insurance covers the driver

    Quote Originally Posted by rainqueen
    Thanks, I wasn't aware of the fact, that it was such a hassel to buy a car over there. But about the insurance thing, is it the car that is insured over there, or the driver? If someone would lend me his car, would I still need to get an insurance myself or would his insurance cover any driver?
    It's so much harder planning a roadtrip through another country, but then, it is so much more fun, too :-)
    Technically, the insurance covers the driver but it is issued on the vehicle. It is unlikely that you would be covered under your friend's insurance certificate. Rental car companies do extend the coverage to the renters, if the renter pays the dailly surcharge. Andrew Vincent wrote a book called Drive USA that is excellent and it provides in-depth information about how to purchase, and insure a car if you are an international visitor. You can learn more about this book by reading our review here.

    It really is not that big a problem to obtain short-term insurance AIG is one of the firms that provide insurance to this market of visitors. What you are generally required to obtain would be third party, fire, theft, accident damage and limited liability insurance. For a month's coverage, you should be able to find a policy that will provide everything you need for about $600 USD. Some states only require the third party general liability and that policy probably could be obtained for about $400 USD (These prices are estimates)

    Buying and selling a car that you will only use for thirty days doesn't really make much sense to us. It would be far cheaper to rent a new car, use it without worry of maintenance expenses than to purchase, register, insure and then sell again.

    mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor
    Technically, the insurance covers the driver but it is issued on the vehicle. It is unlikely that you would be covered under your friend's insurance certificate.
    Really? My daughter's car broke down and she was using her grandparents extra pick-up for about a month while getting it fixed. She was covered under their insurance during this time. I know this to be so because she was, unfortunately, rear-ended while driving it by an uninsured driver. The car was fixed under the grandparent's insurance. Nobody cared that she was driving a vehicle she didn't own nor was insured to drive.

    I'm just curious if there are limitations on this?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default You might be correct

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy
    She was covered under their insurance during this time. I know this to be so because she was, unfortunately, rear-ended while driving it by an uninsured driver. The car was fixed under the grandparent's insurance.
    You might be correct about this, I know that each vehicle must have 3rd party liability insurance, but I also know that I am personally covered in any vehicle I drive anywhere in the world -- whether that vehicle is insured by another or not.

    Mark

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Casual Drivers

    I believe the term the insurance industry uses is 'casual driver'. You and your car are insured if you loan it to someone for a 'short' period of time. The key is that these clauses are written to allow you to let a friend or relative borrow your car briefly, but not to allow you to rent it out for extended periods. Make sure you check what your particular policy covers.

    AZBuck

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor
    You might be correct about this, I know that each vehicle must have 3rd party liability insurance, but I also know that I am personally covered in any vehicle I drive anywhere in the world -- whether that vehicle is insured by another or not.

    Mark
    I just know that we, at first, turned the accident into my daughter's insurance that she carries on herself for her own car and that this turned out to be the wrong place. It went to my in-law's insurance because it was there vehicle. Of course, she paid the deductible for them (with a little help from mom and dad, darn it anyway!).

    I'm sure what AZBuck says is correct. At least it makes sense to me.

  10. #10
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default

    I believe this whole issue is different company to company, policy to policy, and possibly even state to state, depending on if it is law that requires an insurance company to cover the vehicle or just the driver named on the card. I've never really thought about this... I guess I should ask my agent! Wow, talk about sparking thoughts that never crossed my mind prior... good discussion!!!

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