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  1. Default Car & Travel Trailer Purchase

    We spent 7 weeks this year touring the west coast and mid west. We fell in love with Oregon and want to visit again next year as UK tourists. We want to buy a car and travel trailer. Oregon DMV inform us that we can't as we are not domiciled there. Does anyone know if this is correct or if it is possible to do it via WA or CA. We have all the necessary visas and UK driving licence. It is very difficult to get a firm answer on the DMV sites. Does anybody have practical experience of this or just good advice?
    Thanks all.
    Liz & Bill

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Not easy

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The lack of a US address is often one of the single biggest challenges for foreign residents to purchase a car in the US.

    As far as specific states, you'll have to directly contact the DMV to get a good answer. Most states don't have very detailed information about this sort of thing on their website, so you'll probably have to call or email.

    The other question I'd ask is how long are you planning to be on the road? Unless this trip is going to last at least 2-3 months, I think its pretty unlikely that buying a car and trailer will be a cost effective option compared to renting.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default It's difficult everywhere

    I don't believe any state makes it easy for an international visitor to purchase a vehicle. This discussion will give you some much-needed information and tips. Also check out our International Visitors page.

    By the time you go through the hassle to purchase, license, obtain insurance, and then try to sell at the end of your trip, you will probably find that this isn't worth it for 7 weeks. We generally recommend people rent unless they're traveling more than 3 months.

    There are some good RV rental agencies out there.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default You have to really, really, want to

    Oregon is especially strict with registration because they don't have sales tax and therefore vehicles cost less to register in Oregon -- If you have sufficient money -- you can certainly purchase a car and travel trailer but it will cost you more in the end than a rental (probably) -- if you follow all of the laws and regulations.

    There are companies like "Adventures on Wheels" that will sell you a vehicle and then guarantee to purchase it back from you when you are finished. Here is a field report from someone who used this option.

    Like PNW Judy recommends, the break-even for purchasing a rental usually isn't approached until you reach 12 weeks or so.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I would not tow a travel trailer with a car - today's fuel efficient cars are not designed for towing. You will have a lot more comfortable tow with a SUV or a pickup truck. I think your best bet, honestly, is a long-term rental of a self-contained RV.

  6. Default i really, really, want to

    Hi Liz & Bill

    We are trying to do the same thing as you, but we intend to go for a whole year. the stumbling block at the moment is the registration of a RV .I have written to the PA DMV to see what the rules are. I read somewhere on here that some states accept a mail box adress?? but again i am not sure. I might be able to use an address in PA where my son lives which is why i wrote to DMV. But as he is there on a visa i want to make sure i do it all properly.
    If i get any word from them i will post it on here.

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