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  1. Default Rent a car or Buy a car??

    Hi there,

    My boyfriend and i are travelling to USA in June for 3 months - we land in NY and were planning on renting a car for the entire time and doing a full circle trip of the US.

    When investigating car rental companies we found out that the price is very high for us as we are both under 25.

    However we found one company that does a YDP where we can pay £400 up front rather than the $25 + tax per day. But that is only valid to one driver. And from Florida - so we would get the train down the east coast to florida then rent the car and drop off in new york (having to pay a drop off fee!)

    Over all the car rental for two drivers would be £3800. (could we possibly get away with just paying the one driver?)

    We have heard of companies where you can buy cars and the company is guaranteed to buy back off you for a discounted rate - does anyone know of these companies?

    Would it also be cheaper to just buy a car (considering insurance and break down cover?)

    We are so confused and need the cheapest and best deal for us.


    We need as much advice as possible. We really wanted our journey to be a road trip experience and travelling on greyhounds and trains i don't think will be as enjoyable.

    Again any advice will be so hepful!

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

    Default a rare case

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Considering your ages and the time you'll be on the road, I think you might be one of the rare cases where buying a car would be worthwhile. Generally, you need to be on the road at least 2-3 months for the costs to work out.

    Here is some information about buyback programs. If you decide to rent, you either need to decide to pay the extra driver fee or you only have one person drive for the duration of the trip. Having an unauthorized driver can void your rental contract, which ends up being pretty similar to driving a stolen car. If you were to have a breakdown or an accident, you could have some serious problems.

    Buying a car won't be cheap or and it will be fairly time consuming. You'll have to spend time shopping for a car, getting a mechanic to inspect it, getting your insurance, license, registration, and other paperwork sorted out, etc.

    You'll also have to figure out some way to establish a US address, that will be used to register the car, by the DMV to send you your title (which you'll need to prove ownership and get rid of it at the end of your trip), as well as by an insurance company.

    Money wise, I'd figure at least $4,000 for a reasonable car that you could expect to hold up for long distance travel. That will generally get you a 5-10 year old car depending upon models and mileage. You'll also need to budget money for insurance, taxes, and registration fees. Those costs vary by state, but I'd budget at least $1000 for those things (probably more since your insurance rates as a under 25 driver without any US driving record will likely be quite high). Registration is done on a yearly basis, and insurance is often done in 6month intervals. You'll also need a repair fund, in case you do have mechanical problems on the road, since they would be your responsibility.

    When your trip is done, then you'll have to get rid of it somehow, and since you'll have a deadline when the car has to be gone, but your buyers won't be under that pressure, you'll probably take a pretty big loss. I wouldn't expect to get back any more than 50% of your purchase price, and really I'd consider any money you get back to be a bonus.

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