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  1. Default Chicago to Los Angeles, from a UK student.

    Hi one and all,

    I've been looking through this forum for a few hours now, after stumbling upon it by accident looking for a holiday for my girlfriend and I for the summer. I'd like to first thank everyone for all the advice that's been put in similar threads to this, but I'd also like to as for some advice for a total beginner in helping me plan this trip.

    We are both students in the UK (at universities about 400 miles apart), which would obviously be a problem for rental, meaning for this trip to be feasible we'd have to buy a car at the start of our trip, then sell it at the end.

    Basically, I'd like to do this trip in about a month, and am not totally set on the destinations I'd like to go to, although I have a basic idea of the main places I'd like to visit. So I'm basically seeking all your advice on the following:

    A) Whether or not this trip is feasible.
    B) How much it would cost (excluding flights) to do this trip...This includes a lot:
    How much the car would cost (just looking for the most basic of cars, that will get us all the way accross without breaking down (too much!). And whether or not I'd be able to sell it in LA for anything like what I'd have to pay for it.
    How much the fuel would cost.
    How much spending money we'd need (for food and sightseeing)
    And any other expenses which I have yet to see.

    C) The best places to visit along the way.
    D) Any other advice.

    Thanks in advance for all your help,


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

    Default details

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    While you said you are students, you didn't give your exact ages, which will make a very big difference in how feasable your trip really is.

    As you might have noticed in the several other threads on this subject, buying a car is usually not a practical option for a monthlong trip. Its extremely difficult for a non-resident/tourist to purchase, license, and insure a car in the US, and even if you did overcome the red tape, the time and money are also big factors. I will likely take at least one week, if not two, to find a car, have it inspected, get your license and insurance taken care of, and then try to find a buyer (likely who will pay half of your original purchase price or less) on the other end of your trip. I'd guess you'd need at least $5000 up front for a roadworth car and fees to make it legally driveable, and you'd probably be doing pretty well to get back $2000 of that money. If you are at least 21, renting will still be cheaper, even with underage driver fees.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Illinois is one of the easier states in which to purchase and register a vehicle as long as you buy it from a dealer that has a license to handle title applications and registration on site - and have a physical address in the state - and can get insurance - but reselling it in California is going to be close to impossible in any timely or economical manner due to the California emissions requirements. The California DMV can be very frustrating to deal with.

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