I am South African currently living in Spain and I will be relocating to the US in December 2009. I am a scientific researcher of 30yrs and am accepting a job in Frederick. I was told that there is not much nightlife in Frederick and it was better to live on the outskirts of Washington (e.g. in Rockville or Bethesda) and then travel to Frederick daily. Therefore I will need to buy a car when I'm there.
I have a South African drivers license (and an international license which expires in February 2010) - will I be able to buy a car with my SA drivers license or would I need to get a US drivers license?
I will arrive 2 weeks before I start my job and I'm planning to rent a car for a week or 2 until I can buy a car. Could someone please give me some insight as to how long it would take me to buy a car and sort out the necessary paperwork?
Also with respects to car insurance - what details are needed for insurance apart from having a local address (I read that renting a postal box would be the easiest)?
I'm assuming it's also better to buy a car from a dealer who will assist (or organize) the necessary tests rather than from a private seller. If the dealer is the better option (in terms of being quicker), how much do the dealer fees normally cost ?
I would highly appreciate some info on this.