This is our first ever post on Roadtrip America - we've had a look around the forums and thought it would be a good idea to post our issues/questions here as well. Even though we have viewed threads that describe situations very similar to ours, we though it'd be good to see if anyone can give us thoughts on our particular situation.
Here it is :-)
We are a 23 year old from the Netherlands and a 30 year old from the UK - we're coming to the USA to road trip from mid-July until end-September (10 weeks). We have not yet decided on a route, and if we are doing a total round-trip. We're sure we'll figure it out in time though, all we know for now is that we fly into and out from New York. We've also started the Visa (-waiver programme) process, and are sure this won't be a problem either. We are also aware that we should get International Drivers Permits because we want to drive.
Now were we get stuck is the following:
We would like to buy a car for our road-trip, rather than hire a car.
There are a couple of issues for us which really seem to make buying a car more sensible; one of us is 23 years old and hiring a car is very difficult when not 25 or over - it is not an option for only 1 of us to drive, we have done this before on a 10 week European road-trip and it is not very fair for the one person having to drive absolutely everything. Further, we won't have to worry about fees for crossing state-borders with hire-cars, or fees for dropping it of in a different city. We can sell the car afterwards, and get a fair amount of our expense of the car back.
Nevertheless, if anyone can inform us of reasons why hiring will be better (I could imagine; breakdown service, replacement car in case of issues, insurance dealt with), please please please let us know - we understand that we are coming at this from a one-sided perspective (i.e. buy not hire), but it would be great if you feel it is necessary/advisable to hire rather than buy, that you can try explain this to us.
**Also if you have tips on hiring a car from a company that allows under 25 year olds to drive too, please let us know!
We have no bad marks on drivers licenses, 30 year old had had a license for 12 years or so, but the 23 year old for about 2 years (will hire companies ask for how long you have had your license??)
Now about buying; we have found out that you need to register the car and insurance in the state where you buy it (preferably..?). We have a contact in New York who has approved for us to register the car at his address, which is very friendly of him. Does anyone know if this will cause any problems - us not being US citizens or residents, but effectively claiming to reside at this New York address..? We also have a friend and a cousin of one of us in the USA, but they live in California and Texas - so we are not sure if they could be of any use, if we buy the car in New York state?
Further, car insurance - does anyone know if it is possible to buy an insurance policy for a 10 week period (as regularly, for example here in the UK, you purchase a year's worth of insurance at once)..? Are there legal minimum-cover guidelines for car-insurance (3rd party liability, breakdown etc. etc.)?
Are there any other legal requirements for taking a car on the road in the USA?
Gosh, we are sorry this is already such a long post - we really hope some of you on the forum will be able to help us with this.. We are on a budget and hire is just very expensive for 10 weeks (+ the age issue).. So any help on this would be greatly appreciated!!
Thank you so much for reading this post!!
Cheers, Dede and Keir!