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  1. Default Brit Buying/Insuring/Taxing car? Possible?

    Me and 3 friends are planning a 6 months all state road trip. As we will all be 19, from the research I'v done it is near-on impossible to rent a car under the age of 21. For this reason, we plan on buying a car when we are out there (New York to be precise) and insuring and taxing it for the 6 months.

    Here are the burning questions:

    1. How easy will it be to buy a car when we are out there? - we have a budget of £2-3000

    2. When buying the car, I have family in NY who would be willing to help. Would I be able to buy the car under their residency as a foreigner?

    3. What are the chances a 19yo Brit would be able to get motor insurance for 6 months, and if all 4 of us wanted to drive, would we all need to buy separate insurance, or could we get a joint insurance/unnamed driver insurance for the car as an entity?

    4. Would I be legally able to sort out all the other paperwork? plates??

    5. How much am I realistically top-end looking to pay for all of this if you include insurance, plates and car?

    I dont know i ay of you will be able to help,but if you could I'd be very appreciative as we have no idea who to ask or where to begin. Any other advice is welcomed too :)


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Stepping Over the Edge

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Normally when we get questions from Brits about buying a car for a RoadTrip in America, it's obvious that they've bought into the 'Top Gear' fantasy that it can all be done in about 5 minutes. I give you props for understanding the true nature of the difficulties you face. We also usually advise that it's an expensive, time consuming, and legal challenge. Again, you are aware of the hurdles ahead of you. So, the first thing you need to do is get in touch, directly, with the New York State DMV who should be able to answer all your legal questions. Also have a good long talk with your family in New York and be perfectly up front about the liability they will be taking on. This is not just a matter of convenience. They will have to register the car in their name and they will be legally responsible for the actions of a young driver for 6 months. Which brings us to the subject of insurance. You will be insuring the car/driver combination. So that means that you will have to pay for your relative (the owner), yourself (the principle driver), and NONE of your friends (prohibitively expensive) - and that means you will have to do nearly all the driving for 6 months. I would expect such a policy to be well north of $500 and pushing $1000. I would expect the title, registration, and license fees on the car to also be between $500-1,000 which means you could easily eat through half your car budget on things other than the car leaving you only enough money to buy a vehicle of dubious quality for a 6 month RoadTrip. So... You're just getting to the edge of what's possible and reasonable, but this is by no means an easy undertaking. Good Luck.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I would expect such a policy to be well north of $500 and pushing $1000.
    I expect that this is a very low estimate. 19 year old male with no US driving record? I think you may find it almost impossible to even GET insurance in a high risk state such as New York.

    New York is also a state that requires a safety and emissions inspection. This can be quite costly to get a cheap used vehicle in compliance. It's not as stringent as your MOT, but it still has to be safe and clean.

    You all will also have to get standard visas - you can't be here that long on the visa waiver program.

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