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  1. #1

    Default Auto Tour USA - reviews? Feedback?

    I am heading over to the states in May and plan on buying a car to drive from Seattle to Miami. I have been in contact with the company Auto Tour USA ( who buy, insure and register cars for foreign travellers, the company was recommended in the USA Lonely Planet guide (I have not had any troubles with them what so ever so far, I am just curious). Just wondering if anyone has bought a car through this company or has heard of any feedback/seen reviews? I havn't been able to find anything on the web and would assume that they are a legitimate and reliable company if they were recommended in the guide.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    Please keep us posted. Nobody has ever given us any feedback on the use of a company such as this. We always advise foreign visitors to rent vehicles.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default At what cost ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    There site is not very forthcoming with info, there is no reference to buying it back and with very little coming up on a Google search so I would proceed with caution. My first thought is that they are car salesman willing to find you a car, at a price. If they have found a way around the issues of registration, insurance, title etc into a foreign visitors name, is it legal? would you actually be insured properly if you were involved in an accident ? As you will notice from this thread here, they don't tend to reply to e-mails. From another forum when I searched the Web, members seemed very sceptical and one noted that all testimonials were from within the US and Canada, although I didn't check.

    Follow it up by all means, but as mentioned at what cost, are you paying over the odds for a car that is not properly legal ? What do you do with it at the end of your trip ? Would you be liable for a million dollar lawsuit if you caused an accident ? I don't know, but when something appears to good to be true, it usually is. Any info gained we would appreciate it if you shared it with us, but I personally wouldn't be parting with any dollars anytime soon. Going by the amount of people that have researched buying a car as a foreign visitor and with no one coming up with a solution, if this was genuine I would expect them to have offices throughout the US and Canada.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I don't have much more to add than when you mentioned the company last month, but can I ask if you've asked and/or gotten a response to the issues I raised?

    Until you got a solid answer about how he gets beyond the major challenge that most non-residents face (specifically insurance, license, and registration) I would be very skeptical. The claim that he can get you a good reliable car for $4,000, especially when you factor in those other aspects as well as his profit, is also a little curious

    Lonely Planet does make some excellent guidebooks, but I don't know how much time they spend researching and/or actually getting first hand reviews of the companies they mention.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 03-16-2011 at 05:07 AM.

  5. #5


    He said he could get us a reliable car for $3500-$4000... insurance and registration are not included in that price. Including all costs it looks like we will be up for approx. $5500-$6000. We havn't been able to find a car rental option for under $8000, some were as much as $10000.
    I got some feed back from the Lonely Planet forum and was linked to the travel blog of a guy from the UK that used the company (

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default What I would be considering.

    Sounds too risky for me !

    Not sure how that trip link turned out, but what I read at the start was the fact that the vehicle was a bit tatty, ill prepared and if anything went wrong a little further down the road he would have been on his own. What if the transmission or engine had blown up a week into the trip ? So 'Don' found them a vehicle, yet he hadn't previously seen it or test driven it for himself ? He used a car dealer to select a vehicle for a foreign visitor and the said vehicle turns out to be one with dents that wouldn't be suitable for the sales pitch. Is he selecting that vehicle for the customer, or for his own benefit ?

    If he operates like that, I would be asking myself what type of Insurance agent might he use and the legality of claiming that you are resident at an address that you clearly are not, what would happen if you were pulled up by the police or involved in an accident with no documents?

    With such little info and history of this person doing such deals, I simply wouldn't entertain it, if everything was 100% 'above board' I am sure there would be many bigger agencies going down this road. Facing the possibility of huge legal costs, a car impounded, terminal mechanical failure, stress, or worse case scenario causing injury or death with an unchecked, unroadworthy vehicle you are not familiar with. I just don't don't think it's worth the risk to take on a dream road trip, but do you ?

    Perhaps you need to ask him these 'difficult' questions and see what type of response you get.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    It doesn't sound to me like you've asked the right questions yet.

    There certainly are cars for $4000 that can hold up to an extended cross country trip, but it takes a lot of time to find one that is really in good condition. You need to know what is going to be considered "a reliable car" especially since something in that price range is almost certainly going to be at least 10 years old and have more than 100,000 miles on it.

    Frankly, based on just a quick look at the blog you linked to, I'd be even more concerned about the vehicle quality, since that person's car broke down almost immediately. That ended up being a good thing, because the "broker" was still in the area, but what's going to happen if the same sort or break down happens once you are out of the state and area?

    I also doesn't sound like you've yet found out how he is able to overcome the legal issues regarding residentcy/license/insurance. As Dave mentioned, if he's cutting corners and/or he's just using his own address to "trick" the system, are you sure you are going to really be covered?

    I'm not saying that the service being offered couldn't or won't work, but I think there are still a whole lot of questions that haven't been answered, and the example provided in the blog seems like it raises more potential problems than eases concerns. I would certainly proceed with a pretty serious amount of caution.

  8. #8


    Ok, so I put forward some of your questions and here was the reply I got:

    Hi Jess,

    I can understand you concerns...However I have good news for you. Most sates do not allow for nonresident registration Washingtom state does.

    You will have a prper registration and license plates along with insurance.

    We use my address for both and I forward you the title that arrives about 4 weeks after the vehicle delivery. Both you and the vehicle VIN so if you are legal should you be stopped by the police or have an accident you ae legally covered.

    Best regards,

    On 3/17/11 5:27 AM, "Jessica" wrote:

    Hi Don,

    Just wanted to confirm everything is still going to plan.
    Also I have a few questions..
    I was wondering how we are able to overcome the legal issues regarding residentcy/license/insurance with us not having a permanent US address and not being citizens? Will we have the correct paper work/documents if we were to be pulled over by the police or if we have a car accident? And just want to confirm that we will not be cutting any corners, and following the law regarding the residency etc.

    Hope all is well over there!

    I also emailed the Washington Department of Licensing and asked about the legality of foreigners purchasing, registering and insuring vechicles in their state.. I am yet to receive a reply.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Wow!!!!!

    I am waiting with baited breath.

    Jess, whatever you do, get back on here and let us know how you got on. I have been looking at purchasing a vehicle for the best part of a decade, and plan on having my own vehicle for my next trip.

    Lifey in Melbourne

  10. #10


    Hi All,
    Just thought I'd let you know that we successfully purchased a car through Auto Tour USA. Don was very helpful and set us up with a nice car (a 2002 Chevrolet Malibu), insurance and registration. We have driven from Seattle to San Francisco so far without any problems :)

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