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  1. Default Buying a car and insurance


    4 of us are going from San Francisco to New York over a two month period from June to August this Summer. We are flying in from the UK and intend on buying a car and getting what we can for it at the end. However, I have a few questions

    1) Where should we buy the car from? Does anyone know of any good places to buy in San Fran? What is the best way to get a good deal?
    2) What size car should the 4 of us get - we will be staying in hostels and camping mostly so there is no real need for us to be able to sleep in it...
    3) Insurance - how do we go about getting it for just 2 months? WHo are the best companies?

    ANy responses and help would be much appreciated


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO

    Default Not happening..............


    This is a very often discussed topic here. In a nutshell, visitors on the visa waiver program that do not have a physical US address cannot register and insure a vehicle here. You are going to have to get a rental.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default sorry

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You're asking a lot of good questions, the problem is that there are no good answers.

    Simply speaking, it is virtually impossible for non-residents of the US to purchase a car.

    The biggest issue is with License and Insurance. Without being a resident, it is basically impossible to get either of them.

    I'll also add that for 2 months, you're really at the "break even" point, where you won't really save a significant amount vs. renting. If you purchase a car, you are going to need to have it inspected, and will be responsible for all repairs. It also isn't typically possible to get an insurance policy for less than 6 months, and other things like license, taxes, registration are all done for a full year. Throw in the fact that you'll likely loose a couple thousand dollars trying to resell it quickly, before you fly back home, and it just doesn't provide the savings that you might think. It's certainly not as simply as buy a car, and sell it a few months later for the same price you bought it.

    If you look around, you'll find lots of other people here who have posted the same question, and despite some regulars spending years trying to make it work, no one has really found a way to do it.

  4. Default

    thanks guys...

    is there no way around it? how about if a friend lives in the US? could we not get it registered to their address?
    surely people have visited the US and bought a car before....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default We are still waiting.

    surely people have visited the US and bought a car before....
    We have been asked the question so many times, but despite the fact that we have asked many times that members let us know if they find a way, we have not yet had anyone come back to say they were successful and how.

    The problem with registering a car through someone else in the US is that the law is different to here in the UK, and that person would be legally responsible and liable for any lawsuits that could possibly follow after such things as an accident.

    You might find this thread interesting but I would tread very carefully and is not something I would recommend.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 04-14-2011 at 11:15 AM. Reason: Added link

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia



    The only alternative I can think of is purchasing a vehicle in Canada, registering it and insuring it and then sell it again, in Canada. I have spoken to people who have actually done this. However.....

    You have just two months till you travel, and I doubt that this would be enough time to do all your research for a successful transaction.

    The other fact you need to consider is that if a rented vehicle breaks down, the company will attend to your needs promptly. If you have your own vehicle, you could be stuck in one place for a week or more, for repairs to be completed. (I speak from experience!)

    And as Michael stated, a two months trip would not make it cost effective. As Michael said, you are at around the break even point. Between the four of you, the cost would be about the same, but the piece of mind renting would outway any advantage of buying.


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