shall we buy a car
we're a couple from the UK and looking to come and drive around the us (san fran to la and across to texas, or thereabouts). to hire a car that we'd be happy to drive in for the 30 days is going to cost about $1100 and we ffigured it would be better to spend $2500 on a beat up old car and sell it when we leave.
is this crazy? we have some relations in the US so could probably sort the registration out, but havent heard much about the insurance implications. any advice appreciated. we've decided we'd really like to buy an old merc or something and we're prepared to lose up to $700 on the resale price...
NO NO NO NO NO!!!
You don't know what you're getting if you buy a junker. You will probably end up stranded by the side of the highway somewhere. When (and if) you can get a tow truck to take you somewhere, he will overcharge you for the tow because your tourists and tow you to a auto place that will do likewise. AND you will have no recourse.
Save your vacation. Rent a car (with GPS if you can manage that), buy a cell phone (not the service, just the phone) because you can use it to dial 911 in an emegency.
Put some bottled water, Gaterade, and a couple of days of food in the trunk or backseat of the rental car. Buy good (aka expensive) maps. Put of couple of gallons of tap water for the car in the trunk.
Keep in mind that between LA and Texas there are miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles and miles of nothing.
Don't let all this intimidate you. Have fun.
Got a point
Benji's got a point. You need to decide if the POTENTIAL of saving a few hundred dollars is worth the risks. You might find a reliable vehicle for $2500, or you might not. Depending on what you find to buy, the odds are nebulous at best. (However, doing this could be quite an adventure...)
Are you one of those people that cares a lot about security, and wants very few surprises? For a one-way rental, with drop charges, but unlimited mileage allowance, $1100 is probably not that bad a price (you might be able to do better, but not much). If you can work it out to depart from the same airport where you arrive, you can probably cut that price by $300 or $400, provided you have separate insurance coverage and do not need to buy a loss damage waiver from the car agency. This is not that difficult -- getting back to California after you've seen Texas will cost you 2 days driving, maybe 3 (depending on your driving style), and you could even go a different route and see MORE of the good old USA! At least it's something to consider. Bob
thanks both for your advice - pretty much everyone is saying the same, so perhaps thats the way i have to go.
if anyone is interested in a more detailed discussion on the point (including some pretty fired up dudes) see
http://thorntree.lonelyplanet.com/messagepost.cfm?postaction=reply&catid=26&threadid =591076&messid=4961294&STARTPAGE=1&parentid=0&from =2
at the moment i'm 50-50 about getting a real beat-up car that i just leave athte airport and a rent-a-car because it looks like i'll probably be going for a little longer than planned. i figure getting stuck in the middle of knowhere is part of the plan. sure i wont feel like that if/when it happens!
colonel klunkers rent-a-junker
does anyone know if colonel klunkers rent-a-junker is still around and how to contact them or a similar company for trips around southern floida and the lower keys???
If you can help us please send info to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
thank you :)