Whats the deal with buying a car in the US and getting insurance
We're 5 English guys who are planning on starting a 6 month US road trip in October 2005.
We're hoping to get a vehicle through eBay (and get it checked out by some friends in the US) and then pick it up when we arrive in the US. As far as I understand my UK driver's license will be valid over there, but what's the deal with buying a vehicle in the US and insurance?
Thanks in advance for your advice people :)
Buying and Insuring
First, understand I am not an expert on these matters -- but this is what I was able to find out for you by calling car dealerships and insurance people today (so it is only as good as the folks I talked with). I can't guarantee its accuracy.
While you may drive a vehicle in the USA with your UK driver's license, it probably will not be possible for you to purchase insurance without a US (state) driver license, or an "international" driver license.
As foreign citizens, you won't be able to finance a car here as you won't have any credit "history," but it sounds like you intend to pay cash for the vehicle, so no problem there.
Then, you'll need to register the vehicle (you'll probably need a "residence" address in the state where you register the car -- and the rules will be different from state to state). Some states may be more restrictive on this than others. Have your friends here check out those requirements for you so you know what you have to do.
For insurance, contact an insurance broker and they can help you find a company to insure you (one such company is called "Progressive," they are a major US provider of insurance) -- but you'll need to get the International driver license before you arrive.
You might also contact your Consulate -- they may have more information about this subject, since for sure others have had the same questions.
International Driver License
I'm told that you can find online sites where an international driver license can be obtained! Happy surfing! (Just search on Google or whatever for "international driver license" and lots of options should pop up). Bob
Wow, thanks a lot for all your help and advice Bob! Much appreciated :-D
Gonna see what I can find out now!
I also checked with our Motor Vehicle Division here in Arizona today, and they said it is no problem for a foreign citizen to register a vehicle, but they confirmed you'll need a "base" address for correspondence. You might choose your friends' address for this. Other states will likely have similar provisions.
Good luck with the planning! Bob
You da man! Thank you so much! I'll try and keep you posted on how it goes :) You got AIM or MSN Messenger or something?