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Car purchase in North America

Travel Forums North America Car purchase in North America

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1. Posted by StanTheMan (Budding Member 14 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Hi folks...

I'm planning a long trip to the States (4 - 6 months). Whenever I've been before I've always rented cars or RVs. This time I'm thinking it'll probably be cheaper for me to buy either a used car or a motorcycle. Can anyone tell me how easy it would be for a UK national to do this? Are there any special documents I'd need to take? Or can it all be fixed up easy enough... just buy the thing, get the insurance and hit the road.

Thanks for any advice anyone can offer.


2. Posted by StanTheMan (Budding Member 14 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Okay, I've been told that it's not easy to buy a car in the US without having a permanent address over there - but that it's easier in Canada. Can anyone comment, please? Can I buy a car in, say, Toronto and use it to travel Canada and the US without too many problems? Thanks for any help anyone can offer. Renting for a six-month period (90 days in Canada, 90 days in the States) is astronomical. I want to start in Canada because that way I can spend 3 months in each. If I start in the States, apparently the 3 months includes Canada.

3. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

How about travelling by rail and just hiring a car to go to outlying places not easily accessible by any other means?

I would imagine though that the same rules concerning buying a vehicle in the US would apply to Canada as well assuming you'd have to pay some form of road tax.

4. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

It is absolutely no problem at all to buy a car or motorbike in the USA or Canada with no permanent address out there. As for crossing the border - even the locals have hassle with the border guards. One thing that causes horrid hold ups is the purge on fuel tanks. Petrol in The USA is quite a bit cheaper than in Canada, even though a gallon isn't a real gallon as the UK knows it to be. I've crossed from Ontario into NY and back in a car and from Manitoba to ND and back also. Sometimes they just wave you through - other times it's "What's this - what's that - where you been - why - how long for - who you seen - what you bought". Oh it's the same at every border I suppose, at times. As far as buying a car is concerned, different States have different requirements. I would suggest getting in touch with a local dealer and ask him/her what you'd need to show them.
There are some great S/H cars in the USA that go for very low prices.

5. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3578 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I have written about buying a car/van/rv in the US several times. I have helped 2 Brits buy vans in Vegas. Pretty straightforward in Nevada. Send me a PM if you want full details.

6. Posted by StanTheMan (Budding Member 14 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Thanks, folks. All info taken on board. I'll keep it all in mind.