We, (2 friends), are planning a trip through the USA for next year. We plan to go east to west, starting at Boston and ending in L.A. As we are under 21, our options are severely limited, and although we'll both have driving licenses, won't be able to hire a car. SO. We're thinking of buying one over there, and selling it at the end of our trip.
We have no idea how to go about this, or even if it's a wise idea (we're from the U.K.), and would appreciate some advice on the matter!
R and V
Craigslist http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites is a nationwide buyers resource,just pick the city you will be in select the category (cars) and start shopping,downside of buying a car to do this trip is you could be left stranded with a broken car and either have to abandon the car or spend all your money trying to fix it,You will also have to budget a few hundred dollars to insure the car.another problem arises when your trip is over selling the car is usually not an instant transaction as you have to advertize the car for sale then wait by a phone for some one whose interested to come over and look at the car,this process could take weeks..
I think your best bet is to get some kind of nation wide bus pass like a Eurorail type pass and although you wont have the freedom of a car you wont have the hassle either.
This site might also be useful
[ Edit: Edited on 29-Sep-2009, at 09:18 by jambo101 ]
Also try kijiji Boston (here is a link to car listings below $55,000).
If you buy a car, it may cost you some extra cash (unless you have a friend who's a mechanic, which you don't), but get an inspection. Trust me, when everything breaks down 500km down the road and the thing next-to totals, you will be wishing you listened to me and did. Well, there is a chance that nothing bad will happen at all. But there is also the chance that you will be buying a Rolls Royce made out of old Kia parts. An inspection is your insurance, like buying a house: know there are termites first. It is buyer beware when it comes to buying from the owner. You get the best deals, eliminate the middle man , and sometimes run into the shrewd gougers. Knowing how to bargain and a little about cars (how much does mileage affect a car?, etc.) can help, too. (I'm assuming, because of your ages, that you're both pretty naive.) Ask your Dads.
Not having a car in the U.S. can sometimes be a drag, especially in a place like L.A. So I understand your desire to get one at all costs. As far as alternatives go, the Greyhound bus is probably the easiest, and safer than the Greyhound in Canada (crazy psycho random stabbing/beheading last year), though not too terribly comfortable. AmTrak (the train) would be more comfortable, probably faster than the Greyhound, though I'm not sure how extensive AmTrak is. It would be more expensive, though, if that is an issue. Hitchhiking is probably not a good idea in the States, even if you are experienced hitchhikers. There are too many predators lurking in the shadows. And too many rude/scared people who drive right by. Sorry if I've scared you.
Well, hope that helps.
I'm sure you'll have fun. Good luck on your trip!
Thanks for all your advice...not sure if it makes us any more positive about the trip though haha.
We've looked into greyhound and amtrak already, and that research is why we plumped for the car-buying option.
The train service is limited, expensive and a bit confusing regarding tickets.
The bus sounds alright, some people have sworn by it and others have sworn off it. Its pretty reasonable but bus stations are often in dodgy areas, and we're not really up for arriving somewhere like that late at night.
But we do have an issue with finding someone who will come with us to help us buy over in the US, and selling it the other end. Not to mention insurance........this is where we're up to at the moment.