Skip Navigation

Tourist buying a car in USA and travelling 2 months across

Travel Forums North America Tourist buying a car in USA and travelling 2 months across

Page

Last Post

1. Posted by surfrun (Budding Member, 7 posts) 28 May '10 10:05

surfrun has indicated that this thread is about USA

Hey,

I am heading to the states in a months time to travel across with a few mates. Or more specifically, new york down east coast to florida and then across southern states to california. Now, i have been reading plenty of forums about the difficulties in buying a used car, in terms of finding a permanent adress to register the vehicle.

I have heard two different arguments - 1. people saying it is very difficult and you need a permanent address otherwise don't do it. and 2. people saying just use your hotel/hostel as your permanent address and do it that way.

I am happy doing it the second way and taking the risk. Does anyone think I shouldn't?

Also, I have read that as a tourist you are able to get a temporary registration after buying a used car as long as you are removing it from the state you buy it from and register it in another state. Is this correct? If so, Would i be able to buy a used car in say new york, and then drive it for 30 days, sell it to one of my mates travelling with me in another state and continue with a temp registration for another 30 days??

Any advice would be great, as we are pretty set on buying a car!

Cheers,

2. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru, 1940 posts) 28 May '10 10:09

Don't forget that Liability Insurance is absolutely mandatory in all 50 states! (not exactly cheap)

3. Posted by surfrun (Budding Member, 7 posts) 28 May '10 10:15

Yeah, i know about all the other associated costs etc. However i don't think liability insurance is too expensive, maybe around 100 a month? split b/w 4 won't be to bad.

I am more interested in the registration side if anyone can help!

thanks

4. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member, 414 posts) 29 May '10 04:22

When it comes time to sell the car what phone number will you give in your automobile classified advertisement and who is going to sit by the phone for a week or two waiting for perspective buyers to call,and what happens if no one is interested in buying the car and its time to return home?

5. Posted by surfrun (Budding Member, 7 posts) 29 May '10 04:50

What makes you think i need to advertise the car and sit around for weeks selling it?

The car we are buying is a cheap one and by the end of the trip, if we haven't already run it into the ground or blown it up, we will give it away or take it to a wreckers.

6. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member, 414 posts) 29 May '10 07:50

Ok the car gets scraped at the end of the trip. lets hope a car you are going to buy for next to nothing and then scrap is going to be reliable enough to take you around the country and not end up with costly repairs to maintain its viability.
Is renting a car out of the question?.

Let us know how it turns out..

[ Edit: Edited on 29-May-2010, at 07:51 by jambo101 ]

7. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru, 1940 posts) 29 May '10 10:45

Quoting surfrun

What makes you think i need to advertise the car and sit around for weeks selling it?
The car we are buying is a cheap one and by the end of the trip, if we haven't already run it into the ground or blown it up, we will give it away or take it to a wreckers.

You will have some trouble finding a car like that in the States. Also, you have to be careful which state you buy it and try to register it in. Many states now require extensive testing for emissions and safety before they will license. Proof of residence and insurance will also be required! The insurance company will need to check your driving record, and this will take some weeks if that record is overseas.

I think you're being a tad unrealistic, and certainly your efforts to buy this car would take up most of your time in the USA. Long term rental is available from $25. a day at several major agencies as long as you return the car to the same location you rented from. You will need a healthy line of credit on your card since a hold will be placed there for the rental.

8. Posted by surfrun (Budding Member, 7 posts) 29 May '10 23:59

okay, one of mates worked for 2 years in america and bought a car for $500 and drove something like 40,000 miles in it.
I have heard there are many reliable used cars out there that are very cheap because americans would rather by a new car than rely on a used car. Also one of my mates who will be travelling with me used to be a mechanic so i'm not worried about buying a car that won't be reliable. I've had a look and can see some fairly decent cars going for about $2k.

In terms of renting, i will still be open to this, however not if it is going to cost me more than $2k for 2 months, including all associated costs.

Daawgon: What do you mean 'many states now require extensive testing for emissions and safety before they will license.'? That does even make sense.

I appreciate the messages everyone but how about someone address the questions I initially asked!

9. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru, 3533 posts) 30 May '10 00:28

I have helped 5 different TP members buy vans/cars here in Las Vegas. Easy in Nevada, but each state is a bit different. They used my address for insurance, registration and new title. All vans/cars were in the $2K range. Cheapest was $1.2K, most was $2.3K. Vans are more practical because 2 can sleep in it or more room for gear. One guy bought a car because he was going to school and did not need extra room.

Figure $2K for the van/car. Insurance runs about $100-150/month here. Registration & new title were about $100. I have photos of Liza & Peter with their van in my gallery, first page.

If you have questions, send me a PM.

10. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member, 414 posts) 30 May '10 03:18

How did these people deal with the vehicle once their trip was over?

Also on Travellerspoint

Why travellers need good insurance

worldnomads promo code - SAVE7