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Buying cars in N.America...(MA)

Travel Forums North America Buying cars in N.America...(MA)

1. Posted by mim (Travel Guru 1276 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

So I did a back thread search because I'm intrested in the possibility of buying a 2nd hand car but I was a little confused about what extras I need to factor in...

In England there's Road tax, insurance, registration documents etc you have to pay for, what is there in the states that I need to be aware of and if I wanted to get a car say in Masachusettes how easy would it actually be?

cheers for any help!


2. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2003 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Sales tax (rate depends upon the state and city you buy in--can vary from 0% in Las Vegas to 8.7% in a place like San Francisco), Registration (state charge--runs about $350 for a new car to only around $100 for an old one)--and some dealers like to charge a "destination charge" even if you are driving the car off the lot. This charge can be bargained over--make sure you haggle over everything except the sales tax and registration when you attempt to buy a car here in the US.

Oh, and don't let them tell you how they will show you the invoice from the factory to show you how little they are making on the deal--that's an old scam that still shows up all the time. In reality, the factory marks the invoice way up and then takes a set amount (anywhere from $700 to $2,000) off what the invoice says is the actual amount charged.

Generally, if you want an older car that is in really good condition, consider buying one from a well-know rental agency like Hertz or Avis or Alamo. They sell them after one year of use--but they provide decent warranties and generally they've been keeping the cars well maintained throughout the year. The best time to buy is when the new cars come out--around September here.

Good luck--and enjoy your trip

Forgot to include title charges--usually nominal--like $35 on new cars and $20 on an old car. And here in the states you will need insurance--which you have to have before they will give you the car if you are finacing it--or which you can go get on your own if you are buying it outright. Get it right away, though--because it is illegal in many states to drive without minimal liability insurance of like $35,000/$50,000. Most people carry at least $100,000/$300,000 policy, but get about a $500 deductible. Car dealers do not sell insurance--you have to get this from insurance brokers (salesmen).

[ Edit: Edited on Nov 14, 2007, at 1:31 AM by Calcruzer ]

3. Posted by mim (Travel Guru 1276 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

thats perfect thanks!

So I had this idea to do a road trip and boyfriend was busting my chops like what are the extra charges, do we need insurance blah blah blah, so now I can say...In yer face buster!



4. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3580 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Last month I helped a Brit buy a van here in Vegas. 'kynance' or John flew into NYC, could not find a van there and flew to Vegas. I found him one that day. The next day we bought it, had it smogged, licensed, insured and John was ready for his cross country trip. In Mass. they have an inspection system. Make sure it can pass inspection. Then you can license it and have the title switched to your name. You need a local address so the state can send the new title to you. You cannot sell a vehicle w/o the title. Insurance was $100/month for John using an International Drivers License. Hope this helps you make your decision.

Send me a PM if you have questions.