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Wanting to buy a car in or around the LA area.

Travel Forums North America Wanting to buy a car in or around the LA area.

1. Posted by mintynw7 (Budding Member 36 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Me and my partner are coming to LA at the beginning of April and wanting to purchase a car to travel across to New York to sell/get rid of it there!

Where are the best places to look for a car up to $1500/2000 price range. What kind of car would be best to do this trip? I can register it to a friend who has a US passport and California address so that shouldn't be a problem.

Also what do i need to look for when buying a car ie: road safety/tax as i am not sure what the california states you have to have on the car?

Any other additional advice would be fantastic

Many thanks :D

2. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3579 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I would ask your LA friend about what is required on a used car/van. I would also go to a used car lot and just ask them if you need a smog certificate?, an inspection sticker?. What next after buying the car/van. You will need insurance, and I think the plates stay with the car in Calif. You will need to register it at the DMV. I would check 'craigslist' to see what is available in your under $2K price range.

I suggest you buy a minivan. Look at a Dodge caravan, Ford Aerostar. Both are easy to drive, get decent gas mileage and you can sleep in them when in our National Parks. Or when you don't want to pay for another motel room. Minivans give you more flexibility than a car IMO. Good luck with your planning.

3. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

You may want to poke around in this Craigslist site..just fill in the auto parameters you are looking for to get an idea as to whats for sale in the LA area.

[ Edit: Edited on 26-Mar-2010, at 01:47 by jambo101 ]

4. Posted by skycapnews (Budding Member 4 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

hi; not sure this a good plan lived in calif. 52 years. buying a car will cost you more than you think tags, taxes and proof of insurance run's the cost high. may want to check with a car rental about taking a car back for them to new york. people drive and leave a new york car and they need to get them back. hope this helps if not spend money and take the train and enjoy countryside. the car return is called dead- heads.

[ Edit: Edited on 30-Mar-2010, at 15:31 by skycapnews ]

5. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I never liked the idea of buying a car for a short vacation as it could leave you wide open to too many negative variables like you could end up with a piece of crap thats going to spend most of your vacation and money in the garage,or it will leave you broken down on the side of the highway in the middle of nowhere,then if it does suffice for the trip you only have a very short time to sell it and if you cant sell it i guess you just abandon the thing losing all the money youve put into it.

6. Posted by mintynw7 (Budding Member 36 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I found that Hertz will rent me a car with the under 25 discount from LA to NYE for $1600 ish for 51 days.

We are just looking to purchase a car for $1000 mark and dont mind if we only get like $500 for it when we finish as we will have 5 to 7 days in NYE to get rid of it. We are just looking for the cheaper easier option.

What things would we need to do and costs when buying a car in LA? We have a friends address and name who lives in SF if that helps out in anyway?

We are currently in LA now and will be here till 14th and would like to get a car sort by then so more help and advice sooner the better :)


7. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

If you are in LA now start going to the used car lots to see what you will get for your money,they will tell you exactly what paper work you will need for the car....

8. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3579 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I agree with 'jambo' in post #7. Find out what paperwork is needed then check prices with several used car lots. Then use 'craigslist' in LA for additional pricing. Usually private parties sell vehicles cheaper than any car lot. No overhead.

Like I said earlier, I would stick with vans. That way you can sleep in it when you choose. If you use the van for sleeping just 20 out of 51 days, you will save around $1K in motel costs. I would also try to find a van around $2K. Not many $1K vans are going to get you to NYC w/o repair. Vans in the $2K range do not lose much money if they are in decent condition. If you go the rental car route, you have to figure in 51 nights in motels. Average price is roughly $50/nite. That is about $2.5K. You are looking at appox. $4K to rent a car/stay in motels all the way to NYC in 51 days.

Good luck with your search.