How to drive America
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Jan 19, 2013 4:51 PM Last Post By: vasenka
Jan 17, 2013 5:58 AM
How to drive AmericaHi Guys,
I'm planning my year's travel in which I'll be in the US around summer time 2015
I am looking at what is the best way to travel via car. Rental seems like it would be an expensive option as I am likely to be travelling the US for around 2 months then 2 months in Canada
What are your opinions on buying a car when I enter the US which will be from Mexico then selling it just before I finish my tips which ends in Canada. I will have the money upfront to do so however I'm not sure how easy it would be with insurance etc as I won't have a place of residence in US to tie it back to
What sort of paperwork do you have to provide when selling a car to a garage in the US and Canada? Do you need a fixed address?
Are there any sort of services aimed at travellers for buying/selling a car?
Thanks in advance for any help
Jan 17, 2013 6:08 AM
1First, read FAQ 206 and FAQ 271.
The requirements for buying a car vary by state, so you will need to determine where you will buy, then Google for their DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) to get the requirements. Note, some states have residency requirements.
The process of buying a car can easily take a week or two. In other words, expect to spend a while in one place at the beginning of your trip.
You cannot buy a car in the US and sell it in Canada without importing it to Canada. That will involve its own set of bureaucratic hassles and fees.
Jan 17, 2013 6:42 AM
Jan 17, 2013 7:02 AM
4People who have successfully bought a car in the US have usually reported that they used the address of a friend or relative.
If you want to sell the car, you would sell it to a used car dealer, not a garage. If you want to sell it in a hurry, expect the dealer to pay you considerably less than you paid for it. Expect even less if you are selling it in a different US state than where you bought it, as the dealer will have to go through more paperwork than if it was the same state.
You will need two things to sell the car--proof that you own the car (called the "title") and proof that it is registered in your name.
In some states, you can get both of those things in person when you register the car; in others, the proofs may be mailed to you. In some states, you can get both proofs from the motor vehicle department; in other states you have to deal with two agencies. If you buy a car from a dealer, the dealer will probably do the paperwork for you, but the dealer will need proof of insurance and an address.
In some states, you will need to have the car inspected or smog tested when you buy or sell it.
Jan 17, 2013 7:11 AM
5It also depends where you are going, but with just 2 months in the USA, you can rent a new comfy 2013 sedan, for about $250 week, VS that budget for a car, would buy you complete crap, any care under $5000 USD is going to be high mileage and or not very comfy for a lot of interstate driving.
Also, many places you dont need a car, like major cities San Fran, Chicago, NYC, Boston, Philly and Wash DC. The east coast has a good network of trains and busses as well. Southwest airlines is a easy to use airline for oneway flights that have minimal change fees and easy to rebook too.
For the national parks in the western half of the US, west of Denver, you could rent a car for a month, and visit all of them with lots of time and camp as well in many places. You could also consider buying a motorcycle, a great way to see and enjoy all the western US, though you need a Motorcycle Drivers License and need to be skilled/proficient at it.
Have a look here for info Driving the Americas.
Jan 17, 2013 8:40 AM
Jan 17, 2013 9:47 AM
7To clarify #6:
If you enter on a visa, you can depart to Canada.
If you enter on the Visa Waiver Program (which is not a visa, but a visa waiver), time in Canada is included in your 90 days, unless you do not return to the US (even to transit). If you do return to the US (including any transit), you will need a visa.
Jan 17, 2013 10:37 AM
9In your proposal...Purchasing a vehicle in the US and spending two Mos. Then taking the heap to Canada ... this you can do... Properly insured... As you then, would need to return to the US to flog it off... that's where the visa requirement becomes necessary...Give yourdelf plenty of time to sort this...as the document must be in hand when you enter from Mexico...carracar
Jan 17, 2013 10:54 AM
10You'll need the title of the vehicle solely in your name in order to sell it.
Another option if you get stuck not being able to sell the vehicle at the end of your trip is to donate it to charity. At least you can get rid of it that way instead of abandoning it (which is illegal).
Here are a couple links for donating vehicles http://www.donateacar.com/ http://help.npr.org/npr/consumer/kbdetail.asp?kbid=468
Jan 17, 2013 5:15 PM
Probably not. The official recommendation of this forum is to contact a US Embassy, CBP or the VWP about this type of question. A large number of travelers report that journeys of the type the OP describes do indeed qualify for travel on the VWP even if he returns to the US after his 2 month stay in Canada.
Jan 17, 2013 5:57 PM
12You are proposing a complex idea of buying a car as an out of state traveler. I believe you would have no problem buying a car with money up front. However, most states require insurance based on where you reside in the states. If you do not have an address I would arrange the purchase of a vehicle before you arrive. Car dealers would probably be able to help you with these questions. As far as selling your vehicle, most garages or even yards will purchase a vehicle with a clean title. I do not see any complications on getting rid of the car in the US but I do not believe you will be able to sell it in Canada. Your best bet would be to arrange a purchase well before your trip.
Jan 17, 2013 7:58 PM
13I would refer back to FAQ 206 as to the reality of a vehicle pre purchase & the used car business...I will suggest if the OP actually crosses the border is to stay on the bus into the next State North... Troubled units are often shipped to border town dealers in hopes they will be sold with no warranty into Mexico...Never to be seen again ! ................... I'll suggest seeking a "owner sale"of a older, full size class "B" camper or conversion van...Having a simple fold down bed,cooker & kitchen basin...Fuel economy will be poor. The money saved by discreetly living in it, will save big! Resale of such a specialty unit will be harder... However if one buys it "right"Have had your value out of the unit... the donation option above might be attractive... Happy trails... carracar
Jan 19, 2013 4:51 PM
14Try combining rental cars...with Amtrak and Buses...for the cheapest simple way to go...
Cars are very easy to buy in the US...but the car titles and license plates are state specific...
Crossing International borders adds an additional level of complication...you might google it...
Insurance is bought in the state where the car is registered and licensed...and is good in all states as a rule...but the policy may need to be endorsed by the insurance company to be good in other countries...
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