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-   -   Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip (https://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-57/buying-car-doing-long-camping-road-trip-733664/)

krosfyah Sep 26th 2011 11:24 am

Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip
 
I would really appreciate some sanity checking/advice here.

We are going to be purchasing a car when we fly to San Francisco next month, just something cheap, that does good mileage and won't break down every few seconds.

The idea is a camping (as in tent) road trip through Southern California to Nevada, Colorado, Texas, Florida, and some of the southern states, including Carolinas and up home to NYC.

Now my worries are:

1. Will my wife (on a NY State license) be ok to buy and insure a car in California?
2. Will the insurance for her (and me as a LPR) be insanely expensive on a cheap $5-7k) car, as she has no no claims bonus (is this even something insurance companies take into account like they do in the UK?)
3. I have an international drivers permit - is this going to be acceptable as a form of license for me to drive on in the US?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

tonrob Sep 26th 2011 4:41 pm

Re: Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip
 

Originally Posted by krosfyah (Post 9642196)
I would really appreciate some sanity checking/advice here.

We are going to be purchasing a car when we fly to San Francisco next month, just something cheap, that does good mileage and won't break down every few seconds.

The idea is a camping (as in tent) road trip through Southern California to Nevada, Colorado, Texas, Florida, and some of the southern states, including Carolinas and up home to NYC.

Now my worries are:

1. Will my wife (on a NY State license) be ok to buy and insure a car in California?
2. Will the insurance for her (and me as a LPR) be insanely expensive on a cheap $5-7k) car, as she has no no claims bonus (is this even something insurance companies take into account like they do in the UK?)
3. I have an international drivers permit - is this going to be acceptable as a form of license for me to drive on in the US?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Have you Googled question 1?

Question 2 - no idea.

Question 3 - which country issued your 'real' driving licence? International ones are usually not worth anything unless they act as a translation where your actual driving licence only contains foreign languages.

Noorah101 Sep 26th 2011 8:09 pm

Re: Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip
 

Originally Posted by krosfyah (Post 9642196)
3. I have an international drivers permit - is this going to be acceptable as a form of license for me to drive on in the US?

You became an LPR in May 2011 (4 months ago). Just surprised you haven't gotten a US Drivers License yet. What's the holdup on that? You haven't been driving for 4 months?

Rene

Nutmegger Sep 26th 2011 9:15 pm

Re: Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip
 

Originally Posted by krosfyah (Post 9642196)


1. Will my wife (on a NY State license) be ok to buy and insure a car in California?
2. Will the insurance for her (and me as a LPR) be insanely expensive on a cheap $5-7k) car, as she has no no claims bonus (is this even something insurance companies take into account like they do in the UK?)

Why not just speak to your insurance company and see what they have to say?

krosfyah Sep 26th 2011 10:21 pm

Re: Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip
 

Originally Posted by Noorah101 (Post 9643005)
You became an LPR in May 2011 (4 months ago). Just surprised you haven't gotten a US Drivers License yet. What's the holdup on that? You haven't been driving for 4 months?

Rene

We had some things to finalise in the UK which took longer than expected, hence although i went in May, we're only finally able to move now.

krosfyah Sep 26th 2011 10:22 pm

Re: Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip
 

Originally Posted by tonrob (Post 9642565)
Have you Googled question 1?

Question 2 - no idea.

Question 3 - which country issued your 'real' driving licence? International ones are usually not worth anything unless they act as a translation where your actual driving licence only contains foreign languages.

Thanks Tonrob

Googled Qu1 so think we're ok with that.

Qu 3 - issued in England, and from what i gather, i can drive on that in the US i believe.

Jerseygirl Sep 26th 2011 11:09 pm

Re: Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip
 

Originally Posted by krosfyah (Post 9643239)
Thanks Tonrob

Googled Qu1 so think we're ok with that.

Qu 3 - issued in England, and from what i gather, i can drive on that in the US i believe.

You need to look at the DMV's website for the state you will be living in. How long you can drive using your UK DL varies from state to state. It could be as little as 30 days.

penguinsix Sep 27th 2011 3:22 am

Re: Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip
 
What are you going to do with the car when you get to the other side of the country? Keep it, sell it?

Honestly for all that hassle it might just be easier to rent a car long term for a month or two. Get an addendum on your wife's "real" car insurance for the car you have in the USA that adds protection to rental cars (which will only be a few bucks) and then rent a car on a monthly or weekly rate. Might be somewhat comparable in expense.

p.s. don't look at Expedia or the travel website for long term rental car rates, talk directly with the rental car agencies--most have a special set up for > one month.

krosfyah Sep 27th 2011 6:54 am

Re: Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip
 

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl (Post 9643288)
You need to look at the DMV's website for the state you will be living in. How long you can drive using your UK DL varies from state to state. It could be as little as 30 days.

According to the DMV it says:

http://www.nydmv.state.ny.us/resident.htm

"Definition of a Resident. If you become a resident of NYS, you must exchange your driver license and vehicle registration from another state for a NYS driver license and vehicle registration within 30 days"

I won't have another State's license, i'll be on my UK license, so i don't think this will apply to me.

krosfyah Sep 27th 2011 6:57 am

Re: Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip
 

Originally Posted by penguinsix (Post 9643500)
What are you going to do with the car when you get to the other side of the country? Keep it, sell it?

Honestly for all that hassle it might just be easier to rent a car long term for a month or two. Get an addendum on your wife's "real" car insurance for the car you have in the USA that adds protection to rental cars (which will only be a few bucks) and then rent a car on a monthly or weekly rate. Might be somewhat comparable in expense.

p.s. don't look at Expedia or the travel website for long term rental car rates, talk directly with the rental car agencies--most have a special set up for > one month.

Thanks for this, i will look into it. The idea was to purchase something in SF sell it in NYC as we'll be doing some more travelling outside the US for several months afterwards.

I didn't realise there were longer term rental options other than what you can spec on the rental car agency websites which were prohibitively expensive (it was coming out at approx $2000-3000 for a month long rental, which included the massive one way fees etc).

tonrob Sep 27th 2011 10:35 am

Re: Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip
 

Originally Posted by krosfyah (Post 9643608)
According to the DMV it says:

http://www.nydmv.state.ny.us/resident.htm

"Definition of a Resident. If you become a resident of NYS, you must exchange your driver license and vehicle registration from another state for a NYS driver license and vehicle registration within 30 days"

I won't have another State's license, i'll be on my UK license, so i don't think this will apply to me.

I would imagine that if this doesn't apply to you, it will be because you have not taken up residency in New York State, not because you have a UK license.

Boiler Sep 27th 2011 1:18 pm

Re: Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip
 
Probably a good idea to get one of the new 10 year Photo Cards.

Jerseygirl Sep 27th 2011 2:14 pm

Re: Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip
 

Originally Posted by krosfyah (Post 9643608)
According to the DMV it says:

http://www.nydmv.state.ny.us/resident.htm

"Definition of a Resident. If you become a resident of NYS, you must exchange your driver license and vehicle registration from another state for a NYS driver license and vehicle registration within 30 days"

I won't have another State's license, i'll be on my UK license, so i don't think this will apply to me.

What you think won't hold water if you're stopped by the cops. You need to find out for definite from the DMV.

celticgrid Sep 27th 2011 4:55 pm

Re: Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip
 

Originally Posted by tonrob (Post 9643803)
I would imagine that if this doesn't apply to you, it will be because you have not taken up residency in New York State, not because you have a UK license.


Originally Posted by krosfyah (Post 9642196)
The idea is a camping (as in tent) road trip through Southern California to Nevada, Colorado, Texas, Florida, and some of the southern states, including Carolinas and up home to NYC.

Interesting situation, as NY requires residents to apply for a NY license within 30 days of residency. OP became LPR in May, and declares NY as "home". The rules on residency are (probably deliberately) vague. If it was deemed that OP has been resident in NY then the DMV site states that the UK license would not be considered valid, and the driver can be charged accordingly.

Note that the earlier quote about NY requiring you to trade in licenses from other states has some riders, such as the other license must be at least 6 months old. I had to plan carefully as there was a 2-day window of overlap between being a resident for under 30 days and holding a PA license for 6 months!

Boiler Sep 27th 2011 4:58 pm

Re: Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip
 
Should be OK as long as he does not drive in NY.


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