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Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip

Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip

Old Sep 26th 2011, 11:24 am
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Default 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!
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Old Sep 26th 2011, 4:41 pm
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Default Re: Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip

Originally Posted by krosfyah View Post
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.
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Old Sep 26th 2011, 8:09 pm
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Default Re: Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip

Originally Posted by krosfyah View Post
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
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Old Sep 26th 2011, 9:15 pm
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Default Re: Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip

Originally Posted by krosfyah View Post


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?
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Old Sep 26th 2011, 10:21 pm
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Default Re: Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
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.
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Old Sep 26th 2011, 10:22 pm
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Default Re: Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip

Originally Posted by tonrob View Post
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.
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Old Sep 26th 2011, 11:09 pm
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Default Re: Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip

Originally Posted by krosfyah View Post
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.
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Old Sep 27th 2011, 3:22 am
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Default 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.
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Old Sep 27th 2011, 6:54 am
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Default Re: Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
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.
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Old Sep 27th 2011, 6:57 am
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Default Re: Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip

Originally Posted by penguinsix View Post
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).

Last edited by krosfyah; Sep 27th 2011 at 7:38 am.
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Old Sep 27th 2011, 10:35 am
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Default Re: Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip

Originally Posted by krosfyah View Post
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.
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Old Sep 27th 2011, 1:18 pm
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Default 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.
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Old Sep 27th 2011, 2:14 pm
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Default Re: Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip

Originally Posted by krosfyah View Post
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.
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Old Sep 27th 2011, 4:55 pm
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Default Re: Buying a car and doing a long camping road trip

Originally Posted by tonrob View Post
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 View Post
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!
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Old Sep 27th 2011, 4:58 pm
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Default 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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