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Buying a car in NC

Buying a car in NC

Old May 15th 2011, 7:18 am
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Default Buying a car in NC

Hi

My husband and 2 children will be moving to NC at the end of June 2011 and having visited in March, having 2 cars will be a necessity!! My questions are do you need to have insurance b4 you buy a car, can you get insurance on a UK licence or will I need to get a NC license and finally (phew) will a car company give me finance or will we have to make a cash purchase.

Thanks muchly
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Old May 15th 2011, 11:49 am
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Default Re: Buying a car in NC

Originally Posted by loopijuice View Post
... do you need to have insurance b4 you buy a car
You definitely don't need insurance to buy a car. You will, however, want insurance before you get in the car and drive it off the lot.


... can you get insurance on a UK licence or will I need to get a NC license
Having a NC license will definitely make it easier to get insurance, and less expensive. You can get insurance on your UK license, but it'll be very expensive.


... will a car company give me finance or will we have to make a cash purchase.
You may not get financing unless you have proof of residence - generally utility bills or NC driver's license... something to show that you actually reside in NC (as opposed to just visiting).

Ian
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Old May 15th 2011, 1:02 pm
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Default Re: Buying a car in NC

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
You definitely don't need insurance to buy a car. You will, however, want insurance before you get in the car and drive it off the lot.



Having a NC license will definitely make it easier to get insurance, and less expensive. You can get insurance on your UK license, but it'll be very expensive.


You may not get financing unless you have proof of residence - generally utility bills or NC driver's license... something to show that you actually reside in NC (as opposed to just visiting).

Ian
Actually some insurance companies here will still charge you more up until you have been licensed in that state for one full year - not sure about North Carolina, but some other states have this requirement.
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Old May 15th 2011, 1:12 pm
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Default Re: Buying a car in NC

If you finance the car you will usually need insurance before you can drive it off the lot
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Old May 15th 2011, 1:15 pm
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Default Re: Buying a car in NC

Originally Posted by loopijuice View Post
Hi

My husband and 2 children will be moving to NC at the end of June 2011 and having visited in March, having 2 cars will be a necessity!! My questions are do you need to have insurance b4 you buy a car, can you get insurance on a UK licence or will I need to get a NC license and finally (phew) will a car company give me finance or will we have to make a cash purchase.

Thanks muchly
If you can bring proof of no claims (if you have any) of your car insurance in the UK, it may help you show that you are a careful driver. It helped us get lower insurance premium when we first moved here.

Here is a link to the North Carolina Dept of Transport site
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Old May 15th 2011, 1:16 pm
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Default Re: Buying a car in NC

You're wrong about a few things, here.

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
You definitely don't need insurance to buy a car. You will, however, want insurance before you get in the car and drive it off the lot.
North Carolina requires proof of insurance to register a car. So if that's part of 'buying a car', then you definitely do need insurance.

Having a NC license will definitely make it easier to get insurance, and less expensive. You can get insurance on your UK license, but it'll be very expensive.
North Carolina requires proof of insurance to issue a licence. You can get one without insurance, marked 'fleet vehicles only', but if you get caught driving a private vehicle with that you'll get done for driving without a licence.

I found not much cost difference in my insurance between my UK licence and getting my NC one. All the companies care about is your years of licensed experience, and they only count US+Canadian licences for this purpose. You are going to get hammered with insurance costs at first. At least $200/month seems to be the going rate.

You may not get financing unless you have proof of residence - generally utility bills or NC driver's license... something to show that you actually reside in NC (as opposed to just visiting).

Ian
Speaking only for the north carolina state employees credit union (sign up if you're eligible, they have fantastic rates), they require proof of insurance to complete a loan, too.

So OP, I think you're gonna have to go through the following process:

1. buy car and get insured with your UK licence

2. using this new insurance policy, get an NC licence.

3. wait for the rates to come down.

As for financing, you might want to finance if you can, but expect to pay a high rate. It will help you build credit.

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Old May 15th 2011, 2:03 pm
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Default Re: Buying a car in NC

Originally Posted by gradboy View Post
North Carolina requires proof of insurance to register a car. So if that's part of 'buying a car', then you definitely do need insurance.
Buying and registering are two separate issues. You don't need insurance to buy a car.


North Carolina requires proof of insurance to issue a licence. You can get one without insurance, marked 'fleet vehicles only', but if you get caught driving a private vehicle with that you'll get done for driving without a licence.
This doesn't dispute what I wrote.


You are going to get hammered with insurance costs at first. At least $200/month seems to be the going rate.
Neither does this.

Where was I "wrong about a few things"?

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Old May 15th 2011, 6:42 pm
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Default Re: Buying a car in NC

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
Buying and registering are two separate issues. You don't need insurance to buy a car.



This doesn't dispute what I wrote.



Neither does this.

Where was I "wrong about a few things"?
Ian
Well, it seems you were wrong to assume you are the only SP on BE, for a start.
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Old May 15th 2011, 7:15 pm
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Default Re: Buying a car in NC

Thank very much for all the information guys, its all very confusing lol. One more question, I will be driving a hire car (through my husbands company) for about 3 weeks, so could I get a licence whilst driving this car, as I will be insured on this vehicle and then get a NC licence with this insurance and then buy a car with my new NC licence??

I hope this makes sense

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Old May 15th 2011, 8:32 pm
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Default Re: Buying a car in NC

Originally Posted by loopijuice View Post
Thank very much for all the information guys, its all very confusing lol. One more question, I will be driving a hire car (through my husbands company) for about 3 weeks, so could I get a licence whilst driving this car, as I will be insured on this vehicle and then get a NC licence with this insurance and then buy a car with my new NC licence??

I hope this makes sense

Did you read the DMV site?

It should tell you if you're allowed to take the test in a rental or not. Different states have different rules, some allow it, others not.
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Old May 16th 2011, 10:04 am
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Default Re: Buying a car in NC

Thanks guys :-)
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Old May 16th 2011, 1:45 pm
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Default Re: Buying a car in NC

Having arrived in NC in March - only last week did we end up actually buying a car, although truth be told we could have bought one a couple of weeks sooner.

Here is what we did...

Go to readydrive.com - they provide decent "mini-lease" service which gives you a rental car for minimum 1 month for about 1/2 to 2/3 the cost of normally renting a car - fully insured.

Use this time to get the following ASAP for your drives license:

SSN (although you should already know to wait 2 weeks before even bothering going to the SSA office - we went on exactly 2 weeks and we still weren't in the system, thankfully the guy at the desk said he'd try the next day before holding our application for two more weeks!!)

Clear and unambiguous proof of residence - there are plenty of guidelines on what is acceptable on the NC DOT website.

Proof of insurance - the form DL-123 or something, it can be faxed/emailed to you by your auto insurance firm - you'll need what is called a "Non-Owners policy" which is still bloody expensive - Geico appeared to be the cheapest for me.

You should have the rest - i.e. passport with I-94 etc.

Once you go through the ridiculously easy driving test (I passed with no answers wrong with 2 skims through their NC DOT handbook) you'll get your driving license. BTW, I used the rental car to do my driving test, they don't bother checking who owns the vehicle (at least not at the test centre I went to) all they care is that you have that insurance policy above.

I could NOT get a car without having a NC ID (I choose to get the NC Driving License because you need one anyway).

Finance was VERY easy, but horrible APR because I have no credit history in the US. (Well easy because both myself and wife are on quite nice salaries). All I needed was my NC Driving License, SSN, my last payslip, and a handsome down payment. It was through CarMax. Because there are no overpayment penalties, or early pay off penalties our plan is to get the credit paid off in half the time or earlier, so it builds our credit history AND we don't end up paying a boat load of interest.

Oh, and the finance company put the following conditions on our loan:

Car must be 2006 or older (so don't go looking at new cars for HP)
Provide 3 references (people who the finance company can call if we go missing)

So we ended up getting a fully loaded 2006 Lincoln Navigator - DVD entertainment for the kids and thankfully the previous owner updated their Sat Nav so its not stuck back in 2006.

Cars in NC at least seem to get cheaper at 5 years old and with more than 60,000 miles - so our 2006 Navigator with 60,500 miles was about as good a deal as you could get.

Since I've just gone through the whole car buying thing in NC last week, I'll be glad to answer any questions - but don't worry about finance, it is possible but be prepared to overpay and get it paid off quickly because the terms will be awful.

I'll qualify all of the above with "well it was like that for me, I can't guarantee you'll get the same treatment or be able to do what I did..."

Last edited by Hawkini; May 16th 2011 at 1:48 pm.
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Old May 16th 2011, 5:23 pm
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Default Re: Buying a car in NC

Originally Posted by Hawkini View Post
Cars in NC at least seem to get cheaper at 5 years old and with more than 60,000 miles - so our 2006 Navigator with 60,500 miles was about as good a deal as you could get.
Usually at that point the drive belt needs replacing and it's expensive, which is why a lot of folks flog their cars at that point, also when the warranties tend to have finished, certainly on the recertified cars
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Old May 16th 2011, 6:44 pm
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Default Re: Buying a car in NC

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Usually at that point the drive belt needs replacing and it's expensive, which is why a lot of folks flog their cars at that point, also when the warranties tend to have finished
A very good point - it was still a good deal - true we only have a 30 day warranty with Car Max with the option to buy 2 years parts and labour... but hey ho! Will have to check what exactly my next service is... I have a funny and quite nasty feeling it is a main one so yeah, OK, it's not that rosey - but the OP's wasn't on about the cost of cars - just gettin' em
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Old May 16th 2011, 7:10 pm
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Default Re: Buying a car in NC

Originally Posted by Hawkini View Post
A very good point - it was still a good deal - true we only have a 30 day warranty with Car Max with the option to buy 2 years parts and labour... but hey ho! Will have to check what exactly my next service is... I have a funny and quite nasty feeling it is a main one so yeah, OK, it's not that rosey - but the OP's wasn't on about the cost of cars - just gettin' em
Something to also worth looking at is the states Lemon Laws...worth having an idea, because if they're any good, spouting it might get a lot done for you if things do go bang

They're great in MA, especially if you buy from a dealer, but they're a bit shit up in ME.

A good deal is a good deal though but always worth checking out any service history that the car has
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