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Car insurance for immigrants

Car insurance for immigrants

Old Jan 18th 2002, 10:58 pm
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I am moving to US on an H1B visa and am finding that auto insurance is incredibly expensive. I guess this is partly due to me not having been resident in the US - does anyone know of any insurance companies that are more favourable to foreigners?

Also I am looking at buying a car through International AutoSource, but this means ordering the car before I arrive in the US. Does anyone have experience of using this company?
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Old Jan 19th 2002, 1:07 am
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Originally posted by edwards_paulj
I am moving to US on an H1B visa and am finding that auto insurance is incredibly expensive. I guess this is partly due to me not having been resident in the US - does anyone know of any insurance companies that are more favourable to foreigners?

Also I am looking at buying a car through International AutoSource, but this means ordering the car before I arrive in the US. Does anyone have experience of using this company?
I think that you may find that much of the problem is not having a US drivers licence. It is a doddle to get, but will take a few weeks.

It varies from state to state, but typically involves a written (multi-choice), a classroom session, and a road test which is farcically easy. I spent 6 minutes driving around a housing estate at 15-20 mph, did a three point turn, a parallel park, and then about three hundred yards along a main road before a right turn at traffic lights, and all done in an automatic. Where ever you live, try to book the road test in a remote rural area as there can be long waiting lists in major Cities - I faced three months all around the New York are, but 160 miles north I got a test the next week.

I have also used Auto Source, and they are excellent, just watch out for the fact that you have to pay the sales tax up front at the point of delivery, in addition to the deposit. Let me know if you need more info!

PS "Thar ain't no substitoot for coobs, boy!" (or otherwise "I bought myself a V8 Mustang!")
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Old Jan 19th 2002, 11:13 pm
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This varies based on geographic area. Auto insurance companies have different pricing
schedules and policies in each state. You simply need to do what long-time United
States residents do, shop around.
 
Old Jan 20th 2002, 9:13 am
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Dennis P. Harris
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if you are under 25, it's more likely due to your age. if you are not, it's probably
because you have no US driving record the insurance company can check for accidents
or driving violations. the location makes a big difference, too. some cities and
states are VERY expensive for insurance --- it can even vary widely depending on what
part of a city you live in. you need to shop around and call insurance agents after
you arrive. if you can get a certified copy of your driving record from the licensing
authority in the UK before you leave, bring it with you.

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i would advise you to wait until you arrive to purchase a car. no one in their right
mind pays the price first asked by a dealer for a car, unless it's a saturn. dealers
for every other make of car *expect* you to make a counter-offer lower than the
price, and to haggle.

then they will try to load on accessories you don't want, undercoating, protective
coatings, and steer you to their finance package. that means you need to be prepared
before you go car shopping --- you need to have financing lined up in advance (and if
you're paying cash, DON'T let the dealer know that until you've agreed on a price for
the car or you WILL pay more, because they're counting on getting a commission on the
loan), and you need to be ready to be firm enough to stick to your guns when the
salesman tries to get you to purchase things you *don't* want.

finally, be prepared to walk out of the car dealership any time you don't like what
they're trying to sell you. you'd be surprised at how hard they'll try to keep you
from walking away from a sale, to the point that they might even try to meet YOUR
terms instead of theirs.

if you've never purchased a car before, take along a hard-boiled colleague from work
who has purchased several, and who knows the tricks the slimeballs at the dealers
use. it always helps to have a witness.

finally, DON'T SIGN ANYTHING until you've read it ENTIRELY and you understand
EVERYTHING it says and agree to it ALL. any verbal promises will NOT stand up in
court, but you will be held to the written contract. if it looks fishy, or sounds too
good to be true, put it off for a day by telling them you'll come back tomorrow after
your attorney has reviewed it WHILE you have the contract in your hand.
 
Old Jan 20th 2002, 12:49 pm
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Dennis P Harris said:

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i would advise you to wait until you arrive to purchase a car.
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Sorry Dennis, two things:

(i) AutoSource is selling at close to dealer cost. It seems to be a scheme by Ford, GM, and Chrysler to grab a share of the immigrant market before they head off and buy a Japanaese or European car. I paid just $23,500 for a V8 Mustang with every extra, except the auto 'box and 1200W stereo.

(ii) Auto Source gave me 0% credit terms. Have you tried to get credit with no credit history? Banks and finance companies don't want to know.

A couple of other things, which are more subjective:-

there is no reason to throw money away (which I don't believe is the case, see (i) , above), but cars here in the US are CHEAP. Cars that are sold both in the UK and the US invariably sell for the same number of pounds as dollars, currently a 43.5% mark-up on US prices.

Anyone relocating to another a country has plenty to worry about, and organise, so having the car arranged for you is one thing that can be sorted out ahead of time.

Check out the manufacturers web sites to find the cars you want, and what extras you want or need. Over all, having gone through the process of immigration within the last three months, and having used Auto Source, I would definitely recommend them to you. And try GEICO for insurance, they seem to be very competitive if you have no US driving record.

[Edited by Pulaski on Jan 21st 2002 at 10:04pm]
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