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Car for new immigrant

Car for new immigrant

Old Mar 8th 2018, 10:34 am
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Default Car for new immigrant

I am planning to move to Idaho on a green card late next summer.

I will have no credit history and a foreign driving licence at first so, following the many suggestions on this forum, I contacted International Autosource for a quote for a new car financing.
I am looking for a compact SUV (All Wheel Drive) and this is what I got (excl. taxes):

- Jeep Compass Sport: Price $26,050
36 Months Loan. $15,000 Down Payment = $363 per month

- Nissan Rogue S: Price $27,160
36 Months Loan. $15,000 Down Payment = $397 per month

Are these good deals in your opinion? Do you think I can get better deals by going to local dealerships once I have moved? I would need a car as soon as possible, so I cannot wait until I have established a decent credit history.

Since I have some savings and I am willing to spend these on the car, the alternative I was thinking about is to buy cash a used SUV, in the range $15,000-$20,000. However, I was told not to trust used cars in the USA, given the 'ability' of the average American driver and the fact that many used cars were leased, so drivers do not care about keeping the car in good condition. Is this true? Would you suggest a used car bought cash?

Thanks.
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Old Mar 8th 2018, 12:45 pm
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Default Re: Car for new immigrant

If you have the $15k to put down, I would pass on these in favor of going to a dealer when in country. They will be falling over themselves to help you out. If you are looking for used, you can take your time and again go to dealers - you might pay a little more, but you will usually get some sort of 'certified pre-owned' warranty from a good one.

If the car is in good condition, and never been wrecked, they will offer a 'free carfax report' or something similar. Any that doesn't offer that, get one yourself for about $30.

Both the Rogue and the Compass are considered small for this country, just FYI. They are the smaller cousins of the Pathfinder (Nissan) and Cherokee (Jeep)
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Old Mar 8th 2018, 1:06 pm
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Default Re: Car for new immigrant

I agree, $15k will get you a decent used car.
Save the $397 a month for something else.
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Old Mar 8th 2018, 1:40 pm
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Default Re: Car for new immigrant

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
Both the Rogue and the Compass are considered small for this country, just FYI. They are the smaller cousins of the Pathfinder (Nissan) and Cherokee (Jeep)
I would disagree with this -- there was a time when they might have been, but nowadays I think they are a pretty average size vehicle.
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Old Mar 8th 2018, 1:55 pm
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Default Re: Car for new immigrant

Thanks for the advice. I thought that dealers would make more money from financing, so would back off from a cash purchase.

Should I wait to get a state driving license before shopping for a car?

And what about insurance? Are there companies providing reasonable insurance plans for expats with no credit nor driving history?
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Old Mar 8th 2018, 2:07 pm
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Default Re: Car for new immigrant

Yes dealers do of course make more money from financing, but they also want to make sales, and you $15k will get you good service.

Depending on your state, you may have as little as 10 days to get a state license when you become resident. This should be a priority when you get here.

You should expect to pay over the odds for car insurance - the US is expensive anyway, and as you rightly point out you will have no credit or driving history. Some companies will take UK history into account, but you'll need to ship around. Will you be looking for liability only or full coverage in the first instance? Either way be prepared to pay a pretty penny at first.
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Old Mar 8th 2018, 2:27 pm
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Default Re: Car for new immigrant

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
Depending on your state, you may have as little as 10 days to get a state license when you become resident. This should be a priority when you get here.
OP is moving to Idaho. Looks like it is 90 days to get a license.

DMV | Idaho Transportation Department
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Old Mar 8th 2018, 4:42 pm
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Default Re: Car for new immigrant

Another advantage of buying a used car is won't have to have full coverage insurance, just liability.
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Old Mar 8th 2018, 4:49 pm
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Default Re: Car for new immigrant

Thirding what everyone else is saying.

Spend your money on a 2 or 3 year old Japanese vehicle.
Depreciation on Merkin vehicles is ridiculous.

Just read the bit about the "ability" of American drivers. Whoever told you that is a moron.
Most cars here are automatic and are like bumper cars. Go and stop pedal.

Do yourself a favor and dispel yourself of the notion that North Americans are simple rubes and you're an enlightened, sophisticated European.

Last edited by Octang Frye; Mar 8th 2018 at 4:54 pm.
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Old Mar 8th 2018, 4:51 pm
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Default Re: Car for new immigrant

Agree with buying a good used car when moved here.
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Old Mar 8th 2018, 4:58 pm
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Default Re: Car for new immigrant

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
.... They are the smaller cousins of the ... and Cherokee (Jeep)
I think you mean "Grand Cherokee", the Cherokee is quite small.
Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
I would disagree with this -- there was a time when they might have been, but nowadays I think they are a pretty average size vehicle.
I think that is a perspective from New England that may not apply a cross all regions.

Last edited by Pulaski; Mar 8th 2018 at 5:01 pm.
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Old Mar 8th 2018, 5:48 pm
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Default Re: Car for new immigrant

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
I think you mean "Grand Cherokee", the Cherokee is quite small.

I think that is a perspective from New England that may not apply a cross all regions.
Anything less than an F150 is considered small in Texas, IMO.
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Old Mar 8th 2018, 5:57 pm
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Default Re: Car for new immigrant

Originally Posted by TheKingOfHearts View Post
Anything less than an F150 is considered small in Texas, IMO.
An F150 is smaller than my truck, and I don't even live in Texas!

Neighbors had his 'n' hers trucks - hers was the same as mine, his was larger.
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Old Mar 8th 2018, 6:00 pm
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Default Re: Car for new immigrant

Yes we all know you like your F250

I get by just fine with my little play truck!
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Old Mar 8th 2018, 6:04 pm
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Default Re: Car for new immigrant

Following that a car just off a lease can be a great deal.
The cars usually have limited mileage per year, condition security deposits and routine servicing so are normally taken care of.
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