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Car options on a 24 month sabbatical

Car options on a 24 month sabbatical

Old May 3rd 2017, 9:48 pm
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Default Car options on a 24 month sabbatical

Facing a bit of a dilemma on what to do about sourcing a car during my 2 year stint in the States (due to begin later this year). I'm looking at a small to mid size SUV for our family of 5 & as it's a relatively short stint for us in the States, I feel leasing or buying a cheap used car would be the options that are easiest on the wallet (especially considering I will need to buy a second much cheaper car to ferry me to work daily).

Both International Autosource and ExpatRide have been helpful and quick to provide me with quotes- I've specified an annual limit of 12k miles which should be adequate for me. Both companies are however very keen to push me a Ford Escape or Explorer as they're supposedly the cheapest options (besides perhaps giving them the best margins too as they have a direct relationship with the manufacturer) but even then the monthly leases are above $400 per month, not to mention a signficant down payment too ($4-9k). I was quite interested in a new/used CX5 but none of the Mazda dealers I've contacted in the area I'm moving to are very forthcoming (over email at least) about prices for a 24 month lease (although they've mentioned that there are options for me under the Foreign Resident Program that Mazda runs).

Does anyone think the downpayments/monthly quotes IAS and Expatride have quoted are excessive? Perhaps the more hassle-free option is to buy a cheap used SUV outright. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks very much!
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Old May 3rd 2017, 11:04 pm
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Default Re: Car options on a 24 month sabbatical

In general, good used cars are not cheap. Don't forget to factor in the cost of insurance, too, which won't be cheap because you have no history in the USA.

That said, you mention being on sabbatical. What visa will you be using to live in the USA for 2 years?

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Old May 3rd 2017, 11:06 pm
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Default Re: Car options on a 24 month sabbatical

Oh, in your previous post you mention H1B. Will you be working or will you be on sabbatical? I'm confused.

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Old May 3rd 2017, 11:34 pm
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Default Re: Car options on a 24 month sabbatical

Sorry about the confusion- what I meant to say is that we are coming over on a fixed 2 year contract (H1B) and should be returning to the UK after this period. With respect to vehicle insurance, I was thinking of purchasing the AIG TravelGuard policy to avail of their facilitatory role in driving down quotes.. thanks
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Old May 3rd 2017, 11:37 pm
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Default Re: Car options on a 24 month sabbatical

I wouldn't get a Ford Escape for a family of 5, it will be a bit on the small side.

The quotes don't seem totally out of order.... we took a ford focus with a $3.5k downpayment and cost us about $350 a month but with 15k miles and that was 3.5 years ago.

Have you tried VW? Touran might be a bit small.. Routan is their minivan. Tuareg is huge.

I'm surprised that Mazda aren't more forthcoming though, they've been good with all the new arrivals here in Austin, however that might be because they are already in the USA.

information on this thread might be useful.
http://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-5...scheme-749465/

basically get AIG onto it for you..

Last edited by petitefrancaise; May 3rd 2017 at 11:42 pm.
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Old May 3rd 2017, 11:40 pm
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Default Re: Car options on a 24 month sabbatical

Originally Posted by madrigal View Post
Sorry about the confusion- what I meant to say is that we are coming over on a fixed 2 year contract (H1B) and should be returning to the UK after this period. With respect to vehicle insurance, I was thinking of purchasing the AIG TravelGuard policy to avail of their facilitatory role in driving down quotes.. thanks
That's a good choice but insurance is still a bit eyewatering here.

Talk to them about renters insurance/car insurance and combining those with an umbrella policy. That might bring costs down a bit.... that's if you can do it with renter's insurance.
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Old May 4th 2017, 2:25 am
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Default Re: Car options on a 24 month sabbatical

We signed up with AIG, who put us onto IAS. These were what we signed up to in November 2011 -

Ford Escape 2012, Limited Edition, 4x4, GPS and premium sound system, and luxury package.
MRSP - $33073
AIG discounted price - $30615
Monthly payments, first offer - $288 for 24 months. Discounted to $248 for 27 months, but IAS sent us a cheque for the extra 3 months. This payment included gap insurance too.

AIG referred us to 21st Century Insurance. The first 6 months cost $440, but it has gone up every 6mths since then, despite no accidents/claims. This was for Florida, it varies by state.

Obviously this is 5.5 years ago, but I cannot imagine the prices increasing by that much. Definitely haggle with them, that's what we did, well my husband

We also were a family of 5, the kids were 10, 8 and 4 at the time. It was a great car and suited our needs. I would definitely consider a bigger car if your kids are all older though. We now have a Honda Pilot and Honda CRV, both of which I would recommend too.
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Old May 4th 2017, 2:11 pm
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Default Re: Car options on a 24 month sabbatical

12,000 miles might sound a lot, but it really isn't in the US. You will almost certainly drive a lot further than in the UK, and if you don't live really close to work, school, and a supermarket then the miles soon rack up. You may soon find yourself driving ten miles for lunch, twenty miles for dinner, and a couple of hundred miles for a day out - from a British perspective those distances sounds nuts, but they soon become normal when you live in the US.

For a family of five I would definitely recommend the Explorer - any thing smaller will be cramped, so unless you're used to using a Ford Focus as a family car in the UK the Escape won't work well for you.

And I would also reiterate the comment about the price of used vehicles - they're much higher than you would expect coming from the UK. It is connected to the high mileage people do, and the fact that cars last longer when they're cruising on highways for most of their miles. ... We have a Honda Accord that we use every day for commuting - it has 330,000 on the clock!!! Yes, you read that right.

Last edited by Pulaski; May 4th 2017 at 2:17 pm.
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Old May 4th 2017, 4:52 pm
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Default Re: Car options on a 24 month sabbatical

I hate SUVs, other than maybe a Range, but if you have to buy one of those god awful things within a reasonable budget I'd go for a Volvo XC60 or an Audi Q(3|5).

If you don't care about cars - and honestly, you'll be amongst an ignorant population who couldn't care either - then go for something shit from Honda or Ford. You must hate your life to drive one mind. But, I digress..
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Old May 4th 2017, 4:58 pm
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Default Re: Car options on a 24 month sabbatical

Originally Posted by hungryhorace View Post
I hate SUVs, other than maybe a Range, but if you have to buy one of those god awful things within a reasonable budget I'd go for a Volvo XC60 or an Audi Q(3|5).

If you don't care about cars - and honestly, you'll be amongst an ignorant population who couldn't care either - then go for something shit from Honda or Ford. You must hate your life to drive one mind. But, I digress..
Even the Swedes have given up on Volvo, and there might not be a dealer near where you live as Volvo dealers are thin on the ground.

For someone who pines for euro-boxes with screaming engines, I am not sure that you're well-positioned to advise on vehicles sold in the US. Do you have much experience of driving a Ford or Honda, or is it just raw prejudice and snobbery on your part?
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Old May 4th 2017, 5:00 pm
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Default Re: Car options on a 24 month sabbatical

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Even the Swedes have given up on Volvo.
Since when? I was in Sweden a few months back and saw **** loads as always. Plus, their trucks are still absolutely brilliant.

For someone who pines for euro-boxes with screaming engines, I am not sure that you're well-positioned to advise on vehicles sold in the US.
You're definitely right there, given there is such lack of availability of decent cars here.

Do you have much experience of driving a Ford or Honda, or is it just raw prejudice and snobbery on your part?
Mrs H has a Ford. I hate everything about it. Everytime I have to take it to the dealership I complain about how shit it is. Honda here is complete crap. What we know as Honda, ie a fairly decent brand, is 'Acura'. Honda for the North Americans is bottom of the line blandness (and doesn't it sell well!).
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Old May 4th 2017, 5:04 pm
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Default Re: Car options on a 24 month sabbatical

Horace I don't understand your issue. It's to get you from A to B, and yet on this (and almost every other subject) you seem full of bile. Are you depressed??

Anyway, getting back to the topic, there was/is an extensive discussion on this subject recently, even down to the make that is getting pushed by IAS. I'll find it.

EDIT: Here we go: http://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-5...y-like-895817/
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Old May 4th 2017, 5:24 pm
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Default Re: Car options on a 24 month sabbatical

Originally Posted by hungryhorace View Post
Since when? I was in Sweden a few months back and saw **** loads as always. Plus, their trucks are still absolutely brilliant. .....
For the fist time since 1962, the best selling car in Sweden was not a Volvo. The trucks are made by an entirely separate corporation.
... You're definitely right there, given there is such lack of availability of decent cars here. ....
So you complain about the lack of small cars with small engines, yet when your wife buys one you don't like it. Perhaps there is a reason why many Americans won't buy smaller cars and therefore why the manufacturers don't offer many of them?

I'd buy a Focus for local commuting but wouldn't pay twice as much for a small BMW with a screamy engine. If I'm paying well over $30k, or even $40k, I was something smooth and quiet.

Last edited by Pulaski; May 4th 2017 at 5:29 pm.
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Old May 4th 2017, 5:35 pm
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Default Re: Car options on a 24 month sabbatical

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
Horace I don't understand your issue. It's to get you from A to B
Attitudes like yours are the problem.
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Old May 4th 2017, 5:37 pm
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Default Re: Car options on a 24 month sabbatical

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Perhaps there is a reason why many Americans won't buy smaller cars
Stupidity? Ignorance? All of the above?
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