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Old Aug 1st 2011, 10:19 am
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Hello Everyone

Moving to Las Vegas in Sept, we will be purchasing two cars (not flash ones old bangers). We will be paying cash so no credit required.

Ive read about the test and are OK with that side. Its the insurance side thats hard to find out about.

Is there any companies that consider your no claims, e.g reciprocal US one. I hear Elephant are over there but are not in Nevada.

What type of levels of insurance are there available, are they similar to the UK. (We will go for the full cover). Does insurance generally work the same as here, e.g monthly payments, car put into groups and deductible amount.

We have been offered a Dodge Durango 2000, 4.7l with 127 on the clock at $4000, is this likely to be a stupid insurance group?

Any other advice on insurance is welcome.

Thanks for you help.
Joanne
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Old Aug 1st 2011, 11:22 am
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Default Re: cars

Car insurance is a complicated thing in the US - you don't have the TPO, TPF&T and Fully Comp concepts as you would know them in the UK.

There are varying levels of cover you can purchase which affect the premium and I still haven't quite got my head around how they work

You can try doing a quote on the Durango with www.progressive.com as they allow you to do a basic quote with a foreign driving license. If you have an SSN and state driving license, they can make a more accurate quote (although as you have no credit history, this bit may not make a difference.

You can get monthly payments (as my fiancee does) but you will also see insurance quotes for 6-months, not 12 - read carefully what you see on screen!
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Old Aug 1st 2011, 2:29 pm
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Insurance goes by your driving history (and credit history), you will be classed as a new driver, so your insurance rates will be high, initially. Some cars are more expensive to insure, that's where some of the mystery comes in. I've asked our State Farm insurance person a few times, as it doesn't make sense. She said it goes on a lot of different things, the area you live in, if the car is "hot" property, if you were in an accident how expensive is the car to repair....
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Old Aug 1st 2011, 3:13 pm
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Hi Joanne,

I've just been through this, in CA.

As others have said, there are a trillion variables that affect your rate of insurance -- the detail of personal info needed just to get a quote is crazy -- so comparisons aren't much use, but FYI I'm paying $70/m for a similar car to yours. UK license is 13 years old, have had a US license for about a month, and this is for a middling level of insurance -- the most basic 3rd party for me was $40/50/m, and the most comprehensive was over $100/m. For what it's worth, here's what I learned:

- if you have an insurance office near you, it's invaluable to be able to go in and talk in-person about rates. There are so many different levels of cover available, I got really frustrated trying to work it all out online. All the reps I spoke to were very helpful, and didn't ever give me the 'hard sell'.

- 'bundling' is good. We now get renters', earthquake and auto insurance from the same company (State Farm), and it gets us some discounts.

- get your driving records from the DVLA. They cost five GBP and you have to request them by mail. If you have a clean record, it won't confer exactly the same benefits as x years of no claims, but you can get various kinds of 'safe driver discount'. Also make sure you have your paper and plastic UK license, as they'll probably want copies. Again, x years on a UK license won't equate to x years on a US license when they're working out your insurance rate, but they do take it into account.

- for the love of god, set up a dummy email address for any online quotes you do. I used my 'junk' email account, and am now getting daily emails from the four insurance companies I didn't go with, and they all sound like crazy ex-boyfriends. 'Moshi, I thought we were getting along?' is the neediest subject line so far.

Good luck!

Last edited by MoshiMoshi; Aug 1st 2011 at 3:16 pm.
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Old Aug 1st 2011, 6:23 pm
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Default Re: cars

Thanks everyone for the replies, its a minefield.

MoshiMoshi, thanks for the tip, Ill get onto the DVLA asap.

Did try to get an online quoto OMG.

Thanks again
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Old Aug 1st 2011, 6:30 pm
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Default Re: cars

Originally Posted by Hawth0rn View Post
Thanks everyone for the replies, its a minefield.

MoshiMoshi, thanks for the tip, Ill get onto the DVLA asap.

Did try to get an online quoto OMG.

Thanks again
You are normally classed as a 15/16/17 year old driver with no prior driving experience.

Our insurance company will not give a quote without the vehicle's VIN number.
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Old Aug 1st 2011, 7:07 pm
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Your in for a shock.

This has come up a lot though...so worth a search and looking in the wiki.

Don't buy the cars completely with cash, get a loan and pay most of it off, it's your best way of building up some credit history.

As for insurance, it's state minimums and up, so whatever you feel comfortable with...but you want high liability cover at the minimums and that would essentially be third party equivalent.

It's usually for 6 months of cover, sometimes 12 months, and you can either pay up front, quarterly or monthly.

Your UK history won't count for poo, same with driving history.

If you are lucky, once you get a US license and can show a clean license, you'll get the equivalent of someone with a clean license, rather than starting from the same level of a 15 year old or whoever just gotten a license.

As a ballpark, you'd be doing good if you got $100 a month rate....but you won't get a decent quote without a car VIN number, they don't do car group ratings and there are far to many variables for you to get a decent quote.
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Old Aug 1st 2011, 10:45 pm
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As an aside -- my agent informed me that comp rates on pickups tend to be on the high side -- the cats on those cars are quite accessible, easy to steal and readily marketable. And the cat is pretty expensive part. [I often wonder how many cats end up being sold to replace itself? I've heard of it happening.].

Also, in the "bundling" arena, look into "umbrella" coverage.
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Old Aug 2nd 2011, 6:43 am
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Default Re: cars

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Your in for a shock.


Don't buy the cars completely with cash, get a loan and pay most of it off, it's your best way of building up some credit history.
Bob,
I've seen this written a couple of times. What's the advantage of paying most of it off? Do you save a lot on interest? In the UK you wouldn't. Is the interest on US auto loans worked out differently than in the UK?
I have the cash for a car but was thinking about getting a loan to build up a credit record. I was thinking about depositing the cash with the local Credit Union and getting a secured, I think they call it a CD backed, loan.
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Old Aug 2nd 2011, 7:42 am
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Default Re: cars

We will be going for the fully comp cover on cars, we are only in the US for 2 years that is why we only want bangers and not nice new shiny ones:-) The cheaper to run the better. Its not that we can't afford insurance etc, it just for me spending as little as possible makes sense.

Also I think we might have some credit history as we have a American Express and someone said that has a history in the US.

Getting a better picture of what is required now, so a least when I go into the insurance office I'll have an idea of whats going on.

Thanks again
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Old Aug 2nd 2011, 2:43 pm
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Default Re: cars

Originally Posted by Hawth0rn View Post
We will be going for the fully comp cover on cars, we are only in the US for 2 years that is why we only want bangers and not nice new shiny ones:-) The cheaper to run the better. Its not that we can't afford insurance etc, it just for me spending as little as possible makes sense.

Also I think we might have some credit history as we have a American Express and someone said that has a history in the US.

Getting a better picture of what is required now, so a least when I go into the insurance office I'll have an idea of whats going on.

Thanks again
At a certain point, comp and collision becomes dicey as an economic proposition. Since your company will only pay the value of the car [minus the deductible], it ends up not being all that much coverage. Also, making a claim against the coverage ups your future premiums a lot [for all companies]. You might be better off simply self-insuring for comp and collision.
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Old Aug 2nd 2011, 4:15 pm
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Originally Posted by RayM View Post
Bob,
I've seen this written a couple of times. What's the advantage of paying most of it off? Do you save a lot on interest? In the UK you wouldn't. Is the interest on US auto loans worked out differently than in the UK?
I have the cash for a car but was thinking about getting a loan to build up a credit record. I was thinking about depositing the cash with the local Credit Union and getting a secured, I think they call it a CD backed, loan.
You don't need to pay interest, it's worked out monthly and a lot of loans don't charge extra for over paying, or paying off early.

You just need a loan that you can pay off over 12 months, 6 at a minimum to build up credit history.
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Old Aug 2nd 2011, 4:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Hawth0rn View Post

Also I think we might have some credit history as we have a American Express and someone said that has a history in the US.
If you've got a direct AmEx card for over 12 months, you can do a global transfer, it'll help give you a jump start on history.
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Old Aug 3rd 2011, 6:56 pm
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Default Re: cars

Originally Posted by Hawth0rn View Post
We will be going for the fully comp cover on cars, we are only in the US for 2 years that is why we only want bangers and not nice new shiny ones:-) The cheaper to run the better. Its not that we can't afford insurance etc, it just for me spending as little as possible makes sense.
Fully comp cover on old cars might not make sense - also keep in mind (I've been car shopping in LV, so I kinda know what I'm talking about) that the local idea of a decent used car and the UK idea of a decent used car is *miles* apart. There's no safety check here that's comparable to the MOT, just an emissions test in LV so older vehicles can be in a horrible state.

Basically a rule of thumb mentioned to me by a fellow car nut is that for a transport appliance[1] costing less than about $5k-$6k, you can pretty much budget at least a grand for immediate repairs. For 'interesting' cars, the level seems to be higher.

It also seems that the hourly cost of an independent mechanic is higher here than in the UK so getting stuff fixed also tends to be more expensive. A lot of people might have the oil changed regularly but drive cars into the ground otherwise so go buy something with both eyes open. Seriously. I was pretty good at buying reasonable cheap cars in the UK but so far I've only managed to buy crap for a lot more money over here.

Also, the minimum required insurance cover in NV is a joke - 25k (per person)/ $50k (per accident) and you're on the hook for anything above that. Get at least $100k/$300k for third party liability ($200k/$500k would be better) if you have any assets at all and don't fancy a trip to the bankruptcy court if you happen to be involved in an accident.

[1] AKA toaster on wheels/SUV/box on wheels.
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Old Aug 3rd 2011, 8:51 pm
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Originally Posted by TimNiceBut View Post
Fully comp cover on old cars might not make sense - also keep in mind (I've been car shopping in LV, so I kinda know what I'm talking about) that the local idea of a decent used car and the UK idea of a decent used car is *miles* apart. There's no safety check here that's comparable to the MOT, just an emissions test in LV so older vehicles can be in a horrible state.

Basically a rule of thumb mentioned to me by a fellow car nut is that for a transport appliance[1] costing less than about $5k-$6k, you can pretty much budget at least a grand for immediate repairs. For 'interesting' cars, the level seems to be higher.

It also seems that the hourly cost of an independent mechanic is higher here than in the UK so getting stuff fixed also tends to be more expensive. A lot of people might have the oil changed regularly but drive cars into the ground otherwise so go buy something with both eyes open. Seriously. I was pretty good at buying reasonable cheap cars in the UK but so far I've only managed to buy crap for a lot more money over here.

Also, the minimum required insurance cover in NV is a joke - 25k (per person)/ $50k (per accident) and you're on the hook for anything above that. Get at least $100k/$300k for third party liability ($200k/$500k would be better) if you have any assets at all and don't fancy a trip to the bankruptcy court if you happen to be involved in an accident.

[1] AKA toaster on wheels/SUV/box on wheels.
Thanks for the info, some good advce. The Dodge we have been offered is from the person my husband is replacing (he is an ex pat, only selling as they are returning home after 4 years). My husband will be taking car ramps and tools as he is prepaired to do a few jobs himself.
The main point about the insurance issue is that we want to have enough cover to ensure that we are not fleeced in the event of a claim!
It seems odd that there is not an equivalent MOT type of test, they seem more interested in SMOG than safety.
The second car we will probably get something cheap like a Kia Rio/Hyundai accent Automatic, not nice cars but will do for what we need.

Regards,

Jo
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