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Is this a good deal? Plus general car/insurance advice

Is this a good deal? Plus general car/insurance advice

Old May 7th 2017, 6:54 pm
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Default Is this a good deal? Plus general car/insurance advice

Hi all,

Am 3 weeks away from our big move to LA and my biggest concern right now is cars. I need to acquire 2 as quickly as possible sonwas planning on leasing one through IAS and buying a used car as the 2nd

1) on the lease car with IAS, I'm considering a Ford Escape Titanium which with a 25% down payment, I've negotiated them down to 36 monthly payments of $250 including all taxes etc. Is this a good deal? Can anyone compare and advise please?

2) where would people recommend I look for a used car? Carmax/ Autotrader have been my go to places so far.
Could someone also enlighten me on if I'll be able to purchase a vehicle (outright with cash) in the absence of a permanent address (we're in 2 months temporary housing), my SSN and the CA driving license? I will of course be going to social office and DMV soon after my arrival but need the car for work ASAP (a hire car would be my backup option).

3) car insurance is really expensive isn't it? I've had a couple of quotes already for over $3000 for 6 months for 2 cars. Is it really going to cost me this much?

Thanks so much in advance for any tips and advice.
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Old May 7th 2017, 7:16 pm
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Default Re: Is this a good deal? Plus general car/insurance advice

Originally Posted by Surreyguy24 View Post
1) on the lease car with IAS, I'm considering a Ford Escape Titanium which with a 25% down payment, I've negotiated them down to 36 monthly payments of $250 including all taxes etc. Is this a good deal? Can anyone compare and advise please?
No idea. We have 2 cars bought outright, one new and one used.

Originally Posted by Surreyguy24 View Post
2) where would people recommend I look for a used car? Carmax/ Autotrader have been my go to places so far.
Could someone also enlighten me on if I'll be able to purchase a vehicle (outright with cash) in the absence of a permanent address (we're in 2 months temporary housing), my SSN and the CA driving license? I will of course be going to social office and DMV soon after my arrival but need the car for work ASAP (a hire car would be my backup option).
I used Carmax for my car purchase. My wife bought hers new from a Nissan dealership. We both paid cash for the purchases.

I remember that it made things simpler that I had a NC licence and SSN. In hindsight i'm not sure what they needed the SSN for as I wasn't taking credit. Perhaps it was for an identity check. I remember when I was watching the computer there were options for if I didn't have a US licence, but i'm not sure what their policy is.

They then wrote up a temporary plate and I received a physical plate, title and bill for property tax a couple weeks later in the mail.

Originally Posted by Surreyguy24 View Post
3) car insurance is really expensive isn't it? I've had a couple of quotes already for over $3000 for 6 months for 2 cars. Is it really going to cost me this much?
Our annual premium is $2,216 for two cars. I found Liberty Mutual to be the "cheapest" as they took my UK driving record into account.
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Old May 7th 2017, 10:07 pm
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Default Re: Is this a good deal? Plus general car/insurance advice

Originally Posted by Surreyguy24 View Post
Hi all,

Am 3 weeks away from our big move to LA and my biggest concern right now is cars. I need to acquire 2 as quickly as possible sonwas planning on leasing one through IAS and buying a used car as the 2nd

1) on the lease car with IAS, I'm considering a Ford Escape Titanium which with a 25% down payment, I've negotiated them down to 36 monthly payments of $250 including all taxes etc. Is this a good deal? Can anyone compare and advise please?

2) where would people recommend I look for a used car? Carmax/ Autotrader have been my go to places so far.
Could someone also enlighten me on if I'll be able to purchase a vehicle (outright with cash) in the absence of a permanent address (we're in 2 months temporary housing), my SSN and the CA driving license? I will of course be going to social office and DMV soon after my arrival but need the car for work ASAP (a hire car would be my backup option).

3) car insurance is really expensive isn't it? I've had a couple of quotes already for over $3000 for 6 months for 2 cars. Is it really going to cost me this much?

Thanks so much in advance for any tips and advice.
There is another poster that is currently negotiating with IAS. Madrigal, you should send them a pm. How much is the deposit? 25% of what?

Ask IAS to throw in AIG Inbound USA and then get them onto the insurance for you. They sent us to Liberty Mutual when we first arrived and they were the cheapest by a long way.

If your car with IAS is not ready when you get here then ask for a rental car until you get it.

Not sure about buying a car in CA but someone will be along who does know. Otherwise google buying and registering a used car in california.
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Old May 7th 2017, 11:38 pm
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Default Re: Is this a good deal? Plus general car/insurance advice

Originally Posted by Surreyguy24 View Post
Hi all,

Am 3 weeks away from our big move to LA and my biggest concern right now is cars. I need to acquire 2 as quickly as possible sonwas planning on leasing one through IAS and buying a used car as the 2nd

2) where would people recommend I look for a used car? Carmax/ Autotrader have been my go to places so far.
Could someone also enlighten me on if I'll be able to purchase a vehicle (outright with cash) in the absence of a permanent address (we're in 2 months temporary housing), my SSN and the CA driving license? I will of course be going to social office and DMV soon after my arrival but need the car for work ASAP (a hire car would be my backup option).

Thanks so much in advance for any tips and advice.
On point 2, I bought my car outright from Carmax. I don't have an SSN being the dependent spouse. They used all 1s in the SSN field IIRC. The address used for my registration and title was my temporary one. The licence plate was fed ex'd in time without hiccup but the title docs just missed me and were returned to DMV who rang me. I had just updated my address online and they were resent no drama. I started the purchase process on my UK licence. They would've sold to me but the process of transfer (I wanted a vehicle from another Franchise) took a couple of weeks and I had my TN licence by then anyway. You can't test drive on a uk licence, so you are a passenger on the test drive!. So getting your US licence is advantageous.
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Old May 11th 2017, 11:27 am
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Default Re: Is this a good deal? Plus general car/insurance advice

If I were you I'd want to be 'on the ground' so I could be absolutely sure I'm not getting ripped off by anyone and have to pay for it for the next umpteen years - in terms of money charged, over-valuation of the car, the cars history, if it's a patched crash repair, and the general deal your getting etc etc.

If you have 25% downpayment for a lease, I'd seriously consider buying a couple of old Hondas/Toyotas from Craigs list. There are tons of used cars on there all the time, and $3k will buy you something roadworthy and fairly reliable. As there's so many of them everyday, waiting until you get here shouldn't be an issue, but if you're that concerned you could start looking a week or so prior to arriving. Google Craigslist LA and have a poke around. Don't be alarmed by CL - it's had some high profile bad cases of entrapment in the past in UK papers, and people try and sell kinds of stuff on there which gave it a 'dodgy' rep back home, but for normal things like household good, cars - just about anything, Craigslist is what people use and it's a great community. Great free section too for tat like air con units and furniture.

Anyway - once you're settled in and comfortable with what you want and where you're going to get it, you can sell said Hondas on CL again and make your cash back.

If you want any advice on the main alarms or what to look for when mechanically assessing a used car, send me a PM and I'll make a check list.

Insurance is STEEP here on just about anything you buy in comparison to the UK. Expect to pay upwards from $1300 per year for third party only cover in your first year - and say it's garaged.
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Old May 12th 2017, 11:54 pm
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Default Re: Is this a good deal? Plus general car/insurance advice

Originally Posted by Doubledave View Post
Insurance is STEEP here on just about anything you buy in comparison to the UK. Expect to pay upwards from $1300 per year for third party only cover in your first year - and say it's garaged.
Whatever you do: don't commit fraud on insurance applications.
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Old May 13th 2017, 1:55 am
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Default Re: Is this a good deal? Plus general car/insurance advice

Originally Posted by tom169 View Post
Whatever you do: don't commit fraud on insurance applications.
Well that's an out and out bad idea of course, but having insurance you daren't claim on is pretty pointless. If that is the route you want to go to down it is better, IMO, to jack up the deductible (excess) to get a lower premium. Most Americans seem to delight in having ultra-low deductibles and then claiming for example every ding and nick. .... Our local windscreen installer struggled to understand why we were paying cash for replacements - we had four in the first six years we were here.

The simple fact was that we saved much more than the cost of a windscreen every year in premiums by having a deductible that was greater than the cost of a windscreen.
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Old May 13th 2017, 2:47 pm
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Default Re: Is this a good deal? Plus general car/insurance advice

Don't know if this helps but we just leased a CRV through Honda. $1900 down, 15k miles a year, $300 a month payment on a $27k car. That was with an excellent credit record.

We pay $1300 a year to insure three vehicles (they all cost the same to insure basically). We have a $500 deductible and pretty high limits. I believe Maine has cheap insurance though. I went through an agent and halved our premiums compared to what we were paying for Geico.
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