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Help Please Sorting Out Relocation Pacakge

Help Please Sorting Out Relocation Pacakge

Old Feb 25th 2019, 4:05 pm
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Default Help Please Sorting Out Relocation Pacakge

Hi I am hoping you can help. My husband has been offered a job in Florida and we are in the middle of negotiating a relocation package. We have already applied for the L1 visa in the US. I have a number of questions

1) We currently have our cars on lease through BMW. Is this something we will be able to do in America (as we will have no credit history). If not is my only option to purchase?
2) How much does it cost to get a Floridian driving licence?
3) How do you manage the At will employment? This worries the hell out of me!
4) How much roughly will the utilities be? We will be renting a house approx 2,000 sqft. I have searched everywhere and can not find a rough figure.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old Feb 25th 2019, 4:13 pm
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Default Re: Help Please Sorting Out Relocation Pacakge

Hi and welcome to BE

You can't get an L! visa in the US. They are only available from outside of the US at the US Consulate/Embassy.

1. Of course you can rent vehicles in the US and in Florida particularly. If you stay with BMW, perhaps they will consider your UK credit rating.

2. You will have to look it up on the Florida State motor vehicle site. Pulaski just gave that information on a post about 2 hours ago for some moving to Orlando, Florida. BTW in the US it is called driver's license. It helps to use that term when googling for information. Here is that link: https://www.flhsmv.gov/driver-licens...ing/immigrant/ I would be more concerned with the cost of car insurance in the US and whether or not your driving record in the UK will be taken into account.

3. Every American handles it well. Actually, it is doubtful that 99% of the Americans even think about it. It is worrisome for you because if your husband's employment is ended, so is the visa.

4. Anyway from $100 to $250 per month ... it depends on how high your use of air conditioning, if you have a swimming pool, electronics, people home all day.

Please do a search for Florida questions in the USA forum. It is one of the most popular destinations for Brits along with California. Lots of your questions will be answered in those posts.

Last edited by Rete; Feb 25th 2019 at 4:17 pm.
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Old Feb 25th 2019, 4:23 pm
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Default Re: Help Please Sorting Out Relocation Pacakge

Thank you, sorry I meant the visa has been requested through the solicitors in the states, so the I94 possibly.

Oh ok that is a great point thank you. I have tried googling from the UK but either only UK sites come up, or just short term rentals. I will look at BMW direct (no idea why I didn't think of that)

Thanks for your help, I will try searching Florida in the forum and see what comes up.

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Old Feb 25th 2019, 4:29 pm
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Default Re: Help Please Sorting Out Relocation Pacakge

Originally Posted by clast View Post
Hi I am hoping you can help. My husband has been offered a job in Florida and we are in the middle of negotiating a relocation package. We have already applied for the L1 visa in the US. I have a number of questions

1) We currently have our cars on lease through BMW. Is this something we will be able to do in America (as we will have no credit history). If not is my only option to purchase? ….
Leasing is a popular way to "own" a car here in the US too, also look at new immigrant/ expat finance which some manufacturers offer, including VW Audi and Ford. I suspect that most if not all manufacturers have some sort of financing arrangements for new immigrants. Also take a look at International Autosource. which I myself used, as they will pre-order a car for you, and finance it on standard US terms based on your existing credit history i.e. outside the US. the main drawback is that you have to signup and pay a deposit before you arrive in the US - and they only work with some manufacturers.
2) How much does it cost to get a Floridian driving licence? ….
Per Rete, above, this is what I posted earlier today. Not sure about the cost, but it isn't much - I'd guess less than $100, and given that the test is pretty much a joke you really shouldn't need any lessons - just stop at the STOP signs, and try to avoid killing more than one person during the road test, which given that most Florida tests take place in a car park or special set-aside course, shouldn't be too challenging,
Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Yes you need a Florida drivers license - this page has the requirements. I don't immediately see the allowed time, but you only have 30 days to register a car brought into Florida (for those moving within the US), so I expect that you also only have 30 days to get your drivers license, as for most people the two things go hand in hand. Obviously this is going to be fairly tight, but you will be OK so long as you start the process even if you can't get the road test completed within 30 days - just carry documentation to show that you are in the process of getting your FL drivers license in the unlikely event that you are stopped and asked for it.*

That said, the "road test" in all US states is a pretty pathetic test of driving ability, and the test in Florida, from everything I have heard, is weaker than most, with the "road test" often being completed in a car park or paved area set aside for the "road test", so you can pas your "road test" without driving on an actual road! ….. But do check what information you are expected to know for the "written" (computer based) test, as that can catch you out. Things that seem to be favorite topics are things like drink driving penalties, road signs, and rules about driving near school buses.

* Anecdotally, from a few reports over the years here on BE, police (not necessarily in FL) the police are usually unconcerned about not yet having obtained a local drivers license, or are actually unaware what the correct time limit even is!
3) How do you manage the At will employment? This worries the hell out of me! ….
Don't think about it, it really isn't an issue, and IME employers often struggle to keep "good" employees, so the idea that you'll just be fired for some random reason really doesn't happen.
4) How much roughly will the utilities be? We will be renting a house approx 2,000 sqft. I have searched everywhere and can not find a rough figure. ….
Not 100% sure for Florida, but I'd guess around $100 for water, and maybe around $250-$400 for electricity, mostly to run your AC, but will vary based on how cool you like your home and how well insulated it is. Heating is going to be negligible.

Cable for internet/ TV around $100, more if you want the premium sports and movie channels. Around $50-$70/mth /phone for cell phone service, but you may want to start our with PAYG as it is much cheaper, and easier too when you have no credit history.

Local taxes are linked to ownership of the property, so you don't have anything comparable to council tax in the US if you're renting as the cost of the tax on the property is embedded in the rent payment.

Last edited by Pulaski; Feb 25th 2019 at 4:37 pm.
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Old Feb 25th 2019, 4:35 pm
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Default Re: Help Please Sorting Out Relocation Pacakge

You should be able to lease vehicles, relocation and guidance on such issues is usually part of the package.

No idea but de minimis

Manage? As an employer or an employee, works both ways, presumably he will keep whatever deal he has now?

I would ask your Realtor, sort of information they should have access to.
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Old Feb 25th 2019, 8:37 pm
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Default Re: Help Please Sorting Out Relocation Pacakge

Originally Posted by clast View Post
3) How do you manage the At will employment? This worries the hell out of me!
It is not a legal requirement, is is an option employers have, you can negotiate. You may want to include repatriation costs in the contract to pay for lease break costs on the house and cars, and the cost of moving home if you are worried, that will also act as a disincentive to terminate at will.
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Old Feb 26th 2019, 2:41 am
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Default Re: Help Please Sorting Out Relocation Pacakge

We used International Autosource for the leases for our cars when we came out in 2017 and they were excellent. You have to arrange the leases before you move over but l was happy to have this in place and one thing less to arrange on arrival.
They do their best deals on Fords but they can source other manufacturers. Do negotiate with them thou.
You can go directly to Ford, Mazda or VW, they all have expat deals but you will struggle to lease with many other manufacturers because of your lack of credit rating.
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Old Feb 26th 2019, 11:42 am
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Default Re: Help Please Sorting Out Relocation Pacakge

Volvo has a new program that is like a lease but is more encompassing. They call it a 'subscription' where you get the car + insurance + regular maintenance for one set fee. A few other brands (Mercedes) are also looking at this and is a nice convenient option if you want to avoid dealing with all the bits and bobs associated with car ownership. Not sure on the international persons availability issue of it as it is a rather new program.

https://www.volvocars.com/us/shoppin.../care-by-volvo

As for "at will" seriously don't worry. You can and should negotiate into your agreement a "two-week notice period" (or even longer) where you are paid for XX days should you get fired, but as others have noted they aren't going to fire you for just sneezing funny or something like that. Most Americans don't even think about it.
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Old Feb 27th 2019, 1:04 am
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Default Re: Help Please Sorting Out Relocation Pacakge

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post

Not 100% sure for Florida, but I'd guess around $100 for water, and maybe around $250-$400 for electricity, mostly to run your AC, but will vary based on how cool you like your home and how well insulated it is. Heating is going to be negligible.

Cable for internet/ TV around $100, more if you want the premium sports and movie channels. Around $50-$70/mth /phone for cell phone service, but you may want to start our with PAYG as it is much cheaper, and easier too when you have no credit history.

Local taxes are linked to ownership of the property, so you don't have anything comparable to council tax in the US if you're renting as the cost of the tax on the property is embedded in the rent payment.
My tuppence:
Does very much depend upon which area of FL you end up in. We're kinda rural but the area is rapidly becoming one huge housing estate ('sub division' in the local lingo), our utilities are slightly skewed from city dwellers numbers because we have our own well and neighbouring septic tank.
Spectrum provide us with unlimited service for two mobiles, unlimited internet and the most basic of cable packages for $150/m - get used to slow internet, Florida is on par with Bulgaria, possibly slower and get used to regular power cuts in the rainy season.
Electric from one of the smaller companies is much cheaper than FPL but you don't get to choose your provider, about $170/m in the winter months, $200/m for the rest of the year.
No water or waste costs but our electricity bill is ramped up slightly by the well pump.
Trash collection is about $15/m

Driving license was cheap, registering first vehicle in Florida is absolute bloody extortion but I assume the leasing company picks up that tab if it's not your vehicle.
Can't remember the vehicle insurance costs offhand but they'll make your eyes water!
Unleaded is about $2.299/US gallon at the moment but any savings in price at the pump will be more than offset by the increased mileage you'll be driving.

Edit: We keep the A/C at 73F, which took me some getting used to, any cooler than that and our electric soars, I begrudgingly let the missus set the heating at 63F - we had a reasonably long cool snap this year so the heating was on for about two or three weeks in total...

Last edited by zzrmark; Feb 27th 2019 at 1:13 am.
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Old Feb 27th 2019, 1:13 am
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Default Re: Help Please Sorting Out Relocation Pacakge

I got a BMW when I arrived as they have a global leasing program and use your UK credit score. It was really easy and no different than getting a car in the UK.

The other thing I would advise is to get an American Express card, if you don’t already have one. Once you have held one they do a global transfer scheme and you can get a US American Express Card. Makes it so much easier to build a US credit score.
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Old Feb 27th 2019, 1:05 pm
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Default Re: Help Please Sorting Out Relocation Pacakge

Originally Posted by zzrmark View Post
... No water or waste costs but our electricity bill is ramped up slightly by the well pump. .....
I don't think I well pump has any discernible impact on our electricity bill, so I would say the impact is very slight indeed. I would perhaps comparing it to saying that a fridge ramps up your electricity bill.
.... Unleaded is about $2.299/US gallon at the moment but any savings in price at the pump will be more than offset by the increased mileage you'll be driving. ....
This is way more true than you would ever believe until you have lived here. Everything here sprawls and is further apart - driving half an hour for lunch or an hour for dinner suddenly seems normal. When I moved here I didn't save a bean on petrol - I just bought four times as much and drove four times as far!

... We keep the A/C at 73F, which took me some getting used to, any cooler than that and our electric soars .....
Also depends on how well your house is insulated, whether it is in the shade of any trees, and which way the windows point. .... In the summer we keep our blinds closed on the windows facing SE and SW, and that makes a significant difference to how hard the AC has to work.
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Old Feb 27th 2019, 6:24 pm
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Default Re: Help Please Sorting Out Relocation Pacakge

FWIW

$500 a month electricity in summer to cool.
$200 a month in winter to heat.

(I remember when we had a two story house. I accidentally set the upstairs thermo to cool, and the downstairs one to heat....They had a costly fight...)

Last edited by Hotscot; Feb 27th 2019 at 6:27 pm.
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Old Feb 27th 2019, 11:08 pm
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Default Re: Help Please Sorting Out Relocation Pacakge

Originally Posted by Hotscot View Post
FWIW

$500 a month electricity in summer to cool.
$200 a month in winter to heat.

(I remember when we had a two story house. I accidentally set the upstairs thermo to cool, and the downstairs one to heat....They had a costly fight...)
good grief! I'm not moving to Hotscot country!
Texas - I budget $180 every month for air con/heating it's always been enough averaged over the year. I have an almost 3000sq ft house with 2 hvac units. House cooled to 78F during the day when I'm out, 74F when I'm in and 72 overnight.
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Old Mar 28th 2019, 6:00 pm
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Default Re: Help Please Sorting Out Relocation Pacakge

Hi clast! If you head over to the International AutoSource partner forum we will be able to answer all your questions about purchasing a vehicle there. The link is below:
https://britishexpats.com/forum/inte...e-rentals-219/
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