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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Author
car insurance in USA

JMK
13/01/2010
11:04:00 PM
I am about to head off on my own road trip. I hear it is easy to buy a car in the USA but getting the car registered and getting insurance can be difficult and expensive. ANyone have experience with this. I saw somewhere where it was recommended to hire a car but the extra insurance costs were quite expensive often talking about over US$10 a day and this is a lot of bikkies for 90 days.

Also how difficult is it to stay longer than 90 days?
patto
Online Now
14/01/2010
12:55:51 AM
I had a car organised before I arrived. I had registration, insurance the works. It cost me ~$150 a month for insurance. ~$250 for registration and processing ~$2500 for the big 1998 Van that I bought. (insurance is always going to expensive in the US)

Since this was all organised beforehand I didn't spend any precious holiday time f---ing around with paperwork. I didn't face beauracracy in dealing with not having a pernament US address. I did take a risk because I dropped $2000 down payment to some dodgy 2bit organisation on the otherside of the world in total faith. To make matters worse I wired it to the dudes Swiss bank account! So risky & dodgy...

But it worked out fantastically. I got picked up from the airport by the guy (in a classic baby blue caddy), given the car and a nights accomodation at the caravan park. Car was as advertised. Ended up driving for almost 5 months without problems. Sold the car for $2000 but probably could have got more if I hadn't rushed the sale.

Let me know if you want to know more details.

Eduardo Slabofvic
14/01/2010
8:42:11 AM
The difficulty I encountered was that I could buy a car - no problem, and as I was in Kalifornicacia , I
could get it registered in my name once I had the "smog tags" - which the vendor had to have in order to
sell. The problem was that I couldn't get insurance as I did not have a Kalafornicacia drivers license, an International license that was valid in the U.S.A. did not count. I could not get a drivers license as I was
there on a tourist visa, but I could get a learners permit, and with a learners permit I could get insurance.
I just had to past the multiple choice learners permit test, where I needed to get at least 20 out of 25
questions correct. I got 19 correct. I drove around with no insurance.

Superstu
14/01/2010
9:01:59 AM
I remember the whole drama that you can't get insurance if you dont have a kalifornia license, but you can't get a license if you dont have a social security number, but you can get a piece of paper from the SS office saying you dont need a SS number because you don't live there. I was supposed to take that back to the license office but i'd had enough of american beuracracy by then.

In the end i bought insurance from some operator that specialised in dealing with overseas students (i said i was studying geology)

For 90 days, buying & selling could be a pain, and there are some cheap rentals out there.

Emissions tests are required to sell in Kalifornia, and are also a major pain... the fellow who sold me my jalopy must have pulled a dodgy, there was no way i could get the sucker to pass without sticking a sock or two up the exhaust pipe.

Interestingly, in Chile (South America) you need personal liability insurance and can get hassled if you dont have it. I got confused and went looking for car insurance, which they wouldn't sell to me because my car was more than 10 years old. More confused, I asked what I was supposed to do in this situation, which the lady behind the counter politely advised: "drive carefully senor".






patto
Online Now
14/01/2010
11:45:57 AM
On 14/01/2010 superstu wrote:
>Emissions tests are required to sell in Kalifornia, and are also a major
>pain... the fellow who sold me my jalopy must have pulled a dodgy, there
>was no way i could get the sucker to pass without sticking a sock or two
>up the exhaust pipe.

I sold my car in LA without worrying about Emissions tests. I think the buyer would have had to get an emissions test done before registering it though. Transfer was amazingly simple. There was a transfer slip on my vehicle title of ownership (something we don't have here). I just filled out the buyer's details on the title, signed it and handed over the keys. He handed me $2000 in fresh green money.

There is so much bullshit beuracracy in the US if you try to do anything when you are not a citizen. If you are going for less than 90 days it is better to rent.

All up my vehicle cost me about $1500 for 5 months, I was happy with that considering it was my home.
ZERO
14/01/2010
1:37:11 PM
I bought a car in Colorado in 2004, and had no trouble getting"cheap" insurance with AAA using my RACV reciprocal membership benefits (about US350 for 6 months). Insurance is compulsory in Colorado otherwise you cant get the car title, which you need to sell it.
But you didn't need the pollution papers there either.
I am pretty sure your Aussie driver's licence is valid in the US and Canada. I had no hassles using it for anything vehicular, or with Police.
jono_1
14/01/2010
6:00:01 PM
From experience $15 a day minimum for extra insurance in the US.

In Canada (Vancouver) it was easy for us to by a car and get insurance. Took 30minutes and absolutely no hassles. Several friends have done the same in Vancouver.

Miguel75
14/01/2010
6:01:06 PM
Hey JMK,

I have a US passport so what I share won't be of too much help though I'd recommend buying a car, if possible, anywhere but California due to the emissions laws. I've purchased cars in Washington, Idaho, Utah, California and Nevada and didn't have any issues except California. Lots of jumping through hoops for older cars due to emissions. I'm pretty sure my Aussie license was valid for 6 months; I believe there was a limit on the time it could be used before I had to get a US license.

I believe if you leave the US after 90 days, say to Canada for a week or two, and then return you should be ok. Staying longer than 90 days on the sly can be tricky. My good mate visited me when I lived in the US and for whatever reason overstayed his visa (under a week if I recall correctly). On his next trip to Whistler he flew into San Fran and found himself banned from entering the US for 3 years... He wasn't allowed to pass through customs to catch a connecting flight to Canadia so had to return home...
patto
Online Now
14/01/2010
6:46:16 PM
On 14/01/2010 Miguel75 wrote:
>I believe if you leave the US after 90 days, say to Canada for a week
>or two, and then return you should be ok.

No you wont be ok. Canada, Mexico, Caribbean doesnt count according to the US visa system. Though maybe you'll get away with it... but dont count on it.

JMK
14/01/2010
9:06:15 PM
Thanks guys. American Beaurocracy!!!!!

Reminds me of my mother in law when she visited good old USA. They want to finger print her - she says why - they answer "it is necessary to enter the land of the free" She says you don't know what free is - this is free and she chucks her Aussie passport at them.

I might try hiring - anyone know what the minimum insurance required is?

Miguel75
14/01/2010
10:08:49 PM
Thanks for the correction Patto. Any way you end up doing it JMK you'll have a great old time driving
through the US...

Chuck Norris
14/01/2010
10:49:48 PM
On 14/01/2010 jono_1 wrote:
>From experience $15 a day minimum for extra insurance in the US.
>
>In Canada (Vancouver) it was easy for us to by a car and get insurance.
>Took 30minutes and absolutely no hassles. Several friends have done the
>same in Vancouver.

Ditto - we did the same in victoria on vancouver island. It was so hassle free I forget the details.

You could do worse than start a road trip in vancouver - squamish and the bugaboos are awesome places to climb (sorry keeper but skaha is an ok crag and worth spending a day if you're passing by but I wouldn't buy an airticket to go climb there) then get your 90 days on the border. From there you can gun it to a load of places in the states.

Chuck Norris
14/01/2010
11:43:13 PM
Speaking of skaha despite the fact I spent an enjoyable day cragging there - I can only really remember one thing.

I was walking back to the car with that dreamlike feeling of exhaustion that you get after climbing all day and you've neither lunched nor watered oneself.

As I freebagged it through the long grass wondering if there really was a god, I disturbed a nest of hornets which proceded to lay 1000 stings against my testicular sac.

Since then no person no matter how persuasive could ever convince me of the existance of god.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
16/01/2010
10:42:51 PM
On 14/01/2010 stugang wrote:
>Speaking of skaha despite the fact I spent an enjoyable day cragging there
>- I can only really remember one thing.
>
>I was walking back to the car with that dreamlike feeling of exhaustion
>that you get after climbing all day and you've neither lunched nor watered
>oneself.
>
>As I freebagged it through the long grass wondering if there really was
>a god, I disturbed a nest of hornets which proceded to lay 1000 stings
>against my testicular sac.
>
>Since then no person no matter how persuasive could ever convince me of
>the existance of god.

So God is a female then?



I bought a car in Hawaii. The dude who sold it to me was a tourist like me, and gave me the transfer papers I was supposed to fill in and lodge with the authorities. He got them from the dude who sold him the car, who got them from the dude before that, etc...
I did likewise, and later sold the car for what I paid for it.
~> I guess that particular Ford Mustang was a bit like a 'leaver karabiner', always being passed on and never really finding an 'owner'.

JamesMc
Online Now
17/01/2010
9:17:59 AM
My experience was that car hire in USA is incredibly cheap, and insurance is incredibly expensive. (When I looked at the hire price, I thought it was just a bit more than in Australia, then I realised I was looking at the weekly rate, not the daily rate. They really stung me for insurance though.)

I'd suggest hire a car and get travel insurance that covers driving. Alternatively get yourself a credit car that pays for insurance (eg Amex) and use that to hire the car.

If you do want to buy a car, might be better to buy it in Nevada or wherever you go that's not CA.

No trouble with an Australian licence when hiring in America.

JamesMc
patto
Online Now
17/01/2010
10:37:29 AM
On 14/01/2010 stugang wrote:
>You could do worse than start a road trip in vancouver - squamish and
>the bugaboos are awesome places to climb (sorry keeper but skaha is an
>ok crag and worth spending a day if you're passing by but I wouldn't buy
>an airticket to go climb there) then get your 90 days on the border. From
>there you can gun it to a load of places in the states.

I third starting in canada. However for you to get your full 90days on the border you will have needed to have arrived in Canada without passing through the US.

Neil
17/01/2010
3:56:23 PM
I have done the US road trip thing too. We got a car in California which was probably a mistake - they were in general more expensive to buy/sell than anywhere else in the US due to smog laws etc (in 2007). We had an Australian and an international license, no probs there.

Insurance was easy too, through a broker. Cost was the same as i pay in Australia and not overly expensive or anything. You do need a US address but you can probably use the car yard address if you buy one from a yard.

Over 6 months it was cheaper to buy and sell a car than hire. But it was a bit stressful and took longer than we wanted to buy one at the beginning. Selling... we were just lucky and sold it hours after posting on craigslist.com.

I am planning to do something similar this year starting in Canada.
If anyone has any advice wrt buying / selling cars and insurance in Canada it would be welcome. Is canadian insurance fine for driving in the US ?

There are 17 messages in this topic.

 

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