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Forums > Help! > Car Hire in America

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PyroWill
GOLD Member since Aug 2004

PyroWill

HoP's Barman. Trapped aged 6 months
Location: Staines, United Kingdom

Total posts: 4437
Posted:Me and my friend have agreed that we will spen next summer driving around the states, something ive watned to do for most of my life, now we are either gonna hire a car, or go out there and just buy a really cheap chevy or something and just drive.



If we chose to hire a car does anyone know the conditions of car hire in the states? like do you have to be over 21 or 25? and do u have to of been driving for say 3 years or so, we'll both be 21 when we go. Personally considering we'll be doing it over a two month stretch i think its better off we just buy a cheap car out there, does anyone think u could get a car out there that'll handle it for under $1000? i literally want to drive from east to west, or other way around


An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind

Give a man a fish and he'll eat 4 a day hit a man with a brick and you can have all his fish and his wife

"Will's to pretty for prison" - Simian

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MikeIcon
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

MikeIcon

Pooh-Bah
Location: Philadelphia, PA - USA

Total posts: 2109
Posted:Im sure you could get a beater for 1000 that would last you the trip... As long as you know enough about cars to find one in decent shape. If you know anyone over here, talk to them and have em keep an eye out for you.



Also, if you find yourself in or near Philadelphia gimme a hollar.


Let's turn those old bridges we crossed into ashes.
We'll blaze a new trail,
and torch the rough patches.

-Me

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vanize
SILVER Member since Aug 2001

vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas, USA

Total posts: 3899
Posted:SOME comapanies will let you rent a car when you are under 25, but the rate will be expensive.

You can certainly find a car for perhaps ~$1000 that is *likely* to come through for you for the entire trip, but there is always a fair chance with any car that age of breakdown.

I think you are better off buying a mechanically sound beater, putting some new tires on it, and using that instead of renting. renting a car for 2 months and then incurring a drop off fee at the other end of the country is going to really cost! best I can tell, $1500 minimum, and probably a fair sight more.

So here is my tip - get an american brand car (like a chevy or ford). the quality is lower than say a honda or toyota, but repair is significantly cheaper, a LOT more places serive them, parts are easier to come by, and their value for the same running condition is lower.

note that bying a car on the east coast (say new york or boston) or west coast (almost anywhere) will be more expensive than buying one in the middle of the country. Though actually Philly may not be a bad place to find a cheap car.

I may be back in the states by that time - either in texas or colorado, so keep in touch.


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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PyroWill
GOLD Member since Aug 2004

PyroWill

HoP's Barman. Trapped aged 6 months
Location: Staines, United Kingdom

Total posts: 4437
Posted:Thanks for both your adivce guys.

I reckon we'll buy a car, i've always wanted to go to the US and buy a chevy or something, its part of the fantasy biggrin


An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind

Give a man a fish and he'll eat 4 a day hit a man with a brick and you can have all his fish and his wife

"Will's to pretty for prison" - Simian

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spritie
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

spritie

Pooh-Bah
Location: Galveston, TX, USA

Total posts: 2014
Posted:Also, depending on where you plan on driving (whether it is the southern US or the northern route across), you may want to make sure the A/C in the car works. It gets mighty toasty if you plan to drive across TX, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and also the interior parts of California.

Other than that, I agree with Vanize's assessment. You can rent a car if you are under 25, but you will pay more and it will be slightly more difficult to do so (i.e. not all rental places will rent to you).


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Dom
BRONZE Member since Dec 2001

Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK

Total posts: 3009
Posted:Car hire in the US adds up quickl. I seem to recall once finding it cheaper to hire a car in the US via a UK middle company. And it was a lot less hassle too. So check out some sites. The under 25 thing is going to cause a bit of hassle though.

In California I once hired an economy car - and got a convertible red Mustang with a bonnet bigger than most Brit cars. And actually got asked "Is that upgrade OK for you sir?". Grab the keys and run....


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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:In california you can rent cars at 21 (and even younger) at most any company if not all, and some don't even charge you extra for it (oddly). Weekly rates are always cheaper, but yeah it adds up quick, i recall seeing about $175/week but if you go more than an average of 70 miles a day they charge you arms and legs worth of mileage like 30c/mile or so... more even sometimes... i think in most states the under 24/25 thing will haunt you tho, in terms of price... and of course drop off fees can get bad if you don't drive back, although consider going north one way and south the other cause its all different and round trip plane tix are cheaper too, plus no drop off problems.

as for buying the anser is yes, but

it takes some doing- many cars under that price won't, and you have to be pretty knowledgable to avoid danger.
you still need to buy insurance, which will be expensive, might not be able to be done short term, and might be hard without an address
you still need to pay for registration, which also might not be possible without an address, and is a good $100 or so often
in some states you need to pay for smog, altho buyer is supposed to do that for you in CA, but not in CT for example. there you pay.

so prolly wayyyyy too much hassle- and aweful expensive in the end, cause under about $600 cars arn't likely to take the abuse... might see if you can lease a car from a company for those months, altho i don't know if you can do it that short term, but a very servicable car can be leased for under $200/mo and you get at least 2-3k miles on it a month.
don't bother with new tires if they arn't bare or shredding- but pay attention, cause once they start shredding they'll need replacement within 1000miles or a week or two or so.


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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vanize
SILVER Member since Aug 2001

vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas, USA

Total posts: 3899
Posted:good point about the insurance.

registration isn't a problem in most states unless it is already expired when you buy the car. usually it will carry over till the previous registration expires even when sold.

you will have to do tax title and licence though - and you'll need insurance for that.

the thing to do is buy the car, do the TT&L in an american friends name who already has insurance, get him to insure the car for minimum liability coverage and third party drivers, and pay him or the cost of two months insurance (probably $100 or so). This will add slightly to the hassle of selling the car, but in the states someone can sign a bill of sale as a proxy for the owner provided there is some proof that you have the owners authority to do so (my brother recently sold my car while I was here in germany for example).

It may be that you can find a good deal on a car rental - but beware of catch-22s (like mileage charges, as mentioned above) that will end up making the whole thing cost wildly more than you expected.


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:vanize, where on earth do YOU get two months insurance for $100, let alone if you are
an unmarried 21yo boy?

I have a 95 toyota with safety features no claims in a cheap zip code which comes in at about $240 for that time.... want your insurance company...... even my mum pays like $160 in that time and her cars old too.

which is another point. insurance in a suburb not on a coast is sooo much cheaper... try and make a friend there smile


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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spritie
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

spritie

Pooh-Bah
Location: Galveston, TX, USA

Total posts: 2014
Posted:It is cheaper if you only have the bare minimum required insurance...i.e. no comprehensive coverage, no uninsured motorist, that sort of thing. I pay about $300 for 6 months, so it is doable. I forgot thought that the person looking is male and under 25, and probably not married which do all increase the rates greatly.

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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted:dont rent a car if you want long term / high milage - we got stung when there for 7 weeks in 2001..the insurance was as much as the car hire! and that was the cheapest of 4 companies we looked at...

give purchase money to an american friend to buy a car that you like, and then loan it from them for your trip. Sell it at the end and if all goes well it might not even cost you very much?...although if you own the car and it dies completely, your holiday plans may have to change smile go on the web, and do some research on what model / year / milage / price is good for you. then find it in a buyers guide, and see if the price suits. If its all good, look up a site that discusses common faults in that car and how to test for them. That way you will maximise the chances of you not buying a complete lemon, or at least one that may only have limited faults, that can be fixed easily.

Often there are companies that specialise in prepurchase vehicle inspections for reasonable rates - you might want to consider this service if you arent sure about picking one yourself. Your American friend might be able to help in all this.


--
Help! My personality got stuck in this signature machine and I cant get it out!

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spritie
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

spritie

Pooh-Bah
Location: Galveston, TX, USA

Total posts: 2014
Posted:Part of the key to insurance is not telling them you only want it for 2 months. Get the year policy, and then remember to cancel it when you head home.

If you rent a car, you are not required to show proof of insurance, so it shouldn't be an issue then. You can opt. to get extra insurance from the rental company, but that only comes in handy if you do have some sort of wreck in their vehicle.


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TheBovrilMonkey
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England

Total posts: 2629
Posted:Tell you what Will, take me along with you and I'll do the driving, since I'll be 26/27 next summer the insurance should be cheaper.

Then all we'd have to do is find an orangutan named Clyde to come with us and my dream of driving around America would be complete too biggrin tongue


But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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