#1 8-17-2017 1:46 AM

skyemaya
Brighton, England
Couch Potato
Posts: 3

Buying a car in San Fran

Hi travel buds,

I'm looking to buy a car in San Fran to travel around for the next 3 months or so and know I need a smog certificate and wondered if anyone had some advice?

A Couchsurfer had a good idea about asking at the hostels for onward going travels who might be selling theirs.

Any recommendations would be great!

Many thanks,

Skye

 

#2 8-17-2017 4:26 AM

kvom
Kirk
Cumming, Georgia
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Re: Buying a car in San Fran

My advice is not to do it.  Too many hurdles and a lot of financial risk.

 

#3 8-17-2017 5:49 AM

katzgar
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Re: Buying a car in San Fran

You will need an address to register the car to

 

#4 8-17-2017 7:57 AM

skyemaya
Brighton, England
Couch Potato
Posts: 3

Re: Buying a car in San Fran

katzgar wrote:

You will need an address to register the car to

Thanks for the heads up! That's what I've been discovering. I have friends of the family in Cali and Boston so they might help.

 

#5 8-17-2017 8:00 AM

skyemaya
Brighton, England
Couch Potato
Posts: 3

Re: Buying a car in San Fran

Thanks Kvom! I know it's super risky so once I have my feet on US soil I may change my mind but the freedom it'll give is alluring! Thanks for the advice though :-)

kvom wrote:

My advice is not to do it.  Too many hurdles and a lot of financial risk.

 

#6 8-17-2017 1:22 PM

Dymphna
Lee Ann
Montana, United States
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Re: Buying a car in San Fran

You are also going to need insurance on the car. Insurance is typically sold in 6 month blocks from insurance companies. Then you are going to need a way to sell it in the end. You might talk to a dealership about a 3 month lease and see if you can talk them down to it. Most leases are for 6 months, but you never know.

 

#7 8-18-2017 3:40 PM

katzgar
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Wanderer
Posts: 297

Re: Buying a car in San Fran

Having family in the u.s. changes things a lot.  I don't know the legalities but either work with them to use one of their cars or work with them to buy a car in their name so it's easily disposed of when you leave.

 

#8 8-19-2017 9:00 AM

grandmar
RosalieAnn
Leonardtown, Maryland
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Re: Buying a car in San Fran

Back in the days of VT someone wanted to do this, and my grandson had a car in California (registered in SC) that he might have sold - the person wanting to buy the car had family in GA (where he was going to go) and I think he had a US driver's license and could use his family's address for insurance and registration.  I don't remember all the specifics, but in the end it was just not practical.

At one point when we were on our boat in Florida and wanted a car to get around town, we thought of buying a beater, but in Florida if you were buying a car in Florida (and not trading one in) they required a $500 deposit, and since we only wanted to spend about that amount, it made the whole thing impractical.  In the end we just rented a car one week a month to do the major shopping.

The only thing I can suggest is just leasing a car from a car rental company (not from a dealer as their leases are multi-year) for the time you will be there.

Last edited by grandmar (8-19-2017 9:02 AM)

 

#9 8-20-2017 3:29 AM

kvom
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Cumming, Georgia
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Re: Buying a car in San Fran

I will only add that cheap cars are cheap for a reason.  If you don't have the means to handle breaking down in the middle of wherever then you're screwed.  Expenses are purchase, insurance, taxes, repairs and towing.  Plus obtaining the title documents before the end of the trip I(needed to sell it) can take a while.

 
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