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Old 28-07-2015, 08:52   #1
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Buying/renting a car

Hi there,

we just arrived in Camden, NC, where we plan to spend the summer. We have been traveling for ten month and covered 8200 miles, so it's time to get some rest and live a landlive as a liveaboard in a marina.

We plan to stay here for two to three month. So we need some transportation. The Marinas offers a courtesy car, but we cannot use it for longer trips up to Maine and Virginia. I have some work to do (as a journalist) up there.

So what would be the best way to get a car? To buy a cheap one (and sell it later) - or rent one? We are from Germany, so thats all new for us

Kind regards,

Johannes
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Old 28-07-2015, 09:20   #2
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Re: Buying/renting a car

Welcome to the USA!

You might want to explore the option of using the marina car for short trips around town then rent a car for your longer trips to Virginia or Maine.

If you buy, you will have to worry about insurance, registration, taxes, maintenance, etc...plus you'll have to sell it when you leave.

You might also check Amtrak and bus lines to see if they will meet your long distance needs.
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Old 28-07-2015, 11:11   #3
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Re: Buying/renting a car

Welcome to the US! Hope you enjoy your travels here and elsewhere.

We bought little used cars in both Mexico and New Zealand since we were going to be in each place for a year. In each case, the difference between what we paid and what we sold the cars for was about $1,000. Plus we had to get insurance, license plates, etc. The taxes and fees you pay will depend on which state you "reside" in but they will be similar in each state.

You'll have to look in to your individual driver license issue which may be different than with a rental car. We had no problem getting suitable licenses in MX and NZ.

It was worth it for us to buy. We never had to worry about more reservations/paperwork/etc. and I know we went more places in the cars than we would have without them. The US Northeast has more transit facilities than most other places but you are still limited by schedules, but more important, by your knowledge of those schedules, connections, etc.

The cars we got were VERY cheap and we did have to do some minor repairs but we had safety inspections and had good tires and good equipment. We never had a breakdown. But I would be very careful where I bought a car and do some basic research on the dealer. And beware of salvaged cars from flooding etc. It is illegal to sell such a car without notice but it does seem to happen.

You will not likely want to take your car to New York City but other cities are easy by car. Parking can be very expensive in the major cities though.

Good luck.
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Old 28-07-2015, 11:48   #4
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Re: Buying/renting a car

Two to three months may be more of a rental situation, either long term (monthly), or just short term rentals/taxi when you have the need.

Buying a car would require sales tax, insurance, registration fees, and general hassle factor.

Find a cheap car rental place near where you are going to be. If you have a German license, that's sufficient. Insurance is likely to be the sticking point.
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Old 28-07-2015, 12:00   #5
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Re: Buying/renting a car

I'd buy an older car, being German you may be surprised to find that older BIG American cars can be bought pretty cheap. A lot of Germans in US Army flight school in Ft. Rucker Alabama would buy a big old US car, like an old Cadillac more as an experience and for fun than anything. Over here we do not tax big old gas guzzling cars like maybe your used to, at least I remember that when I lived in Germany that there was an extra tax for big cars? Plus compared to Europe, gas here is cheap.
Yes you have to register and insure the thing, but it's not very expensive
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Old 28-07-2015, 13:00   #6
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Re: Buying/renting a car

Craig's list or Ebay!!!!! If you shop judiciously, know what cars have a good resale market, and are a good bargainer might even make money on a used car. Would check into a long term rental, however. The lack of hassle with not having to by and sell might be worth it.
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Old 28-07-2015, 14:29   #7
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Re: Buying/renting a car

By the way, the cheapest rental places are usually local, not national agencies, if you can find one.
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Old 29-07-2015, 12:21   #8
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Re: Buying/renting a car

Thanks a lot for all the answers!

I asked a some rental-car-stations, even a local car dealer, but the cheapest rate would be about 1000 Dollars a month, including insurance. So buying one seems to be the better choice.

I just found a very nice and reliable car with helpful owner, who already offered to bring us the car to the marina. But I was not able to find out yet, if it is possible for me to get a registration for it.

Another german told be, that he was not able to get a car registerted with his B1/B2-Visa. And I found out that german students who are here for a year to study are allowed to register a car. I am here with a I(Media/Journalist)-Visa, that also allows me to study at university. So it could be pretty much the same.

Who could I ask?
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Old 29-07-2015, 13:02   #9
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Re: Buying/renting a car

If it would be in New Jersey, it would be a NJ state department. I found this: New Jersey Car Registration Guide - Renewals, Online & Mail Options, Forms, & Fees | DMV.org I would be surprised if you are not able to register a car. You will most likely have to have a "permanent" physcial (not PO box) address that is in NJ but not sure that is the case. Good luck.

I also found this since it said on the first one stated that you would need proof of your US Social Security Number and of course you would not have one:
http://www.state.nj.us/mvc/Licenses/...ctor/index.htm
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Old 30-07-2015, 15:12   #10
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Re: Buying/renting a car

If you have to have a car contionously, then buying makes more sense.

If you only need it occasionally, renting will likely turn out better.
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Old 30-07-2015, 15:38   #11
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Re: Buying/renting a car

Quote:
I asked a some rental-car-stations, even a local car dealer, but the cheapest rate would be about 1000 Dollars a month, including insurance. So buying one seems to be the better choice.
Hi Johannes ;-) ...

This seems to be way to expensive. We pay $ 1.022,- / month for our Chevrolet Tahoe down here in Savannah (we were lucky to get an upgrade to the Tahoe for free because we asked 'only' for an intermediate SUV ...

Viele Gre :-)

Carsten
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Old 31-07-2015, 09:35   #12
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Re: Buying/renting a car

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
If you have to have a car contionously, then buying makes more sense.

If you only need it occasionally, renting will likely turn out better.
If absolute dollars and cents is the criteria then this is true. However, it is the same with chartering versus owning your own boat. You throw out all the spontaneity out and have to plan all your comings and goings around getting to a car rental place and all the hassles that entails. Of course, I am talking about short term rentals.

If you are talking one or two months and can find a suitable vehicle you can rent on a monthly basis then I'd go with that. But to rent for a few days at a time over and over for many weeks, it is a lot of brain damage to rent.

But, hey, I was dumb enough to buy a boat so money must not be that important to me as I could certainly rent for a lot less overall.
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Old 31-07-2015, 09:49   #13
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Re: Buying/renting a car

BTW, There are non corporate car renters out there. I rented one for 2 months in Florida once. I rented it from a car repair place. It was real cheap. They seemed to have a few loaner cars they rented etc. Maybe try Craig's list etc....?
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