Photo Credits: Telstar Logistics / Flickr

You want to buy a car to enjoy the thousands of kilometers of Highway of the United States? The automobile is the first means of transportation for Americans. If it's easy to get a car, you have to pay attention to a few things.

Buy a new or used vehicle?

It all depends on your needs. If you plan to stay a year in the United States, it is quite possible to find a used car between $ 3,000 and $ 5,000, which will satisfy your desires roadtrips, without emptying your wallet. If you want a car like new but used, it is always possible to do very good business from 6,000 dollars.

"Car dealer" or particular?

A car dealer is the equivalent of a car dealership in France. It's a way to make a purchase without taking too much risk, but the downside is that the bargaining power is lower and you risk paying the high price. If you are ready to spend a few hours to find the rare pearl, it is possible to buy a car from an individual. Some sites specialized in buying and selling vehicles are very reliable. This is the case of, which lists more than 2.5 million used and new cars. Following the same operation, Autotrader can find the rare pearl whether in new or used. Finally, Americans post numerous ads on the Craigslist website. If it is possible to do very good business, pay attention to the fraudulent sellers.

How to finalize the act of purchase?

After selecting one or more rare gems in your city or region, make an appointment with the individual who will let you try the vehicle. If the experience goes well, then you can discuss the price. Some people are willing to negotiate and offer rebates if you pay directly in cash. Of course, remember to look at the condition of the car. In some US states, floods are common and some people may want to resell their cars after the engine has been damaged during a flood. Then think of doing a study on the surroundings, or coming with a second person to get his opinion.

If you buy the car from an individual, it will then transfer you ownership, so that the car is in your name. As in France, it is obligatory. The seller will just have to sign you "Pink slip". This pink paper is to be kept and is part of the documents to show, in case of a police check. Step Two: Visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to register your car in your name. This is not free, the price varies depending on the state, but count between 100 and 200 dollars.

How to choose the right insurance?

Mandatory in the United States, car insurance is rather expensive, especially if you do not have a US license. That is why it is advisable to return to your driving license. Moreover, according to the American law, your French license is valid only 90 days on American soil. Much simpler, faster and less expensive than in France, it will also allow you to obtain suitable prices for the insurance of your vehicle. Regarding the price of insurance, it is very variable. Count a minimum of $ 80, if your vehicle is in good condition. But everything depends on the make of the car, where you live, your history, etc. Know that you will pay a high price because you are considered a new driver on American soil.

A tip: take at least a basic cover. The latter will cover the material damage caused to third parties or the damage caused by uninsured drivers. There is also standard coverage and improved coverage. In 2018, the average and monthly auto insurance rate was about $ 110 a month in Washington DC, $ 90 in Texas, or $ 130 in California. Once your insurance is chosen, you are officially in the nails. You are now ready to go on a roadtrip.


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