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Old 23rd August 2012, 12:10   #1
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Default Availability of diesel in the USA

Hey everyone,

Hope some BHPians in the US (or anyone familiar with driving long distances in the US) can help me out. My dream has finally come true. This November, I am taking my car for a 3 month cross-country trip across the US of A. Shipping my car from Melbourne to Los Angeles, the plan is to drive from Los Angeles to Atlanta, then explore the east coast a bit, before driving back to Los Angeles via Texas over the 3 month period from November - February.

I have driven long distances in the US before (LA-Miami, LA-North Dakota, Miami-New York), so I am familiar with the road system etc. However, all the cars I drove were petrol, so I never really paid attention to the availability of diesel on the interstate roads.

Also, as my car is RHD, I hope I don't have any problems driving these roads. I know people who have taken their cars from here, and have driven in the US/Canada without any issues.

So just wondering if diesel is available at most petrol stations, and also what would be the cost per gallon?

And one last thing, I am aware that it is winter, so what will the roads in the southern states be like? Will there be snowstorms etc? Thanks for your help guys, appreciate it!

BTW, a pic of my new car near the ocean here, sorry couldn't resist showing it off!
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Old 23rd August 2012, 12:19   #2
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Default Re: Availability of diesel in the US

I cannot answer any of your questions, what-so-ever, but hey!! I'v got to say - I'm droooooling over your Alfa!! Its beautiful!!!

By the way best of luck for your trip!! Cheers.
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Old 23rd August 2012, 12:23   #3
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Default Re: Availability of diesel in the US

Diesel is available at most stations on the highways. Only in the cities/towns, you will face problems. It should not be a problem though given the mileage and little planning.
I guess if you have some POI enabled devices, you can find these things easily.
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Old 23rd August 2012, 12:48   #4
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Default Re: Availability of diesel in the US

Haven't driven a diesel vehicle in US, hence can't comment. But trucks, pick-ups run on diesel. So diesel must be available. In all most all the pumps I visited had a diesel dispenser.
Diesel is around 30 cents costlier than petrol. Current price of diesel is $3.7 per gallon.
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Old 23rd August 2012, 13:05   #5
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Default Re: Availability of diesel in the US

Mate, kill me! Sorry I cannot stop drooling over your Alfa. She is a show stopper!Bring it on! As someone here said, Pick-ups and Trucks, buses run on diesel and there is always the Germans, who have their diesels. So shouldn't be an issue though I guess! Enjoy and pics please!
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Old 23rd August 2012, 13:09   #6
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Default Re: Availability of diesel in the US

Diesel is not available everywhere in US (mainly within city), but yes you can get on highways. Its costlier than petrol, so be ready to shell out extra $$'s for it.

Sorry but, Couldn't understand why you want to ship your car to US (for short term), take it on rent in US only.

Have fun.
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Old 23rd August 2012, 13:20   #7
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Default Re: Availability of diesel in the US

you will not find any problem on the highways. Plenty of diesel available. you will see big signs also. However, within city, only big pumps stock diesel. you can refer to a site like gasbuddy which will give you a real time map of diesel price and availability on your route.
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Old 23rd August 2012, 14:12   #8
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Default Re: Availability of diesel in the US

Thanks for the replies guys. Sam003, the cost to ship the car and back is AU$1650, and insurance for 3 months was an extra $500. So in total, it will cost me approx. AU$ 2200 to drive my car there for 3 months. I had a look at the car rental places, and the cheapest quote I got was for $2800 with Enterprise car rental and also AVIS.

The only downside is that shipping will take 20 days :(

Will post pics when the time comes! Can't wait!
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Old 23rd August 2012, 15:42   #9
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Default Re: Availability of diesel in the US

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeeper1941 View Post
Shipping my car from Melbourne to Los Angeles,
Right hand drive car in USA? Is it permitted?
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Old 23rd August 2012, 16:05   #10
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Default Re: Availability of diesel in the US

WOW! That is quite something you are upto. But, why only go till Atlanta? Why not go further towards NYC or towards/into Canada?
I have one question for you: After your car lands in US, is it subjected to some kind of road worthiness testing - can someone ship a Nano to US for such a drive ?
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Old 23rd August 2012, 16:34   #11
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Default Re: Availability of diesel in the USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeeper1941 View Post
Hey everyone,

And one last thing, I am aware that it is winter, so what will the roads in the southern states be like? Will there be snowstorms etc? Thanks for your help guys, appreciate it!

BTW, a pic of my new car near the ocean here, sorry couldn't resist showing it off!
Wow! Lovely Alfa! I am jealous, wish I was driving it.

So you are driving from LA to Atlanta and back between November and February? Shouldn't be an issue. Southern winters are generally mild - relatively speaking. They are no more harsh than a typical Melbourne winter. You could get the odd snow shower, but generally speaking snow is rare in the deep south.

However, in my personal experience, when faced with snow, Southern drivers freeze . They really don't know how to cope with freezing/snowy conditions.
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Old 23rd August 2012, 18:04   #12
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Default Re: Availability of diesel in the USA

Diesel is available widely on the highway. Just follow the trucks

In the winter, they switch to a winter blend....and recently the sulphur content has been reduced as well.

How do you handle registration and insurance?

Trivis: Many postal trucks in the US are RHD
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Old 23rd August 2012, 18:40   #13
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Default Re: Availability of diesel in the USA

If you are going to drive around in the US for three months, you may wish to buy a GPS system. I bought a Garmin for $200, which was a great help. The new version not only tells you which lane to be in, it also warns you of traffic blockages ahead and suggests detours.

By the way, you can also choose the accent of the voice that directs you. My daughter's Garmin speaks with an Australian accent !!
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Old 23rd August 2012, 21:30   #14
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Default Re: Availability of diesel in the USA

Diesel is widely available in the North American continent today. Infact I drive a diesel powered car and never found any difficulty in finding diesel. Price is US $4.50/US Gallon. The price changes every day by few cents though. The price given here is what I paid at Chevron gas station at Baline, WA near USA Canada border.
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Old 23rd August 2012, 22:47   #15
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Default Re: Availability of diesel in the USA

Availability of diesel should be least of your problem while travelling to N America , you can load apps like gasbuddy and be tension free on that front. The bigger challenges I forsee is usage of RHD vehicle in a country which is designed for LHD vehicles.

- Toll booths can be a challenge in the same way as a parking garage, only there are cars honking at you the whole time.
- Drive-thrus that aren’t In & Out can be difficult,
- Grabbing the ticket from an automated parking garage gate can be a challenge.
- Passengers have to exit on the traffic side when parked at the curb.
- Left turns can be fun when you can’t see around the vehicle turning the other way.
- Attracting unnecessary attention especially cops.
- Passing slower traffic on a two-lane highway is a terrifying experience until you get the hang of it. It seems like you won’t know if there is oncoming traffic until you are mostly over the center line!

Hiring a car for 3 months makes the most logical sense, rather than going through all this.
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