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Old 19th June 2013, 12:39   #2821
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

My sis has been told that she needs a US license to buy a Subaru, that's the dealership policy, what's the truth in something like this? Amongst the Forester that she's been able to test drive, sadly all are out of the budget.

Hence, would leasing a sedan like Nissan Altima be a better option, cost-wise I mean. SUV in such cases would be rented out by them for their weekend drives.

Lastly, what would be the best insurance plan in case they accidentally scratch someone's Ferrari and don't want to end up paying up for the rest of their lives if sued in court
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Old 19th June 2013, 18:20   #2822
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My sis has been told that she needs a US license to buy a Subaru, that's the dealership policy, what's the truth in something like this? Amongst the Forester that she's been able to test drive, sadly all are out of the budget.

Hence, would leasing a sedan like Nissan Altima be a better option, cost-wise I mean. SUV in such cases would be rented out by them for their weekend drives.

Lastly, what would be the best insurance plan in case they accidentally scratch someone's Ferrari and don't want to end up paying up for the rest of their lives if sued in court
Some states require a US license to register a vehicle. Also if you are buying insurance on an international license, premium is going to be much higher. Typically most people end up with geico insurance to start off because they are the least expensive. You can shop around after a month or two - try Amica, state farm etc.

Btw, if the renting is every weekend, its a bad idea. SUV rental prices are higher than sedans.
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Old 19th June 2013, 18:25   #2823
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

A drivers license is probably not required in most US states to buy a vehicle. You may want to check the DMV web site for the state your sister resides in for more info. From what I am seeing there isn't a hard law in most places about this. The dealership may have its own apprehension in passing on the title to an unlicensed buyer.

Of course you've been to the links below, but nonetheless: http://www.answers.edmunds.com/quest...icle-1444.aspx

http://www.carnaclaw.com/news-and-ev...in-california/

Having said that, have you verified if one can lease without a license either?

There are a zillion insurance companies with zillion permutations and combinations on the plans that you can pick from. If this is your sisters first time with US insurance I'd suggest she shop at a few human agents from some prominent insurance companies (Geico, Statefarm, Costco, AAA, Allstate etc), understand the game. Insurance might be higher if you are a first timer on the road here (an assumption, not a fact). You are never more than a street away from an insurance agent here in the US. Cold shopping for insurance on the internet can become a daunting task for a newby.

As for renting an SUV for weekends, why wouldn't a car work on a weekend?

Last edited by NinadJoshi : 19th June 2013 at 18:32.
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Old 19th June 2013, 18:30   #2824
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Yes some dealers are very particular that you have a US license, I have had experiences where they did not accept my CA lic in IL!
Assuming they are here for 3yrs or so, its best to get license first and its a great ID anywhere they go rather than carrying a passport.

There are umpteen choices for Insurance, you can do a search for insurance in the thread and you will get loads of information(I remember we had a lengthy discussion on it a few months ago)

In places like CO, it will be expensive to rent a SUV esp during winters, not sure if its a viable option to rent every weekend.

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My sis has been told that she needs a US license to buy a Subaru, that's the dealership policy, what's the truth in something like this? Amongst the Forester that she's been able to test drive, sadly all are out of the budget.

Hence, would leasing a sedan like Nissan Altima be a better option, cost-wise I mean. SUV in such cases would be rented out by them for their weekend drives.

Lastly, what would be the best insurance plan in case they accidentally scratch someone's Ferrari and don't want to end up paying up for the rest of their lives if sued in court
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Old 19th June 2013, 18:33   #2825
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

NJ requires a US driving license to register a new vehicle. Hoewver, the rental company do not require it and accept the Indian DL.
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Old 19th June 2013, 19:05   #2826
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Lastly, what would be the best insurance plan in case they accidentally scratch someone's Ferrari and don't want to end up paying up for the rest of their lives if sued in court
For your being sued worries don't skimp on liability & choose the highest liability limits that your insurance company offers - typically, 250/500/50 or 250/500/100.
In this case you're covered for $250k per person / $500k per accident & $50k or $100k property damage.

Uninsured Motorist coverage is mandatory in some states. Even if it is not, you should definitely consider it.

As far as Comprehensive & Collision coverage, choose the deductibles according to age of vehicle, repair costs and as per what you are comfortable paying out of pocket. Higher deductibles means lower premium & vice versa.

There are other coverages offered that aren't mandatory and may be chosen as per requirement. Lots of information available online.

Read reviews of insurance providers beforehand & don't just buy the cheapest policy.

Is your sister a home-owner?
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Old 19th June 2013, 21:24   #2827
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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My sis has been told that she needs a US license to buy a Subaru, that's the dealership policy, what's the truth in something like this? Amongst the Forester that she's been able to test drive, sadly all are out of the budget.

Hence, would leasing a sedan like Nissan Altima be a better option, cost-wise I mean. SUV in such cases would be rented out by them for their weekend drives.

Lastly, what would be the best insurance plan in case they accidentally scratch someone's Ferrari and don't want to end up paying up for the rest of their lives if sued in court
Registering a car with a valid US driver's license is not a dealership policy. Its mandatory with all the DMV's in most of the states I lived. To get a US license you need a proof of residence and SSN. If SSN is not issued then a certificate from Social Security administration stating that no SSN has been issued on this name. For registering a vehicle, a driver's license is needed so that there's a proof of address associated with the vehicle. When moving to a different state, the first thing DMV asks is to get a local license before registering the car and issuing plates. I'm not sure if there are different laws for Diplomats. The International driving License (IDL) from India is valid only for 6 months and then you need to have a local license. My friend got pulled over couple of times for speeding with IDL and his license was suspended ( I didnt knew how he suspended it when it can't be done in the database). Anyway he was warned that If there's another sighting then he'll be arrested.

I took a International driver's license in India before coming here, passed the written test, then rented a small car with full insurance coverage and drove straight to DMV for the road test. Got the license.

I'm assuming your sister has no moving voilations. She'd be better off with Geico. State Farm is good and most of the companies give discounts if registered as a student in Universities and/or married, own a home etc.

Leasing a vehicle is a whole different ball game; Advertised fee is very deceiving; miles per year driven, dents, wheel damage, tire tread left when returning the vehicle, turn in fee, windshield crack.
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Old 19th June 2013, 22:17   #2828
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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My sis has been told that she needs a US license to buy a Subaru, that's the dealership policy, what's the truth in something like this? Amongst the Forester that she's been able to test drive, sadly all are out of the budget.
At least in CA you do not need a US license to buy a car. When I bought a car I didn't have US license and the dealer asked for my Indian license.

If the dealer is keen on selling you a car, they'll also arrange for an insurance at a competitive price. I was new to US and their SE arranged an insurance for me at a good premium though the insurance company was not popular. But after 1 year of driving in US, I switched to State Farm.

I also remember reading that International Driving License is not valid in US, but they can be in Europe.

Thanks!
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Old 19th June 2013, 23:12   #2829
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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At least in CA you do not need a US license to buy a car. When I bought a car I didn't have US license and the dealer asked for my Indian license.

If the dealer is keen on selling you a car, they'll also arrange for an insurance at a competitive price. I was new to US and their SE arranged an insurance for me at a good premium though the insurance company was not popular. But after 1 year of driving in US, I switched to State Farm.

I also remember reading that International Driving License is not valid in US, but they can be in Europe.

Thanks!
You are right if you were a visitor during your stay in CA. The difference between visitor and resident is tricky.
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Old 20th June 2013, 12:07   #2830
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Update: My sister finally bought a new Nissan Altima 2013. They were deciding between the lease and finance option till yesterday afternoon so I'll get those details by tonight.

None of the Subaru dealers even allowed for a test drive on the Indian or Intl driving license so Forester went out of the picture (I initially thought that she did manage to test drive the Forester but that wasn't the case). Between Rogue and Altima, Altima's mileage of 38 miles per gallon against Rogue's 27 miles per gallon was the final deciding factor, especially since they'd be driving long distances over weekends.

She had been driving Ford Fusion all this while and found Altima to be even better. No doubt Fusion had some epic handling ability, so I asked her to take a rather rough test drive of Altima before finalizing it and as per her it was a great handler as well. She also quoted a very high price for Fusion which is why it went out of picture.

Thanks guys for your help all this while, will share remaining details in a day or two.

Last edited by fine69 : 20th June 2013 at 12:10.
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Old 20th June 2013, 14:27   #2831
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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She had been driving Ford Fusion all this while and found Altima to be even better. No doubt Fusion had some epic handling ability, so I asked her to take a rather rough test drive of Altima before finalizing it and as per her it was a great handler as well.
I used to own an Altima in the US and I loved it, although this was before Altima's went on the CVT trend.

I was living in CT and bought and registered my car without having a US DL (I got it soon after). I had given my State ID Card as ID and residence proof during registration, and wasn't even asked for my DL.

As far as I know the rules differ, this particular DMV did not allow rental cars to be brought for the DL driving test - as a colleague found out. It had to be a privately owned car with the person being tested as a named driver on the insurance policy.
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Old 20th June 2013, 14:58   #2832
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Registering a car with a valid US driver's license is not a dealership policy. Its mandatory with all the DMV's in most of the states I lived. To get a US license you need a proof of residence and SSN. If SSN is not issued then a certificate from Social Security administration stating that no SSN has been issued on this name. For registering a vehicle, a driver's license is needed so that there's a proof of address associated with the vehicle. When moving to a different state, the first thing DMV asks is to get a local license before registering the car and issuing plates. .
I think the rules differ greatly between states. I bought my car in North Caroline, drove it to Kansas where I was living and registered it. At that time I still held a Dutch drivers license. I did have a SSN though and proof of adress. I did get my Kansas DL some time later and then we moved to Missouri. Again, I got all three of our cars by then, registered before I got my Missouri DL as I seem to recall.

Maybe it was different for me having a Dutch (European) drivers license. It is also an international DL.

I do remember that my insurance company gave me two initial months coverage still on my Dutch DL. Same when we bought my wife her Focus from CarMax. She at that point in time still held a Dutch DL. Car got sold to us and registered with no problem. She got the two months initial period from our insurance company as well. And due to unforseen circumstance she had to ask for an extension of another four weeks, that was granted with no problems.

So you really need to check with the local authorities. Most DMV's have pretty good informative websites where you can find these sort of answers easily.

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Old 20th June 2013, 17:09   #2833
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She also quoted a very high price for Fusion which is why it went out of picture.
Good car. It really easily achieves the 38 mpg. Doesn't have some of the "turbo" trouble.
Am pretty sure Nissan's incentives on the Altima are sky high. With the low Yen levels I believe even after about 2k USD in discounts and incentives, Nissan is still making upwards of 1500$ per car on the Altima. The reason why they have shot up to number 2 or 3 in the sales chart for mid sizers. Read the link below to that story. The cheaper yen has been a real headache to all non Japanese auto manufacturers in the US. I don't understand Subaru - they should be really pushing sales in this situation. I think the only thing holding them back must be their razor thin inventory - the lowest level in the industry - about 15 days or less for the Forester.
http://www.detroitnews.com/article/2...es-competitors
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Old 20th June 2013, 22:58   #2834
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Update: My sister finally bought a new Nissan Altima 2013. They were deciding between the lease and finance option till yesterday afternoon so I'll get those details by tonight.
Congratulations!

Btw, as far as buying a car on US license goes, I know someone who bought the car, got it registered and insured, all on Indian license, in New Hampshire. Actually, the car was bought in Massachusettes and registered in New Hampshire.

On a totally different track now, I was going through the Thar thread and came across people's expectations that even 10L INR is too high a price for a true offroader. 10L INR is roughly 17K USD. Is it possible to get a true offroader here in that range? I'm talking brand new, of course.
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Old 20th June 2013, 23:31   #2835
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Congratulations!

On a totally different track now, I was going through the Thar thread and came across people's expectations that even 10L INR is too high a price for a true offroader. 10L INR is roughly 17K USD. Is it possible to get a true offroader here in that range? I'm talking brand new, of course.
off road - yes. Regular and off road - no.

http://www.polaris.com/en-us/rzr-sid...zrxp900wlintro
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