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Old 1st November 2013, 04:01   #3391
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by AlokSriva View Post
I have arrived in the bay area last week for a foreseeable future (have a work visa/I94 stamped for 3 years from now) and obviously, ride is something I am looking for.

Since family (wife and 2 toddlers) would be joining me in a few months time, at this point of time, I have shortlisted Nissan Altima 3.5 SL for my daily commute.

However, due to lack of credit history in this country, I need to fall back on Nissan for financing the vehicle. From the information which I could gather from the dealership (over phone) -
1) The interest rate could be anything between 7 - 11%; and
2) The maximum loan term that can be offered is 3 years (equal to the length of my visa)

Interest rate is something I can live with initially and once the credit history is built, I can switch loan; however, loan term of 3 years would make me re-plan the finances.

Could the folks in the know in US help me with verifying the authenticity of the above points please?
Hi AlokSriva,

What they the dealers are saying is true. They will look at your Visa end date and determine the loan period and interest rates will be high too.

What you can do is, check with your office if they have any tie ups with any credit unions and try getting it processed that way. Else you can take all the documents and check with the credit unions like TechCU or Keypoint among a few. They will help you out getting a better deal.
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Old 1st November 2013, 04:34   #3392
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by AlokSriva View Post
I have arrived in the bay area last week for a foreseeable future (have a work visa/I94 stamped for 3 years from now) and obviously, ride is something I am looking for.
Welcome to Bay Area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlokSriva View Post
However, due to lack of credit history in this country, I need to fall back on Nissan for financing the vehicle. From the information which I could gather from the dealership (over phone) -
1) The interest rate could be anything between 7 - 11%; and
2) The maximum loan term that can be offered is 3 years (equal to the length of my visa)
The loan terms will be different with different banks/credit unions. My work visa is 3 years too but Technology Credit Union approved a loan for me with 5 years duration. Do talk to these credit unions, you will definitely get better rates than the Nissan Finance itself. I was getting 9% from Hyundai Finance, but went with Tech CU as their rate was 4.5%.
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Old 1st November 2013, 04:44   #3393
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by Gandhi View Post
Welcome to Bay Area.
Thanks mate..

Quote:
The loan terms will be different with different banks/credit unions. My work visa is 3 years too but Technology Credit Union approved a loan for me with 5 years duration. Do talk to these credit unions, you will definitely get better rates than the Nissan Finance itself. I was getting 9% from Hyundai Finance, but went with Tech CU as their rate was 4.5%.
Thanks again for such an invaluable piece of information

EDIT: Thanks Gautham for the information. For some weird reason, your post wasn't showing up until now..

Last edited by AlokSriva : 1st November 2013 at 05:13.
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Old 1st November 2013, 05:48   #3394
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by AlokSriva View Post
Thanks mate..


Thanks again for such an invaluable piece of information

EDIT: Thanks Gautham for the information. For some weird reason, your post wasn't showing up until now..
Hi AlokSriva,

Though your visa validity determines the loan term, most Credit Unions give longer terms. My visa is valid for 3 years but I got loan for 4 years.

You can try Tech CU - https://www.techcu.com/about_tech_cu/. They are easier on giving you loans. Another CU is DCU - https://www.dcu.org/.

I came to Bay Area 2 years ago with no credit history. But Tech CU approved auto loan for me at 5.99%.

If you're going to a dealer, please make sure to take one of your friends who's very good in negotiating. If they know you are new to US, these people always try to fleece you.

BTW, where are you put up in Bay Area? We have a few number of active BHPians here -http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/team-bhp-meet-section/134238-west-coast-usa-meet-napa.html.

-- Jose
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Old 1st November 2013, 11:36   #3395
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Allow me to take you to Gravity House next time you're in San Jose.
haha no worries Jose, I'm jus kidding. But yea let do the gravity house sometime
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Old 1st November 2013, 23:49   #3396
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Yesterday I witnessed an accident just 3-5 seconds ahead of me, my heart was literally in my mouth.

I was cruising at 75-80mph like any other day on the fast lane of 880 south at around 10.30 in the morning. Suddenly I see a white Porsche swerving to the left shoulder with brake lights on. Next I see some white smoke coming from the fast lane, but couldn't see anything else because of the car in front of me. After that what I see scared the hell out of me. A van going in reverse from fast lane to slow lane (almost spinning on all 4 wheels and) at the verge of toppling. All the following cars swerving left and right trying to avoid this out of control van. At this moment I realized that there was some kind of accident couple hundred meters in front of me.

I was still at least a 100 meters away from this scene but knew that I had to brake hard to not get involved in the mess. I knew that there was no one following me in my lane or the lane to my right, but still I glanced quickly in rear view mirror and right side mirror to confirm. I had already slowed down to manageable speed by now and got to stop the car in right lane couple meters behind the another car.

Luckily no one was injured as no cars toppled and no car hit another car too hard to cause injuries. Slowly other cars just moved on from the spot. I noticed a white dodge van driven by an elderly lady in right lane with it's front right corner badly damaged. The almost spinning van was an old Toyota driven by another elderly couple. From the looks of it I think the white van was in fast lane and the Toyota to the right. The white van's right front portion must've hit the left rear portion of the Toyota, which caused the Toyota to loose control. 3 other cars didn't manage to stop in time and hit the white van from behind.

Lesson learned: It helps to have a map of your surrounding vehicles in mind. Imagine like a radar updating the periphery every few seconds. And now I'm more confident about my car's braking abilities.
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Old 2nd November 2013, 17:56   #3397
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlokSriva View Post
I have arrived in the bay area last week for a foreseeable future (have a work visa/I94 stamped for 3 years from now) and obviously, ride is something I am looking for.

Since family (wife and 2 toddlers) would be joining me in a few months time, at this point of time, I have shortlisted Nissan Altima 3.5 SL for my daily commute.

However, due to lack of credit history in this country, I need to fall back on Nissan for financing the vehicle. From the information which I could gather from the dealership (over phone) -
1) The interest rate could be anything between 7 - 11%; and
2) The maximum loan term that can be offered is 3 years (equal to the length of my visa)

Interest rate is something I can live with initially and once the credit history is built, I can switch loan; however, loan term of 3 years would make me re-plan the finances.

Could the folks in the know in US help me with verifying the authenticity of the above points please?
If you dont have a credit history try getting a used car first. It helps you to get used to the traffic laws without having to worry about driving a brand new car and In most cases your employer may provide cheaper loans, even though the quantum may not be that great. Once you build up your credit history, you can go for a new car if desired.

Btw, from 2013 onward Altima seem to have improved a lot from what it was earlier. I am currently in USA and have rented a brand new Altima.
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Old 4th November 2013, 23:03   #3398
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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If you dont have a credit history try getting a used car first. It helps you to get used to the traffic laws without having to worry about driving a brand new car ....... Once you build up your credit history, you can go for a new car if desired.
Sorry, not able to understand the theory of buying a used car because of lack of credit history.. all the more because used car loan is always more expensive than a new car's.

If it was lack of driving skills and hence, associated risks of damaging a brand new car, buying a used car was understandable. Am I missing something here?

@Jose - thanks for the tips!
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Old 4th November 2013, 23:07   #3399
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by AlokSriva View Post
Sorry, not able to understand the theory of buying a used car because of lack of credit history.. all the more because used car loan is always more expensive than a new car's.

If it was lack of driving skills and hence, associated risks of damaging a brand new car, buying a used car was understandable. Am I missing something here?

@Jose - thanks for the tips!
The point was about getting car loan from/through your employer compared to banks who may have issues when there is no credit history. Many employers have limits on the amount of car loan and that restricts us from purchasing a new car. for example, my employer don't give more than 10k. The situation may be different in your case. There is also another factor of resale value when you buy a new car for 2-3 years. as you probably know, the used car price drops like a stone in the first few years and this may be quite bad if you end up staying for a shorter period here than planned.

Last edited by vasoo : 4th November 2013 at 23:09.
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Old 4th November 2013, 23:17   #3400
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlokSriva View Post
I have shortlisted Nissan Altima 3.5 SL for my daily commute.

However, due to lack of credit history in this country, I need to fall back on Nissan for financing the vehicle. From the information which I could gather from the dealership (over phone) -
1) The interest rate could be anything between 7 - 11%; and
2) The maximum loan term that can be offered is 3 years (equal to the length of my visa)

Could the folks in the know in US help me with verifying the authenticity of the above points please?
Altima is definitely a great choice

Like everyone mentioned talk to the CU, I'm sure you will get a 5yr loan. Is this your first time ever here or do you have a SSN already? Not sure if rules may change if you are a new SSN holder with no history. Even getting a credit card with new SSN is very limited.
Quite a few of members here and myself have loans with DCU, I'd suggest you call them and check your eligibility(assuming you are have new SSN)
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Old 4th November 2013, 23:19   #3401
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Originally Posted by vasoo View Post

The point was about getting car loan from/through your employer compared to banks who may have issues when there is no credit history. Many employers have limits on the amount of car loan and that restricts us from purchasing a new car. for example, my employer don't give more than 10k. The situation may be different in your case. There is also another factor of resale value when you buy a new car for 2-3 years. as you probably know, the used car price drops like a stone in the first few years and this may be quite bad if you end up staying for a shorter period here than planned.
Okay, I see it now. Thanks for the clarification

@kraft.wagen - thanks for validating the choice and the inputs

Yes, this is the first time for me in US for the long haul. I received my SSN within a week of arriving. Agreed on the credit card part - have procured a secured credit card with my banker.

Got my temp driving permit too last week which is valid for 60 days and I need to take BTW test during this period.

Going with one of the Credit Unions is a no-brainer for folks like me.

Last edited by AlokSriva : 4th November 2013 at 23:43.
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Old 5th November 2013, 04:31   #3402
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Rented a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT as my brother's family was visiting. That thing has decent space but sits a bit too tall, is floaty & the pickup is sluggish. Even an inch of pedal movement makes no difference lol.

Cruising at 60-70 was smooth but changing lanes & pick up was pretty bad. Felt so nice when i got back to driving my car, phew.
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Old 5th November 2013, 19:15   #3403
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Yep, I know what you mean Techno! It's always a pleasure getting back into your own car after driving a rental.
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Old 9th November 2013, 03:59   #3404
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

If you guys are interested in hot rods, this show will be very interesting - http://www.nationwidecarshows.com/in...ntinfo&id=3398.

Location is Pleasanton, CA.

Some pictures clicked when I visited last year - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/beyond...ml#post2805506 (Pictures of Vintage & Classic Cars spotted on our trips abroad).
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Old 9th November 2013, 06:12   #3405
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Tinting laws are different for every states. I 'd suggest looking up at the police website for right information.
The main requirements for legal window tinting in California are:
  1. The windshield and front driver's side and passenger's side windows cannot receive any aftermarket tinting.
  2. If the rear window of a vehicle is tinted, the vehicle must have outside rearview mirrors on both sides.
I just stumbled upon these and realized that my wife's car brought from TX has front driver and passenger side glasses tinted. We are gonna be in trouble. Has any one faced this problem while driving an out of state far in CA?

Last edited by josejoseph : 9th November 2013 at 06:14.
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