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Old 2nd April 2012, 12:29   #766
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by VLOCT View Post
So Amitoj, my personal advice, buy what your heart tells you, with limited input from the brain.
Man that is one passionate post! But that's how it should be, i guess.

So far all the reviews for the charger seem to be positive. I only wish i could go for that SRT8 though, with that awesome front grill. Maybe i can get it as an add on to the SXT?
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Old 2nd April 2012, 16:29   #767
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Maybe i can get it as an add on to the SXT?
You can definitely get those as aftermarket accessories, perhaps you can get some MOPAR stuff, they typically sell MOPAR performance parts through the Chrysler/Dodge dealership network itself.
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Old 2nd April 2012, 22:20   #768
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Originally Posted by VLOCT View Post
So Amitoj, my personal advice, buy what your heart tells you, with limited input from the brain.
VLOCT, what we have here is perhaps like a kid in a candy store. If I trace the protagonist's line of thought, we'll notice it has run through Toyota Tundra --> Audi A4 Q --> BMW 328xi --> Toyota RAV4 --> Cadillac CTS --> "Sigh. I guess i will have to start looking at SUVs." --> "i have almost written off tundra from the list and scribbled in Ram 1500." --> Dodge Charger SXT AWD -->

As with any buyer, he is looking to mate his wallet (~$35K i presume) with his desire (~sporty vehicle that can satisfy his driving thirst) and utility (~'family-compatible', practical, hauling capability), and there is an overwhelming variety of colorful options available on the racks in the candy store. If we can suggest him something that would shorten his research curve, I believe we will have made true of the purpose behind Team-BHP.

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So, if you asked me whether I'll sell my Mustang or Solstice GXP for a Camry or Accord or some other perfect Jap crap, I'm sorry, I'll laugh at your face. I happen to like to feel that I'm still alive and not sterilized yet.

To hell with the Japanese, who has convinced the world that their numb steering, dead handling and paper thin metal clad sewing machines are the greatest automobiles on the planet. What a joke!
I am sure there are millions out there who believe 'American' cars are nothing but a massive rip off, based on their own experience with them. Thing is, not everyone wants a muscle car or a luxury sport sedan or the road hog truck. A gas sipping, mundane sedan that could run for years uninterrupted and unhindered by electric/mechanical faults can be someone's ultimate vehicle too, and to which standard many Japanese vehicles are known to qualify well as a matter of fact. In American Football parlance, a running back is a plucky fast fellow for a reason, as is the tall and fleet footed wide receiver, as is the huge strong but sluggish lineman. There is a purpose for everyone to be the way they are. In the same stadium, the quarterback may be hero for one spectator, the receiver for another, and the defensive tackle for yet another.

That being said, I have always had this dilemma as to what exactly is "American" and what is an "Import"? Part for part, a Camry and an Accord have more American components than their closest competitor Chevy Malibu. Camry gets manufactured in Georgetown KY, and Accord at Lafayette IN. The BMW X5 comes from its Spartanburg factory in SC. Transmissions for Mustangs come from China. The Camaro is built entirely in Canada. Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ are Mexican built, while the Edge, Flex and Lincoln MKX are Canadian built. Only 55% of the Ford F series trucks are made of American parts. So on and so forth. Things are really hazy these days.

Just a disclaimer: I have an equal split between the American and Japanese, among vehicles I have owned in the US so far. The first car of my life - some 15 yrs ago - was the all American Ford Taurus, which had shocked the Accord-Camry-Civic-Corolla worshiping fellow H1-visa troopers around me. All of my 10 cars to date were bought purely on my own whim, not under anyone's influence or under duress. I have loved them all without developing a bias for or against any particular 'nationality' of vehicles. I am working at an American Automaker for 15 years and counting. I aspire to have a Lexus LS, a Chevy Corvette and an Aprilia in my garage at the same time, and some day I will.

Cheers!

Last edited by NinadJoshi : 2nd April 2012 at 22:25.
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Old 3rd April 2012, 12:53   #769
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by NinadJoshi View Post
VLOCT, what we have here is perhaps like a kid in a candy store. If I trace the protagonist's line of thought, we'll notice it has run through Toyota Tundra --> Audi A4 Q --> BMW 328xi --> Toyota RAV4 --> Cadillac CTS --> "Sigh. I guess i will have to start looking at SUVs." --> "i have almost written off tundra from the list and scribbled in Ram 1500." --> Dodge Charger SXT AWD -->
Hahahaa. You have quite aptly summed it up. And at the cost of nitpicking, i will say that i never considered the RAV4 though. And i will not.

And I have not even considered the second hand market yet!! Imagine my plight if i start doing that! Which i will, by the way, once i land up there.
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Old 3rd April 2012, 16:56   #770
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Hahahaa. You have quite aptly summed it up. And at the cost of nitpicking, i will say that i never considered the RAV4 though. And i will not.

And I have not even considered the second hand market yet!! Imagine my plight if i start doing that! Which i will, by the way, once i land up there.
Haha.. you are going through the same dilemma that I was faced with! Well anyway, there are so many choices here, you will definitely get something you like! When are you getting to the states? What part of NH are you going to be at?
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Old 3rd April 2012, 18:08   #771
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Haha.. you are going through the same dilemma that I was faced with! Well anyway, there are so many choices here, you will definitely get something you like! When are you getting to the states? What part of NH are you going to be at?
Need to be in office by 4th June over there. So, i will be landing there the weekend of June 2/3. Will be around the Nashua/Merrimack region.
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Old 3rd April 2012, 18:11   #772
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Need to be in office by 4th June over there. So, i will be landing there the weekend of June 2/3. Will be around the Nashua/Merrimack region.
You should do your car hunting in the Boston Metro area, just for the higher availability and choices that would be there at your disposal. You are going to be pretty closeby from there.
PS: I live not too far from Nashua, but I don't know how long, projects and new locations can happen.

Last edited by vineethvazhayil : 3rd April 2012 at 18:11. Reason: Edited
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Old 3rd April 2012, 18:17   #773
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by vineethvazhayil View Post
You should do your car hunting in the Boston Metro area, just for the higher availability and choices that would be there at your disposal. You are going to be pretty closeby from there.
PS: I live not too far from Nashua, but I don't know how long, projects and new locations can happen.
But your location says Texas!

Also, if I buy a car from outside NH, then I wont be able to enjoy NH's tax free purchase benefits, right?
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Old 3rd April 2012, 18:20   #774
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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But your location says Texas!

Also, if I buy a car from outside NH, then I wont be able to enjoy NH's tax free purchase benefits, right?
Yes sir, I keep moving. Don't bother with updating locations anymore!
Yes, NH is sales tax free state, however it is a smaller car market also. You are planning for a new car, correct? Then you should be alright. You will get more choices in used cars in Boston than in Nashua.
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Old 3rd April 2012, 18:20   #775
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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But your location says Texas!

Also, if I buy a car from outside NH, then I wont be able to enjoy NH's tax free purchase benefits, right?
I think he meant used. New cars are the same everywhere.
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Old 3rd April 2012, 18:49   #776
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I think he meant used. New cars are the same everywhere.
Yes, that is what I meant. Used cars supplies are much better in bigger markets (i.e., cities) whereas new car market is more or less the same (with differences coming from your ability to bargain from one dealer to the other within the same city).
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Old 4th April 2012, 09:58   #777
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Dear All - My first post in this thread. I went through the discussion in the last few pages on amitoj's requirement and I have something in similar lines for which I would need your suggestions. Apologies if some of my queries have been answered before, since I wasn't following this thread earlier.

- I have been transferred to US (Should be either NC or NJ, which I will get to know in a week's time) for atleast 3 years time beginning next month. Though I have been to US many number of times before in BV, I have never driven a car there extensively.
- My family comprises of 4, myself+wife+ 2 daughters (aged 5 and 2), and hence the requirement is for a small SUV/Cross over with seating and luggage space for 5.
- Considering only the pre-owned one's due to budget considerations. No brand bias, open to considering anything.

Having said the above, I need some advice on below also

- I have a valid indian driving license, Will this be enough to drive in US for the above said period?
- I will have no credit history in US, so understand financing would be a problem. How can I handle this?
- How easy/difficult it is to get used to driving in US? I'd definitely need a car as quickly as possible.
- I'd have to set things up from scratch there, so any pointers towards the same will be much appreciated.

Some questions above may be OT on this thread and if you have any other recommendations on getting some answers to the above please do suggest.

Last edited by bala80 : 4th April 2012 at 10:00.
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Old 4th April 2012, 19:01   #778
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by bala80 View Post

- Considering only the pre-owned one's due to budget considerations. No brand bias, open to considering anything.

Having said the above, I need some advice on below also

- I have a valid indian driving license, Will this be enough to drive in US for the above said period?
- I will have no credit history in US, so understand financing would be a problem. How can I handle this?
- How easy/difficult it is to get used to driving in US? I'd definitely need a car as quickly as possible.
- I'd have to set things up from scratch there, so any pointers towards the same will be much appreciated.
Welcome state side buddy!

Given the size of your family (and 2 kids both of who would need child seats), you need a roomy car or an SUV, for sure. If you have no brand bias, I would suggest getting a large Sedan (like the Chevy Impala or the Hyundai Sonata from maybe 2006/7 models) - They sell for under a 10k$ if you look around well enough. If you think SUV's are better for you, maybe you can look at the Santa Fe from Hyundai or the Ford Escape - They are probably right sized and you will get a 2006/7 piece for around 11 - 13k$.

Now for financing, since you have no credit history, I don't think anyone would want to fund your car purchase easily. If you have close relatives/friends in the US, and you can convince them to co sign your credit application, that would be a good start. Else you can look up the nearest credit union of your locality and see how they can help. Check with your company also if they give an interest free loan recoverable from your salary.
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Old 4th April 2012, 19:32   #779
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by bala80 View Post
- My family comprises of 4, myself+wife+ 2 daughters (aged 5 and 2), and hence the requirement is for a small SUV/Cross over with seating and luggage space for 5.
Really, there is no reason why you need an SUV for a family of 4, unless you want one regardless. Gas prices are a killer these days here. A mid/full size sedan as VV suggests above will transport your family of 4 in fine comfort. Chevy Impala, Chevy Malibu, Ford Fusion, Mazda6, Nissan Maxima, Nissan Altima, Buick Regal, if nothing else the good old Accord and Camry et al will suffice your needs nicely.

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- Considering only the pre-owned one's due to budget considerations. No brand bias, open to considering anything.
Used cars are the way to go if you are on a budget. 2/3 year old vehicles that have done 20/30K miles are practically as good as new and a great bargain considering the depreciation. As a first time buyer I'd say buy a used vehicle from a dealership (vis-a-vis a private seller).

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Originally Posted by bala80 View Post
- I have a valid Indian driving license, Will this be enough to drive in US for the above said period?
Apply for a US drivers license as soon as you can, period. Some of the first few things you should be doing right away after setting foot here are - drivers license, SSN, bank account, credit/debit card....and of course find out about a Hindu temple nearby (which usually has patrons from the community from your part of India, who help you get networked).

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Originally Posted by bala80 View Post
- How easy/difficult it is to get used to driving in US? I'd definitely need a car as quickly as possible.
How soon can you get used to discipline and the wrong side of the road? Not a big deal.

Last edited by NinadJoshi : 4th April 2012 at 19:42.
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Old 5th April 2012, 01:04   #780
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by bala80 View Post
Dear All - My first post in this thread. I went through the discussion in the last few pages on amitoj's requirement and I have something in similar lines for which I would need your suggestions. Apologies if some of my queries have been answered before, since I wasn't following this thread earlier.

- I have been transferred to US (Should be either NC or NJ, which I will get to know in a week's time) for atleast 3 years time beginning next month. Though I have been to US many number of times before in BV, I have never driven a car there extensively.
- My family comprises of 4, myself+wife+ 2 daughters (aged 5 and 2), and hence the requirement is for a small SUV/Cross over with seating and luggage space for 5.
- Considering only the pre-owned one's due to budget considerations. No brand bias, open to considering anything.

Having said the above, I need some advice on below also

- I have a valid indian driving license, Will this be enough to drive in US for the above said period?
- I will have no credit history in US, so understand financing would be a problem. How can I handle this?
- How easy/difficult it is to get used to driving in US? I'd definitely need a car as quickly as possible.
- I'd have to set things up from scratch there, so any pointers towards the same will be much appreciated.

Some questions above may be OT on this thread and if you have any other recommendations on getting some answers to the above please do suggest.
Looks like I went through the same experience.

Here are my responses. BTW, I'm in CA, so rules might be different. But should help you.

1. You can drive with your Indian license for a couple of weeks/month. International Driving Permit is not valid in CA. But when you get your SSN, apply for a driving permit. Once you pass the written test then you can use it to drive for 2 months until you pass the road test. Here in CA, once you get the permit it is mandatory that you should be accompanied by an adult with valid driving license you while you drive. But since I had a valid Indian license, this rule did not apply. This whole process is easy (in India getting license is too simple) - make sure that you know the rules well. I would strongly advice you attend 2-3 sessions of driving class. Your instructor will make you familiar with the rules. Getting driving permit and passing road test took 1 month's time.

2. Same thing for me here. When I arrived in US, I did not have credit history or a credit card. I was alone, no relatives or friends and my banker did not give me an auto loan. But luckily for me Technology Credit Union had a car mela which I went, got a loan approved without any credit history and bought a Mazda 3. The auto mela was hosted by Tech CU together with a car dealer so it was easy to get the loan approved and find the car. I paid downpayment of $3600 for the $12000 car. The loan is for 40 months though my visa is valid only for 30 months. APR is 5.2%. I had to show my valid Indian license during the buyingl process. What you can do is visit the web-sites of credit unions in your area and watch for announcements. I came to know about this auto mela from their website. So after landing in US, I got a car in 45 days.

3. I did not find any difficulty in switching from RHS to LHS. May be cos the steering is located in the left and you always follow other cars on the road.

4. Rent a car for couple of weeks/weekends (based on your budget) to get things settled.

Hope this help. Enjoy US. Don't bother much. Things will be fine.

Thanks,
Jose.
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