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Old 30th August 2012, 04:37   #1231
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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I've always got the lowest rates from Geico. I got a license in the US in 2010 too. I pay like 400 odd for 6 months. That depends on your car also. Typically Top safety picks with very good theft deterrent measures are cheaper to insure. Another thing is where you live also matters. So it may not all be because you have a short driving history.
I also got lowest quote from Geico and i went with them. Have been a happy camper since a year and half. I got my license 4 years back but owned a car just last year. I pay ~$500 for 6 months (comprehensive) for 2 pre-owned cars with a red light violation on my license. My friend has a new Genesis sedan and he pays $140/mo from AAA with clean record. Another friend has a 2006 G35 and he pays some $120/mo (comprehensive) from AAA with clean record.

When you talk with an agent, you have to push them to quote lowest possible. You also have to go for lowest miles driven in a year and show Indian license and use that as history. Everything counts. They also add student discount, good driver discount and what not. If you have a Master's Degree or PH.D your quote will go low. If your age is above 25, your location, again that will help in lowering the quote.

Maddy try after 3-6 months. You will for sure get lower quotes.

Last edited by chevelle : 30th August 2012 at 04:38.
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Old 30th August 2012, 05:44   #1232
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Arrow re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by vineethvazhayil View Post
Another thing is where you live also matters. So it may not all be because you have a short driving history.
Yes, that's a very valid point. Metro areas have higher premiums compared to suburbs.
Also, where you park - garage vs. street.
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Old 30th August 2012, 06:36   #1233
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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When you talk with an agent, you have to push them to quote lowest possible. You also have to go for lowest miles driven in a year and show Indian license and use that as history. Everything counts. They also add student discount, good driver discount and what not. If you have a Master's Degree or PH.D your quote will go low. If your age is above 25, your location, again that will help in lowering the quote.

Maddy try after 3-6 months. You will for sure get lower quotes.
Talk to an agent and ask him to apply all possible discounts. I took renters insurance from AllState too and that got my auto insurance premium down by a bit. He also gave me discount for me being married .
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Old 30th August 2012, 06:47   #1234
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

By taking up a defensive driver's program you save some bucks upto 10% on monthly insurance cost. Its always good to take such program especially if you are new to North America.
I took the course for $ 20 and around 6 hrs of time. Here is the link for everyone's benefit Safety Serve :: GEICO
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Old 31st August 2012, 03:29   #1235
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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where you park - garage vs. street.
I was never asked this. Could it because i live in suburbs?
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Old 31st August 2012, 17:51   #1236
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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I was never asked this. Could it because i live in suburbs?
Me neither. But I'm asked if all my cars are parked at the address my insurance is setup at. But yes, I do think garage parking cuts insurance price just a little bit, if there is a discount setup by the insurance company for that item.
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Old 31st August 2012, 19:30   #1237
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

It gives you some discount, specially with motorcycles. I think agents tend to miss things sometimes, or do not have a good script in front of them.
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Old 1st September 2012, 05:04   #1238
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

I have a quick question if someone can answer:
I recently moved to Toronto and am planning to rent a car next weekend. I would use my US license to rent the car, and would use Premium Car Rental Protection on my AMEX for insurance coverage. My question is that whether I would have to carry any proof of this coverage with me in the car?
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Old 1st September 2012, 23:55   #1239
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Arrow re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by infotech58 View Post
I have a quick question if someone can answer:
I recently moved to Toronto and am planning to rent a car next weekend. I would use my US license to rent the car, and would use Premium Car Rental Protection on my AMEX for insurance coverage. My question is that whether I would have to carry any proof of this coverage with me in the car?
Usually, paying via your AMEX card should be enough.

Before renting better call up AMEX and ask them whether the car you're planning to rent will be covered & what proof of insurance is to be shown in case of accident or if you're pulled over.
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Old 4th September 2012, 19:33   #1240
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by infotech58 View Post
I have a quick question if someone can answer:
I recently moved to Toronto and am planning to rent a car next weekend. I would use my US license to rent the car, and would use Premium Car Rental Protection on my AMEX for insurance coverage. My question is that whether I would have to carry any proof of this coverage with me in the car?
AFAIK Canadian rentals include third party coverage so legally you don't need anything other than your rental agreement. AMEX will cover damage to the rental car.
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Old 7th September 2012, 03:14   #1241
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Here is my first impression of Ford Explorer XLT AWD that i had for a 900 mile trip.

- Looks nice from outside. Imposing at times. Red color looks very good. Fit and Finish is top notch.
- The alloys looks decent.
- Oil level check and adding oil is easy to do. We had to do it as the rental company didn't do it.
- The interior is where most of the problem lies. The quality and fit and finish was all good. But the model we had didn't have any aux input even though it had Sync by Microsoft. There was no Navigation but otherwise it is pretty loaded.
- All information was available near the speedometer and lots of time it was distracting. The steering wheel controls were confusing at first. Lots of action happening through steering to keep one busy all the time. All settings can be controlled through that. While most appreciate that, i don't. I had like to concentrate on driving instead of making all kind of changes.
- The MyFord by Microsoft is the worst ever interface i have seen in a car. Slow, terrible fonts, not very intuitive. Pain to connect a BT enabled phone. It won't do it while on the move. This may be a safety issue but what if passengers are doing it?
- The seats, now where do i start. The worst seats ever in a SUV i have traveled in. Very uncomfortable. We had a RAV4 too which was way better with its cloth seats. The driver seat has many adjustments so it takes a little time to get the best position but once its there, the view is commanding and comfortable. But the passenger seats in front and back are not comfortable even after reclining it to the max level. The legroom after adjusted for 6' driver is also very less. All of my friends (4) complained about rear seat comfort. Overall, this was one of the biggest negative i felt for explorer. The rear most seats is not the place to be even for 30 mins. It is cramped. If i am paying $45k for a SUV, it better be comfortable.
- Dual climate control was good. But each time i stop the car, the rear fan control will switch off on its own. Always had to go in climate and turn it on. Pretty painful to do each time.
- With all seats at regular position, the luggage space was strictly ok. With the rear most seats down, it was good enough for a long weekend trip. I have seen better in MDX and others.
- The best part of the SUV was the ride and handling. It was pretty good for this behemoth. I didn't expect sedan levels of handling but pretty good. I have to admit, i didn't ride as passengers at the back so i don't know if they were thrown around a lot. But as a driver it was fun. At some place the ride was jarring but not that difficult. Loved taking corners on this behemoth.
- The engine was very quiet from inside. The insulation was top notch. No noticeable wind and road noise at 70-75 mph. Above that yes, a little. The performance was ok. Most of the time i drove in Manual as the road was in twisties.
- One more thing where it excelled was the fuel economy. We averaged 20 mpg for the entire trip. Pretty decent considering the road we traveled.
- The steering was great at all speeds. At low speed it was light enough to maneuver and as speeds climb it did get heavy. Great job Ford.
- The rear camera was needed considering the size though i am not used to it so was relying more on three mirrors.
- The sun screen visor was good. it stretched enough to cover the entire glass on side.
- The LCD screen around speedo needs to be fine tune and steering controls needs to be adjusted.

The big question i asked to myself was. Will i buy this if ever i was in market for one. I would say no unless they fix the interface and seats, make it more powerful.
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Last edited by chevelle : 7th September 2012 at 03:40.
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Old 8th September 2012, 17:04   #1242
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

What will be a good used sedan/SUV to buy around New England (CT) area for me? Below are my requirements.

1. Short term ownership expected (1 yr or so)
2. Spacious enough for a family of 3 with a 10 yr old kid
3. I am in my early 40s. However I don't expect a boring car to drive, should be sprightly enough for a jaunt and decent handling for trips to the Appalachians
4. Decent highway FE of about 25-30 mpg
5. Budget less than 20k, strictly
6. Low mileage preferred, less than 30k would be nice
7. Not very specific about make or country of origin, however I don't expect the resale price to drop like a stone in one year
8. Would be nice if the model is available with car rentals such as Hertz, for a try-and-buy option.
9. Don't prefer the usual desi suspects such as Accord, Camry etc.
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Old 8th September 2012, 20:19   #1243
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

@vasoo;

Don't worry too much about depreciation since you're looking at used. Most of the depreciation happens within the first few years.

For an SUV, I would definitely recommend Mazda CX-7 if you're not looking for full size, excellent handling, mileage not very good from what I hear, and at least till the 2011 model needed premium 91 octane gas. But will meet most of your requirements.

But for cars, man your choices for $20K are huge. Best way is to rent or test drive some sporty vechicles.
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Old 8th September 2012, 21:35   #1244
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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@vasoo;

Don't worry too much about depreciation since you're looking at used. Most of the depreciation happens within the first few years.

For an SUV, I would definitely recommend Mazda CX-7 if you're not looking for full size, excellent handling, mileage not very good from what I hear, and at least till the 2011 model needed premium 91 octane gas. But will meet most of your requirements.

But for cars, man your choices for $20K are huge. Best way is to rent or test drive some sporty vechicles.
Thanks. I was looking at consumerreports website and they recommend cars such as Acura TL and MDX, Infiniti G35 and M35 etc... mostly 2005 to 2008 models. How good are they? I have no experience with these vehicles.

Last edited by vasoo : 8th September 2012 at 21:36.
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Old 9th September 2012, 12:10   #1245
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

First of all, are you sure you want to spend $20k for just one year on a car? I would personally spend far less and still buy a real fun vehicle albeit, a little older one. You still get lot of choices.

I'm quite sure the cars you listed are all very good, although I find Consumer Report recommendation simply too mundane. Like I said, your choices for your budget is pretty large. I would rather you test drive a few of these and decide for yourself. You've to be honest about what you're looking for in a car. For eg; I'm not sure how your wife feels about sporty driving with a 10 year old in the car in the Appalachians.

If you're looking for sporty vehicles, you need seats that are body hugging to keep you in place while taking corners. If you're a large person or a tall one, you have to ensure that the car can accommodate you without causing fatigue when driving for long hours. Look for good thigh and lumbar support. Bad ergonomics can completely spoil an otherwise brilliant car.

For a discerning driver, deciding on a fun car in the US is simply not that easy unless, you already know what you want.
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