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Trip across USA

Discussion in 'General' started by profqwerty, 3 Mar 2008.

  1. chrisb2e9

    chrisb2e9 Dont do that...

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    if you get cought driving a veichle that isn't registered, they can tow the car on the spot, and throw you in jail. also if you are driving a car without it being registered, your insurance is void so dont have an accident. even if the registration is expired, the insurance still isn't valid becuase the car isn't being driven legally.
     
  2. sam.g.taylor

    sam.g.taylor Apparently I'm Greg Kinnear

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    ^ Very bad idea, QFT. Registering vehicles is rather complicated (I wouldn't be surprised if even over there you've heard horror stories about the three letters D-M-V).

    Being 18, I also agree that it's damn near impossible to rent a vehicle here. But if you could, a good idea would be a Class B RV - that's a van conversion, which are easier to drive than the larger, traditional Class A or Class C RVs. Some of them even have toilets installed, but if you can join (however temporarily) the "Good Sam Club" (look it up), they have well over 1,500 camps across the US which they offer at very discounted rates to members.

    Oh, and by the way, regarding driving times, Wikipedia the "Cannonball Run." Not the movie, the real-life event. Just do it.
     
  3. profqwerty

    profqwerty New Member

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    Yep heard *plenty* of stories about the DMV. This is getting complex now! As said earlier..it may be better in Europe. Apart from the language barrier it should be fairly similar!
    The vehicle(s) can be registered here, and we could do them up to a liveable standard more easily here aswell.
     
  4. Mathmarauder

    Mathmarauder New Member

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    As stated it is very hard to find a car over here to rent on the cheap. The other thing to remember is while you can drink(alcohol) in the UK over here its illegal under 21. It may not be as exciting but you could look into Amtrak and Greyhound, Amtrak being continental train service and Greyhound offering bus service, both of these stop frequently are painless to use and if you can swing a good deal sometimes it may only cost you 1$USD(Greyhound has certain deals in the summer mostly 200-300 mile trips that only cost a buck) these are what I would consider. I realize my suggestions are a little different than the traditional road trip but with the gouging at the gas pumps your going to be spending 50-150 bucks a day on gas alone which is never fun.
     
  5. Jamie

    Jamie ex-Bit-Tech code junkie

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    You just need to find the right rental company if you are under 25. I've rented Mustangs and Chargers in America under 25, it costs a bit more per day though. When we hired the Mustang from San Francisco they were happy for us to drive to New York and back for all they cared. Make sure you rent from a national chain so you don't have to drop the car off where you picked it up.

    You will be fine at Motels, I've done a few thousand miles around the western states and stay at motels every night. You don't need to book in advance but it's generally better if you book online using hotels.com or similar the night before using free wifi which is all over the place. You can just turn up at motels and book if they have room.

    Get a GPS system such as TomTom with the USA maps, it'll save you so much hassle.

    You can drive with a normal UK car license, nothing special is needed.

    Make sure you read up on road laws and regulations before you go so you know what to do.

    I wouldn't get an RV, it'll drink gas and you'll just have trouble in cities as you mention. I'd go for a large SUV or people carrier such as a Ford Expedition or Chrysler Grand Voyager.
     
  6. Rocket733

    Rocket733 Austerity - It's the only way

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    The problem with Greyhound and Amtrak is they take so freaking long to get anywhere. I looked into taking the train to New York just for the heck of it. From Indianapolis to New York is a 19-20 hour train ride. That's 7 hours longer than it would take to drive there. Sounds like a huge waste of time to me. To go to Chicago from Indianapolis is 1-2 hours longer than it takes to drive there. Public transportation in the US just isn't up to par with most of Europe; especially if you're not in a large city.
     
  7. Brett89

    Brett89 Active Member

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    Amtrak would be interesting, I was thinking of doing something like that with my friends, seems like a good idea to me. It takes longer, but driving can get old, I just did an eight hour drive yesterday. But you could stop wherever and stretch your legs in a car, I don't because I'm slightly thick-headed and obsess about making good time. a GPS would probably help a lot, you can definitely get by with a good road map, but that's the thing, it should be good. I'd love to do the same thing in Europe.
     
  8. chrisb2e9

    chrisb2e9 Dont do that...

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    another problem with a bus or train is that you are limited to go where they go. the great thing about a car is that you can go where you want to go, and change your plans mid way if you want and go somewhere else.
     
  9. knuck

    knuck Hate your face

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    what about a trip across Canada ? [​IMG]
     
  10. Brett89

    Brett89 Active Member

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  11. chrisb2e9

    chrisb2e9 Dont do that...

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    yeah, and now that winter is ending there is now going to be a danger of flooding from all the melting snow.
     
  12. TekMonkey

    TekMonkey I enjoy cheese.

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    If you're planning on renting a vehicle, try to get a high-MPG SUV like a Toyota Highlander or a mini-van, as they're a bit roomier and get better mileage.
     
  13. Fozzy

    Fozzy New Member

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    I've been pulled over before and I hadn't registered a car for 3 months (But it wasn't daily driven either) They gave me a ticket which I fought in court...kinda....I got it registered and presented it. But anyways, if you aren't living in the country then why the hell would you care? I mean it's not like you're hurting anyone. Oh and as for the insurance thing....yeah that does suck. Guess it's up to you as to whether or not you want to wait at the DMV for 2 days and get pulled over for not having plates anyways.
     
  14. ClearCaseMan

    ClearCaseMan Acrylic GOD

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  15. Jamie

    Jamie ex-Bit-Tech code junkie

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    I can recommend budget.
     
  16. EdfromUK

    EdfromUK New Member

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    Hey, i picked this thread up off a google search and thought i'd give it some input.

    My friend and i (both 19) will be travelling america this summer on our gap year for 2 and a half months. The car rental IS tough, but if you have plenty of time to spare and you are determined it isn't that bad. We're going from NY down to miami by amtrak/greyhound then flying to LA and renting a car there. I didnt look into rentals anywhere else other than california so if you were to take my advice you'd probably want to start your trip there.

    There are actually TONS of rental companies in LA who will rent to under 21... but all of them contain the same catch. you need to provide your own insurance. This is broken down into 2 main parts, comprehensive (damage to your car you're driving) and liability (damage to others and their cars). The damage to the rental car can be covered by your credit card (only some banks), i'm getting a capitol one gold card, it does the trick. It can also be provided by some rental companies even if you are under 21.

    Now for the hard part - the liability insurance. I've spent the best part of the morning researching this one.
    What you effectively need is what they call a "non-owner auto insurance policy". This covers any damage you do to other people and their cars regardless of what car you are driving. I emailed a bunch of insurance companies in california this morning asking for more details and if its possible to obtain this without a US address, i'm stil waiting on replies (time zone difference).

    I'll get back to you as soon as i hear more, but in the meantime feel free to drop me an email at edshee1@yahoo.co.uk if you have any questions or so. I'm no expert, but i've spend one hell of alot of time trying to figure out how best to do this trip. What are your dates you're gonna be out there? We're doing end of may to beginning of august.

    Hope it helps,

    Ed
     
  17. profqwerty

    profqwerty New Member

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    Hmm I the budget one looked OK but was sold out of anything useful:( plus was quite expensive for the <25yrs as you say (but otherwise had some pretty good deals damn my age :wallbash:). It also tried to charge me in "UKL" whatever currency that is...
    Tbh it does look like it's swerving towards Europe with some other factors. That certainly makes things simpler what with the EU and all.

    Maybe we could do something like the TopGear challenge and take a budget supercar to find some awesomage roads:p

    But certainly it'd be easier! Is anyone on these forums from Europe? Any places worth visiting (aside from Amsterdam, Prague, Venice, Paris, etc)...?

    EDIT
    Sorry Ed I took awhile between replying and actually posting so didn't see your post.
    We certainly wouldn't be out for more than a month, I think I'd kill someone if we're in the same car for that long.

    I have the insurance policy you're talking about, but it only applies inside the UK. Touch wood it'll be 1yr NCB in July so I may be able to afford it in other countries (I'm covered for my car abroad though...it'd just take a while to get there!).

    I'll wait on your reply to see what can be done:)
     
    Last edited: 5 Mar 2008
  18. EdfromUK

    EdfromUK New Member

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    Still waiting on replies, but you might be able to extend your current policy for a small cost if you ring your insurers up. Are you planning on returning the car to where you rented it from? if not it can add huge costs if its not from a major chain. Unfortunately its the major chains who dont like to rent to under 21's tho :(

    If you decide to go for europe i'm not sure why you'd want to go by car. The "usual" thing to do is to grab yourself an interrail pass which essentially lets you use any train to go anywhere in europe. Unlike america, europe has good public transport. Loads of my friends have done europe by this method and they all absolutely loved it.
    One sneaky trick if you're out of cash or cant find somewhere to stay for a night is to get a train to somwehere completely random quite far away and come straight back again. You get a free nights sleep on a train which beats the pavement.
     
  19. profqwerty

    profqwerty New Member

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    Yes the Interrail pass is something I am looking into actually. I'lll continue to do so:)

    It certainly seems good. I notice there's no 1st class youth ticket:p

    You'd have to back pack it though as bags/belongings would be difficult...
     
    Last edited: 5 Mar 2008
  20. EdfromUK

    EdfromUK New Member

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    Just a little update. Most of the insurance companies i contacted came back saying that they would normally offer me the policy, but they do not offer short-term contracts. I'd have to buy it for the year if i wanted to get it from a major insurer. I was also told by many of them that if i ring an insurance broker in the area i'll be renting the car (LA) they should be able to provide me with it.

    Having said that, i did recieve an email from one of the car rental companies saying that they would provide the insurance for me themselves provided i pay extra for it. They quoted me $500 per month which seems very steep and i suspect they are making a vast profit out of it, but at least its a definate way to rent a car now.

    Any decisions on where you're going yet?
     

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