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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

We have recently moved to Philadelphia from England and are looking into leasing a car and need to get this sorted quite urgently. We have been working with expat rides to arrange a lease however it seems really expensive. We would like a second hand reliable car, the biggest expense seems to be the insurance which we have been quoted would be $4500 per year.

We do not have any credit in the U.S. However would like to know from other people's experiences whether they have had a better deals and which companies you would recommend.

Thank you
 

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What vehicle are you trying to lease? That's a significant automobile insurance premium. Are you trying to lease a rather high-end luxury car?
 

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How old are you? Is there another driver?
How long since you got your drivers license?
How long since you had your last ticket? Was your license ever suspended?
 

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What did the insurances those other people use quote you? Their individual circumstances may not be similar to yours - number of drivers, age, vehicle make/model/year, location and parking.


We have friends in their 50s who recentlynpaid 3k anno for a RAM pick up truck during their first year as US residents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No this quote was for a very basic ford fiesta. Does anyone have any experiences of using certain companies in america that I may be able to try for a better quote.

Thank you
 

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Maybe you can buy a car and pay cash?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am looking at buying cars however the process of buying a car in america seems a lot more complicated. And I am also not clear whether we would have to have Pennsylvanian driving licenses to be able to do this which we do not have and have been told are extremely hard to get. Does anyone know this?
 

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I am looking at buying cars however the process of buying a car in america seems a lot more complicated. And I am also not clear whether we would have to have Pennsylvanian driving licenses to be able to do this which we do not have and have been told are extremely hard to get. Does anyone know this?
PA does not seem to be particularly difficult. The usual 30 day grace period for new residents applies. Here is the link to DMV
PennDOT Driver and Vehicle Services - New Residents

What is complicated? You pick a car, pay for it, let the dealer handle tag and title paperwork. A big more paperwork is involved in leasing. I do not know if leasing is an option for sub compacts.
 

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Be very careful with leasing. Most auto leases these days are written for just 10,000 miles annually and if you exceed that (which you very likely will) the cost at lease settlement can be $0.25 per mile overage.

If you are an experienced driver you should not have any trouble passing the written and driving tests in any US state. You don't technically require a license to buy a car however you will need a license in order to insure it; so, for all intents and purposes, you need a license to buy a car. :)

As to insurance, you can try a company like Progressive (.com) as a good starting point. But I fear that without a US driving record, your cost will indeed be high. Another poster suggested purchasing your car for cash; by doing so, you could avoid about 1/3 of the insurance cost by declining all coverage (often called "Collision & Comprehensive") related to the repair or replacement of your vehicle in the event of accident, theft, etc. I would absolutely not recommend doing so but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. If you have any sort of loan on the car (or a lease), the finance company will demand that you have collision & comprehensive coverage.
 

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My wife and I bought and insured our present car without either of us having a US driving license.

It doesn't matter how experienced a driver you are overseas, you will fail the written test unless you study for it. How would an experienced UK driver know how close you're allowed to park to a fire hydrant, for example? Or to a railroad crossing. What is the default speed limit in a school zone? All made harder by coming to a country that still, quaintly, uses mph and feet as measurements.
 

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My wife and I bought and insured our present car without either of us having a US driving license.

It doesn't matter how experienced a driver you are overseas, you will fail the written test unless you study for it. How would an experienced UK driver know how close you're allowed to park to a fire hydrant, for example? Or to a railroad crossing. What is the default speed limit in a school zone? All made harder by coming to a country that still, quaintly, uses mph and feet as measurements.
Yes, it is understood that you would need to study, but heck, tens of thousands of 18 year-old (16 in many states and even younger in a few) do it every year, so how hard can it be?

I am curious about your obtaining liability insurance using only your foreign driver's license. What country issued it? Are you still driving on your foreign license? If so, for how long?

New York State, for example, requires that you obtain a New York driver's license within 30 days of becoming resident...
 

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My wife and I bought and insured our present car without either of us having a US driving license.

It doesn't matter how experienced a driver you are overseas, you will fail the written test unless you study for it. How would an experienced UK driver know how close you're allowed to park to a fire hydrant, for example? Or to a railroad crossing. What is the default speed limit in a school zone? All made harder by coming to a country that still, quaintly, uses mph and feet as measurements.
When the vehicle in question is a basic Fiesta cost may be a factor for insurance as well.

The site of every state's DMV gives information about how to download or pick up a driver's manual. OP is in the US. Time to adjust.
 

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Yes, it is understood that you would need to study, but heck, tens of thousands of 18 year-old (16 in many states and even younger in a few) do it every year, so how hard can it be?
I didn't suggest it was difficult. I was directly addressing your comment, which didn't mention study, by adding that some study would be necessary.

I am curious about your obtaining liability insurance using only your foreign driver's license. What country issued it? Are you still driving on your foreign license? If so, for how long?
Issued in Australia. Since then, I've obtained a DC license.

New York State, for example, requires that you obtain a New York driver's license within 30 days of becoming resident...
I'm sure DC has some similar rule, but I didn't bother checking it out. We needed a car, so we bought one. When I was able, I went and got a license.
 

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We're moving to NY and have been told it's essential to get a NY state driving licence. Have a look at the PA DMV website for their practice tests, which are a good way to learn and revise.
We're also talking to ExpatRides and IAS, and also concerned that the cost seems very high, with restrictions and potential hidden costs of we use the car for touring.
We're now looking at buying and have been advised to look at CT, rather than NY as they have more relaxed requirements for car purchase. Might be worth 'state shopping' for the easiest buying environment?
We have not even started yet with insurance, so I cannot help you on that question. All I do know is that you will have insurance arranged by ExpatRides etc and this will take into account your UK driving record, whereas insurers in the States will not.
It might work out cheaper overall to do the lease option, although it will carry more risk in terms of damage cost and mileage 'overage'.
The issue for me is that it is very difficult to get firm all-in costs for comparison.
Best of luck!
 

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By the way...

I can't comment on other states, but in Connecticut a car lessee is responsible for the annual personal property tax. So, that nice car that the dealer quoted lease payments of $350/month may actually cost you anywhere from $400 to $500 per month (or more) depending on the town/city in which you reside.

Cars are taxed based on the Kelley Blue Book value at rates of around $25 per year to as high as $70 per year per $1,000 value, depending on the local tax mill rate.

Current rates can be found here CT Mill Rates | CT Property Taxes | Connecticut Mill Rates

Stay away from Hartford, especially if you plan to own or lease a high-end vehicle!
 
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