Non US citizen buying & driving car in US - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-05-2005, 05:13 AM Thread Starter
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Non US citizen buying & driving car in US

Dear All,

I have been thinking about flying over to California, buying a 60's Pagoda, driving it across the USA for 1 month or so and then shipping the car back to the UK, where I am a resident.

Does anyone know if this would be achievable (financials aside)? My main concerns are regsitering the car in my name and insuring it for the drive across.

It would really be a fantastic experience, so any insights most welcome!

On a related note, any estimates on how much it would cost to have the hardtop shipped separately from California to New Jersey? I'd like to do the trip top down.

Thanks for your help!
Riccardo
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-05-2005, 12:01 PM
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RE: Non US citizen buying & driving car in US

The illegals here do it all the time -- don't see why someone who wants to do it legally and on the up-and-up would have a problem... Try googling the CA DMV-Dept of Motor Vehicles (some states call it MVA-Motor Vehicle Administration) and call them.

Sorry, no idea what it would co$t to ship your HT.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-05-2005, 12:49 PM
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RE: Non US citizen buying & driving car in US

Here is the DMV in CA: http://www.dmv.ca.gov

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-05-2005, 12:58 PM
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RE: Non US citizen buying & driving car in US

there is companies that will insure you will foreign license.

Kirill
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-05-2005, 08:01 PM
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RE: Non US citizen buying & driving car in US

It shouldn't be too hard. In my last squadron, we had two or three foreign exchange officers at any given time, from the UK, Australia, France and Germany. All of them bought cars here and were able to get licenses and insurance. Off the top of my head, I can't recall any that took the cars home with them, though.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-05-2005, 08:17 PM
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RE: Non US citizen buying & driving car in US

Shipping from the east coast will be US $2000-5000 dependeing on how pampered you want the car to be.

I used to live in Surrey, the St. George's Hill part of Weybridge. One of my friends from the neighborhood there came here to visit a few years ago. He bought a 64 Corvette Stingray and did ship it back to the UK from the Chicago area.
No hassles at all. He did drive it here on an inernational license and no problems getting insurance once they verified his driving record with the British agency. He arranged it all before he left the UK to come here.
I miss taking my car in for the M.O.T. Have a kidney pie and a pint for me.[:)]
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-05-2005, 09:42 PM
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RE: Non US citizen buying & driving car in US

This might help.

http://www.usatourist.com/english/tips/carbuying.html

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2005, 09:16 AM
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RE: Non US citizen buying & driving car in US

Quote:
Noodles - 12/5/2005 11:17 PM

Shipping from the east coast will be US $2000-5000 dependeing on how pampered you want the car to be.
You can ship a car from New York area to Europe - around 1000$, shipping from CA to NY - 500$

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2005, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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RE: Non US citizen buying & driving car in US

Thanks to everyone for their help so far, its been very useful. That car buying site is very useful indeed as it sounds pretty much what I have in mind doing. Looks like the best option is to get the international licence and get in touch with a few insurance companies beforehand, I have the numbers of a few (from Google).

I confirm that shipping should be around $1000 +some taxes for one way roll on roll off, from what I have read on sites etc. Should be easy to do as its done all the time.

The only thing missing now is a US address, but as I have plenty of American friends that shouldn't be too hard, the only issue is that they're in New York and I want to buy a West Coast car (less rust).

Noodles, I am not sure I would miss the MOT so much myself! I'll have a pint and a pie though [:)]
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-07-2005, 11:28 PM
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RE: Non US citizen buying & driving car in US

I don't blame you with the West Coast car, although I'm sure there are many excellent examples throughout the country. I recently purchased a gray market 450SL that spent most of its life in northern California. The car was completely spotless... undercarriage, suspension components, door sills, trunk, etc... not a spec of rust.

That doesn't mean the rusty ones aren't out there, but with a well-documented car, chances are you'll find a quality. A 60's Pagoda SL would be next on my list!
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