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American road trip

edited January 2009 in - USA
How can a foreigner do the great American road trip? Is it possible to rent an RV and drop it off in another destination when finished, can this be done with a car? What are some famouse road trip routes to follow and will a foriegn drivers liscence be enough in all states?


  • edited 10:04AM
    You can rent a car or RV easily online, and most major car companies let you drop off the car in branches in major cities. Rv's are a bit more limited for drop off locations but it is still very possible. For foreigners to ren a car in the states they need both a drivers liscence in the country they are from and an international drivers liscence. For routes i would recommend buying one of the many guide books created only for road tripping in the states. In general a East to West (or visa Versa) is best done through southern states, say down the west coast to california, across the deep south and up the eastern seabord. Northern passages might be less interesting.
  • edited 10:04AM
    The best way to see the US is via road trip. Renting is good value but still very expensive. A better bet is to buy a van and some camping gear. A decent van or pickup costs under $1500 second hand and you can resell it after your trip for 80% of the value. Fuel is also cheap in the states compared to other places. An exciting but long route is along the west coast axis from alaska to mexico, or from San Fran down through the south back up to New York. Route 66 is still cool - about 85% (260 miles) is still drivable. You can skip the mid-west, as its flat and full of potatoes and bad music, and texas is also boring, but the rest, as they say, is all good!
  • edited 10:04AM
    I disagree about the common feeling that Texas can be surpassed. There are some fantastic places in Texas that need to be seen. Big Bend National Park is unbelievable, and there are lesser known hot springs there right on the Rio Grande (Rio Grande village is what it's called in Big Bend Nat'l Park) that are unreal. Western Texas particularly is cool, with a bunch of artists colonies and fascinating places to be seen. Texas cannot be overlooked. Just don't go to Houston.
  • edited 10:04AM
    Go to Texas. It's great.
    But I do agree, dont go to Houston
  • edited 10:04AM
    Check out this article for a great idea for a road trip through ancient midwest
  • edited 10:04AM
    Hello David F
    You say that buying is better than renting.
    What requirements are there in terms of car insurance if you buy, especially if you are a foreigner.
    And.. who do you buy the insurance from (a company in the US or the UK)?
    What documentation must you make sure you get when you buy a vehicle over there? In the UK we have vehicle registration documents, an MOT ( roadworthiness certificate) and tax disc that are all required to drive legally on British roads.
  • edited 10:04AM
    To buy a car you need to (1) buy insurance for the planned duration of your ownership (some good reports about, and (2) register the vehicle with the local DMV. You need insurance before you can acquire the papers and license disks. Requirements, however, do vary state by state. The best thing you can do is seek advice from the car dealer, and speak to the local DMV. A lot of foreign visitors go through this process every year, and while it might take a few days, you will get everything you need in the end. It is worth getting an Internaitonal Drivers License although you should also have your original license with you as well.

    Remember to leave enough time at the end of the trip to sell your car. You want another traveller to take over ownership. If you are rushed you will be forced to go through a dealer and in that case factor in losing up to 50% of the value.
  • edited 10:04AM
    Is it necessary to have a US address to register the car to if you're buying a car as a foreigner? I'll be coming over from the UK with my wife for a 9 month trip, and we want to buy a car for the whole 9 month period, but won't have a US base to register it to. Will it be possible?
  • Here is a quick history of the great American roadtrip:
    I recommend flying in and out of different places, any big rental company will let you drop off your car at a different location. That would be best, you don't want to drive back to where you came from!
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