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Old 03-24-2009, 04:07 PM
 
6,370 posts, read 10,463,289 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devilish View Post
Hmm, looks like I'd have to go for a $10-$20k car to be able to reduce insurance + car payments. But more than that, I'm also looking for the process itself on how these "car payments" work. The internet has a lot of info on this; however, they're all confusing and not directly related to my visa situation.

I've never bought a car using financing, and so the whole thing is basically new to me.
If you buy a $20,000 car, put $5,000 down on it then you owe a balance of $15,000. Typical new/used car loans are 4 years at a specific interest rate, negotiated by yourself and what your credit can allow you to get. However the length is really up to you depending on budget.

With basically no credit history, you'd be hard pressed to get a loan at any decent interest rate. You're probably more looking at 15% or so.

Plugging that into a loan calculator, $15,000 loan, 4 years, 15% you get $417/month. Total payments of around $20,000 + $5000 down payment so you looking at a total cost of around $25,000 for your $20,000 car.

You might want to find out if you can indeed qualify for any bank financing. You might need a letter from your employer saying you are making $xx,xxx per year would help. How long is your visa good for? I'm not really familiar with that topic but if it's only good for 2 years it would be tough getting a loan for 4.

Insurance goes on top of this. You might plan on spending $2500-$3000/year ($200-$250/month) for full coverage insurance for a $20k car with no previous driving record. You can get quotes from many different agencies. I would expect you'd have to pay 6 months upfront, before getting the car.

Personally, I've never made payments on a car, I've always bought with cash. They weren't new cars, but it's cheaper than a new one. Plus I have basic insurance on them, and it costs me a fraction of what you'd pay for full coverage.
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:06 PM
 
42 posts, read 90,950 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
My previous point is that a track school won't help you get a driver's license. They teach good stuff, actually useful stuff even on the street, but every US driver's test I have done or seen the car never got above 35 MPH, the test emphasizes things like backing around a corner, parallel parking, etc. These are skills you might use in an urban area, but they are not critical skills, they are not safety related skills.

You will almost certainly need a regular driver's license for a track school, (even though the skills demonstrated for the regular license are for the most part irrelevant on track) so I would really point you to a good street driving school, these are frequently marketed to people's adolescent kids as they learn to drive, but my wife took one awhile back, step-daughter as well, and it helped them with the test as it is.

Financing/leasing. You will need a job, for a job you will have to upgrade your visa, IIRC. Honestly I would suggest the last thing you need to do is set yourself up for big car payments right away. If you are looking at Atlanta, the public transport is really pretty good. Consider something like ZipCar as a way to have a car available without specific commitment.
No, no, I totally understood you the first time; I was just trying to clarify that knowing that the test is based on small things isn't really going to phase me since I'm going to take it up to me to make sure I'm a good driver to begin with.
Thanks for that bit about the track school - I just thought it's a "better" school when you guys mentioned it. I guess I'll need to go to a regular school first, get the license and enlist in a "track school" to be able to get that real class, heh.
You're probably saying those good things about Marta because you haven't been to Toronto. IMHO, Toronto's transit system is one of THE best ones out there. I never thought so when I was in Toronto, but now I truly believe in that. They have an exquisite subway system and for me, traveling on the subway is a much better way of traveling than taking the bus. The only reason I'm finally taking the plunge into cardom is the fact that I hate taking a bus. Besides, my position at work carries a certain stature, which is why a car would almost definitely be considered an accessory. So, I have more than one reason for getting a car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
Everyone I know that visits the US on visitors visa's and owns a car here has paid cash in full for it. I think you will have a very difficult time getting financed for a car given your circumstances, and if you do find a finance company to work with you, they will want a high downpayment and very high interest rate.

Also insurance is rated on a variety of factors, one being how long you've had a valid license in the US. With a new license you will pay the highest rates, even if you are middle-aged, and on a higher end car, you could be looking at upwards of $5000 a year!
Hah, funny you say that, I only atleast one other person who indeed bought her car in cash. My visit license in the US is valid up to 2017. So, no worries there at all. Infact, once I figure out a few personal things I will have to jump on acquiring the "legally working with visa" title (a whole different topic where I will be asking questions)

Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
If you buy a $20,000 car, put $5,000 down on it then you owe a balance of $15,000. Typical new/used car loans are 4 years at a specific interest rate, negotiated by yourself and what your credit can allow you to get. However the length is really up to you depending on budget.

With basically no credit history, you'd be hard pressed to get a loan at any decent interest rate. You're probably more looking at 15% or so.

Plugging that into a loan calculator, $15,000 loan, 4 years, 15% you get $417/month. Total payments of around $20,000 + $5000 down payment so you looking at a total cost of around $25,000 for your $20,000 car.

You might want to find out if you can indeed qualify for any bank financing. You might need a letter from your employer saying you are making $xx,xxx per year would help. How long is your visa good for? I'm not really familiar with that topic but if it's only good for 2 years it would be tough getting a loan for 4.

Insurance goes on top of this. You might plan on spending $2500-$3000/year ($200-$250/month) for full coverage insurance for a $20k car with no previous driving record. You can get quotes from many different agencies. I would expect you'd have to pay 6 months upfront, before getting the car.

Personally, I've never made payments on a car, I've always bought with cash. They weren't new cars, but it's cheaper than a new one. Plus I have basic insurance on them, and it costs me a fraction of what you'd pay for full coverage.
You, sir, have educated me a lot in one post. Just so you know, my visit visa is valid through 2017. Getting a letter, etc is not a problem so please go ahead and always assume I have full co-operation from employer.

Now, just the way I might have problems with regards to financing, what do you think about me getting insurance? Also, what if I lease the car instead of buying it?
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:07 PM
 
6,370 posts, read 10,463,289 times
Reputation: 4119
I'm not sure how leasing works to be honest. I would think you pay the dealer directly instead of the bank holding your note, but I'm not sure. In addition with a lease you won't ever own the car. Typically its a bad financial move unless you ALWAYS want a new car, or are a business that can continue to write it off.

As far as insurance goes you'd have to call them. Geico, Farmers, Erie, Allstate, State Farm, there are a ton out there. Stick with a "name brand" company and you should be fine. Call and ask for quotes, just make up a car (one that you are looking at) and an address.
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
8,825 posts, read 23,258,677 times
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Well, the MARTA metro is as I said OK. It's pretty limited really in coverage but if it goes where you want to go, it generally runs on time, it's fairly clean, it's pretty safe, has it's own police force who take care of riff-raff pretty efficiently. Have not been to Toronto but have been to Moscow, and that, brother, is a Metro. Probably best in the world. MARTA is nothing like that, but for the parts of downtown it serves believe me it's a better tool than any kind of car or motorcycle for getting around.

As to a car that's depreciating rapidly and you are buying on time as a fashion accessory or status symbol - go ahead, go there if you want to, depending on what industry you are in it may work for you, and if you are involved in hauling clients around like a real estate agent it's part of the overhead of doing business. But I don't go there.

Me, I spend my car dollar only on 2 kinds of ride:

1. Fully depreciated older (10-25 year old) but decent condition vehicles, these are tools to get me from A to B, and maybe provide some motoring entertainment, but these are cheap cars I buy for cash - 82 Scirocco, 87 Toyota Camry, 92 Subaru Legacy sedan, etc.

2. Collector cars in good to excellent condition that are weekend toys, mostly, I *can* drive them to work but generally don't. These cars are distinguished by *appreciating* in value, not depreciating! - 88 M3, 72 MG-B. The M I had to borrow money to buy, the B is intact but has dead paint and in general is not in that crisp a condition so it was cheap enough to pay cash.

I don't have space in my garage for late models with values dropping like an anvil in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Borrowing money to buy such a car borders on the insane, and keeping one in downtown Atlanta where it will inevitably collect some "urban rash" and depreciate even faster, is just nuts IMHO.

But, it's a free country, if you want to spend your money that way, you certainly can.
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:35 PM
 
42 posts, read 90,950 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
I'm not sure how leasing works to be honest. I would think you pay the dealer directly instead of the bank holding your note, but I'm not sure. In addition with a lease you won't ever own the car. Typically its a bad financial move unless you ALWAYS want a new car, or are a business that can continue to write it off.

As far as insurance goes you'd have to call them. Geico, Farmers, Erie, Allstate, State Farm, there are a ton out there. Stick with a "name brand" company and you should be fine. Call and ask for quotes, just make up a car (one that you are looking at) and an address.
I'll be making some calls over the next week, let's see what they have.
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:40 PM
 
42 posts, read 90,950 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
Well, the MARTA metro is as I said OK. It's pretty limited really in coverage but if it goes where you want to go, it generally runs on time, it's fairly clean, it's pretty safe, has it's own police force who take care of riff-raff pretty efficiently. Have not been to Toronto but have been to Moscow, and that, brother, is a Metro. Probably best in the world. MARTA is nothing like that, but for the parts of downtown it serves believe me it's a better tool than any kind of car or motorcycle for getting around.

As to a car that's depreciating rapidly and you are buying on time as a fashion accessory or status symbol - go ahead, go there if you want to, depending on what industry you are in it may work for you, and if you are involved in hauling clients around like a real estate agent it's part of the overhead of doing business. But I don't go there.

Me, I spend my car dollar only on 2 kinds of ride:

1. Fully depreciated older (10-25 year old) but decent condition vehicles, these are tools to get me from A to B, and maybe provide some motoring entertainment, but these are cheap cars I buy for cash - 82 Scirocco, 87 Toyota Camry, 92 Subaru Legacy sedan, etc.

2. Collector cars in good to excellent condition that are weekend toys, mostly, I *can* drive them to work but generally don't. These cars are distinguished by *appreciating* in value, not depreciating! - 88 M3, 72 MG-B. The M I had to borrow money to buy, the B is intact but has dead paint and in general is not in that crisp a condition so it was cheap enough to pay cash.

I don't have space in my garage for late models with values dropping like an anvil in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Borrowing money to buy such a car borders on the insane, and keeping one in downtown Atlanta where it will inevitably collect some "urban rash" and depreciate even faster, is just nuts IMHO.

But, it's a free country, if you want to spend your money that way, you certainly can.
Oh, I so want to buy an old mustang!
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Old 03-25-2009, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Fly-over country.
1,764 posts, read 4,605,573 times
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Let us know what you get, and since I forgot earlier, WELCOME to the US.
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Old 03-25-2009, 08:20 PM
 
42 posts, read 90,950 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caution View Post
Let us know what you get, and since I forgot earlier, WELCOME to the US.
It's going to take some time anyway as I have to first find a good school (preferably one that'll pick me up and drop me off) first. But thanks for the welcome!
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:09 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,012 posts, read 6,530,036 times
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If you have a letter from your Indian credit rating agency, with contact information, and a bank letter proving a good credit standing and cash reserves outside the USA then most car dealerships will offer you loans and the possibility of a lease. Having a letter of employment from your US corporation (maybe not necessary if you're independently wealthy) is advisable. Canadian accounts and credit history are nearly identical to US ones - merely a call (but to be safe, bring your most recent account details printed out) will suffice while at the dealership. Same credit rating agencies operate in the USA and Canada.

A person who sublet my apartment in Seattle was from France and she just had to prove she had credit history in france and a bank account. It may take a little to have the dealership confirm the bank and credit history but it is doable. Of course I cannot guarantee the same result on Indian accounts but it's worth a shot. However ...

If you plan on staying in the USA for a while then I'd recommend taking out a couple credit cards and use them (get travel points or other rebates-oriented cards, mind your expenses and you should be fine). Also open a bank account and set up direct withdrawals if offered to pay the monthly payments. Some banks will even give you preferred rates if you set up automatic withdrawals and deposits.
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:36 PM
 
42 posts, read 90,950 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by eskercurve View Post
If you have a letter from your Indian credit rating agency, with contact information, and a bank letter proving a good credit standing and cash reserves outside the USA then most car dealerships will offer you loans and the possibility of a lease. Having a letter of employment from your US corporation (maybe not necessary if you're independently wealthy) is advisable. Canadian accounts and credit history are nearly identical to US ones - merely a call (but to be safe, bring your most recent account details printed out) will suffice while at the dealership. Same credit rating agencies operate in the USA and Canada.

A person who sublet my apartment in Seattle was from France and she just had to prove she had credit history in france and a bank account. It may take a little to have the dealership confirm the bank and credit history but it is doable. Of course I cannot guarantee the same result on Indian accounts but it's worth a shot. However ...

If you plan on staying in the USA for a while then I'd recommend taking out a couple credit cards and use them (get travel points or other rebates-oriented cards, mind your expenses and you should be fine). Also open a bank account and set up direct withdrawals if offered to pay the monthly payments. Some banks will even give you preferred rates if you set up automatic withdrawals and deposits.
I'm going to be doing the credit card thing. Just don't think the International thing is going to work as I myself don't remember any details from India.
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