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Old 06-30-2010, 09:10 AM
 
599 posts, read 5,656,684 times
Reputation: 1272

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I'm very excited for my upcoming move to Idaho Falls in just a few weeks. Even if there are a lot of things to keep track of at the moment, I think I have most of them under control. I even have my Visa. Yay!

I now need the help from the knowledgeable people at this forum. I found out that it was way to expensive to bring my car with me from Sweden since Peugeot is not sold in the US. It's a bit sad since I bought a brand new car this January, which I now have to sell. I tried to get out of the deal when I was offered the job in Idaho Falls, but I was not possible.

Obviously, I need to buy a car when I arrive in Idaho Falls since long-term use of rental cars are a bit too expensive. Even though I'm selling my car in Sweden I will not have much money to buy a car in the US. I must say I was a bit surprised by the prices of pre-owned cars in the IF that I have found so far. For some reason I thought cars would be a bit less expensive in the US compared to Sweden. For the car I have that I was all new, I paid $24.000. The car is a small but sporty car (peugeot 207) which is very fun to drive. I have about $13.000 in car loan. If I'm lucky I'll break even when I sell the car, if I'm very lucky I'll actually have some money left when the loan is paid. However, this is beside the point. Sorry, I got a bit sidetracked.

I do have between $10.000-$15.000 (maybe a bit more) to put in to a car in the US. I'm not sure about my ability to get a car loan due to me being a strange foreigner with no SSN (yet). I need your help to find good serious pre-own car dealerships in IF or somewhat close by. I have only tried google, and that doesn't really say much about the seriousness of a dealer.

Thank you,
joox
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Old 06-30-2010, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
27,191 posts, read 18,521,377 times
Reputation: 21285
Hi, joox...
I hope you love Idaho Falls!
The new car dealerships also sell used cars, and there are many used car dealers here. You will find a wide selection of used cars in the price range you mentioned.
Some dealers provide a used car warranty of their own, and most newer cars that still have part of their original warranty remaining can transfer that remainder to a new owner. You may well find a car that is only few years old, with low miles, that still has some original warranty left in your price range.

Any dealer should be honest and up-front with their cars. It always pays to talk to them about this when you are seriously considering a car. Sorry- there are no Peueots here, but you will find all the popular Asian imports and all the American makes. There are a lot of used light trucks and SUV's here, as they fit Idahoans' lifestyles very well. You will also find a lot of all-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles.

There are some highly trusted mechanics here that will give any car you seriously consider a good inspection for a small fee. If you find an older car you love, this may be a very good move, as you would know beforehand if it has any potential for mechanical problems.
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Old 07-01-2010, 02:43 AM
 
599 posts, read 5,656,684 times
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Thank you for the information, Banjomike
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Old 07-01-2010, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Land of Red
4,958 posts, read 16,993,533 times
Reputation: 3149
I have a few ideas, please check your Direct Messages
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:51 AM
 
599 posts, read 5,656,684 times
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cleosmom:
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Old 07-02-2010, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
27,191 posts, read 18,521,377 times
Reputation: 21285
You're welcome, Joox.
One thing I forgot to mention is talking to your fellow workers- they'll be a good source of info for you.
You will need a car here, for sure... Idaho Falls is not very friendly for walkers and bike riders in many parts of town.

The car dealerships are mostly concentrated along a few streets, so shopping for a vehicle will be pretty simple.
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:10 PM
 
599 posts, read 5,656,684 times
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I have some other - somewhat related - questions:
What does 'resident' REALLY mean? and will I be regarded an US resident or a Swedish resident?

I think I might have to explain this. To get a better feeling for the relative cost of a car in the US I was trying to find out what a rental car would cost. I don't have a clue what car insurance would cost me, but I guess that it will be expensive and I guess that it would be about the same as the insurance for a rental car (please correct me if I'm wrong on this). I was looking at Budget and I found out that it was a quite a difference between being an US resident compared to a Swedish resident.

7 days and the cheapest car option gives the following results:

US resident
base rent for car - 461.93
loss of damage waiver (LDW) - 25.99 * 7
Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI) - 14.49 * 7
Personal Accident and Effects (PAE) - 6.95 * 7
includes free mileage
Total cost - 793.94

SWE resident
base rent for car - 226.00
LDW - included
SLI - included
PAE - 6.95 * 7
no mileage included
Total cost - 274.65

I found out that as long as I don't rent more than 27 days SLI and DWI will be included. I don't understand why the base cost for the car is different. It's the same car class.

The reason this matters to me is that I have promised myself to view the first year in Idaho Falls as a trial period. If the cost for a rental car for a year is less than the price of a pre-owned car and insurance (incl. the deduction for potentially money from selling the car), then it makes no sense for me to buy a car at the moment.

According to my current Visa I'm allowed to work in the US until spring 2013 and hence may very well be living in Idaho Falls these three years.

Any thoughts on this are much welcomed!

/joox
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:38 PM
 
6,170 posts, read 6,127,326 times
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That price gap is weird and I don't immediately understand it either. (Several factors might be involved but I'll skip the speculation.)

For short-term renters your home country would be your residence base.
As a "resident-alien" (a legal resident, who is not a US citizen) with a US address and job, I'd guess you might be considered a resident but it could go either way.


If you use a rental car for short times (say the first month or just on weekends if you can & want to car or vanpool to work), definitely shop around different companies, thru different internet sites (direct from the company and resellers like Orbitz), airport pickup vs in city, and even different times of day and week. They play games offering different prices, figuring they'll get some people at a high price who don't shop around. The more you look the more you can save.

Some companies have monthly rental discounts and some even have multi-month rental programs which may be the best value. Here is one https://www.hertz.com/rentacar/misc/...multimonth.jsp
But there are others (including Avis, Dollar and Thrifty)
http://tinyurl.com/2dgup3j (broken link)


If you buy insurance on a car you own it should end up being less or a lot less than what the rental companies charges over such a long stretch of time. It varies a lot by value and type of car, your age, driving record and coverage selected but I think I pay about 5% of the value of my car in insurance per year.

The rental companies want to sell you their insurance because it is usually a big profit-maker for them but you have the right to decline and provide your own (at least for US residents).

Last edited by NW Crow; 07-02-2010 at 11:28 PM..
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