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Cars, Cars, Cars

My rental car will have to be returned on Tuesday. Before then I need to either have arranged for another, hopefully cheaper, rental or bought a car. To that end I've just signed up with AAA, the automobile association in the US. Apart from roadside recovery they have lots and lots of discounts and rebates in hotels, restaurants, Target etc. Signing up costs $54 annually and there's a $17 enrolment fee. The first year the recovery services are pretty limited but after that you can upgrade your membership and get much more extensive assistance if you need it.

I also went ahead and got a quote for car insurance. For a Honda Fit Sport with good coverage I'd be paying $1433 for 6 months. Ouch. I'm going to call some other companies too. Geico and Progressive, to begin with. But the reason for the cost is that I don't have much US driving experience, so I doubt that it will come out much cheaper with other companies. Still, worth a try.

This weekend I'm hoping to to some test driving and maybe make a deal.


The Fit does have a high insurance, plus I'm more or less a new driver in CA. Tomorrow is "shopping around for insurance" day for me. Fun, fun, fun.
I don't envy you having to make a decision on a car so quickly!
It took us a couple months to find our Saturn. Then again, we were looking at used cars, so we had to shop around a bit to see what everyone had available...
With the cars I'm looking at, they tend to more or less sell at asking price. For the Fit a used car can even be more expensive than a new one, simply because they're so rare. I'm not sure if I'm just less picky than others or if I'm missing vital detail about the car owning experience but I've never seen the point in dragging out the experience.
If I were buying a new one, I'd probably make the decision pretty quick too. We were looking for a "new to us" car that was actually 4-5 years old, so we had to go around to all the lots to see what they had second hand, make sure it fit the new baby carseat, and naturally try to get the lowest miles for price.
If we were buying new, we'd have picked our car the first day we went out - we already knew what we wanted.
I do believe you will need a SSN to buy a car. I remember this being a hassle for some of the international students that B went to school with. I also suspect that for the insurance it might be a good idea to talk to someone face to face and see if they cannot treat you like a new driver.
I did have to provide an SSN and references and stuff, even though I'm paying cash. Luckily I've got one.