Car insurance: Buying a car in the USA to find best maintenance, car insurance, is it possible to do without in 2022 ?
The USA is a country on wheels. It is difficult to imagine the life of a typical American without a car. In addition, there are many stories on the net that it is impossible to live in America without a car. Let’s figure it out.
New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Miami – these cities have subways. These are not always classic underground tunnels: they are often an off-street mode of transport that can pass both underground and along a flyover.
For example, the New York City Subway is one of the oldest in the world. The first line appeared back in 1868, and the first trips began in 1904. Today, the New York subway includes 472 stations that connect the four districts of the city.
Since new immigrants usually begin their acquaintance with America from New York, the meeting itself begins just from the subway.
What do you need to know about the New York subway?
- It is better to download the application for your phone with metro lines in advance – it is very easy to get confused.
- Some lines have two options: local (when the train stops at each station) and express (with a minimum number of stops).
- The cost of one trip is $2.75. By the way, it hasn’t changed since 2015. You can buy a MetroCard and top it up as needed (same principle as Troika in Moscow). One trip may include several transfers – pay only once. The main thing is that all transplants be done within 2 hours. In addition, there are also tariffs for unlimited trips for a week ($33) and a month ($127).
Unlike the Moscow metro, in the USA in any city, there are long intervals between trains. If in Moscow it is 1-3 minutes, then in the USA – at least 5. Most often – 10-15 minutes. But the subway is open 24/7.
In the United States, highways are developed – which is what buses use. For example, in Los Angeles, buses travel at speeds up to 55 miles per hour (88 km/h). Therefore, you can quickly get to your destination by bus.
There are a huge number of bus lines in the USA, covering all areas of each city. Passengers make transfers from bus to metro, from metro to bus, but you only need to pay once. The cost of the bus is the same as that of the metro in a particular city.
Along with the usual ground transportation, there is the Staten Island Ferry, a ferry connecting Manhattan and Staten Island in New York. By the way, a life hack for tourists: the Staten Island Ferry is free, its route passes by the Statue of Liberty. This is a great way to save money on a separate excursion.
Is it possible to do without a car in the USA?
Even in the cities listed above, if there is a metro, it will seem difficult without a car. In some cities, there is no metro at all, and buses run every half an hour, which is quite problematic.
An important fact – it all depends on where you live and where you work. If you can get to work without transfers, then you can easily do without a car. But, if there are transplants, it’s another matter. For example, it takes 30 minutes by car to get from East Hollywood to Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles, and from 1 hour 20 minutes by public transport. This route requires at least one transfer, and the waiting time will be from 10 minutes. Likewise in New York. It takes 25 minutes by car to get from Staten Island to Brighton Beach, and at least 1 hour 40 minutes by public transport, with several transfers.
If the route involves transfers, then this greatly increases the travel time, since the interval of movement is not 1-2 minutes, but 10-15, and sometimes 30 minutes. For this reason, almost every family has a car (more often, one for every adult). Let’s see if it is profitable to have a car in the USA. If we talk about mobility and saving time, then definitely yes. Now about the financial component.
Buying a car in the USA
Watching the flow of traffic on the roads of the United States, it seems that they are all new. This is true. In the United States, car purchases through leasing are common, i.e. long-term lease (usually 3 years). After that, the old car is given back to the salon, and in return, they take a new one. And so every three years.
The cost of renting a car depends on several factors: car model, year of manufacture, the credit rating of a person. The 2019 Nissan Rouge, the most common car option, costs an average of $260 per month. A cash purchase without a lease will cost $36,000.
Buying a car or signing a lease is as follows. The first way is to come directly to the salon and take the car from there.
The second way is to contact a broker and tell them what kind of car you want. As soon as he finds a suitable option, he will bring it along with a package of documents either home or to work.
The services of a broker are included in the payment for the car. You don’t have to pay anything on top. However, when applying for a lease, you will need to pay a bank fee (on average, $ 500-1000, depending on the cost of the car). In addition, the bank may request a down payment, usually 10% of the cost of the car. But this fee is not required from all buyers – it all depends on the person’s credit history.
How much does car insurance cost in the US?
Car Insurance for the same car for two drivers can differ significantly. The amount of car insurance depends on:
- driving experience;
- the presence of fines;
- the presence of accidents;
- the number of persons admitted to management;
- passing safe driving courses (this is required every three years (from $20 to $60) and gives a discount on car insurance up to $50-60 every month).
Each car insurance company has several tariff plans for different categories of drivers and cars. Progressive, Geico, Allstate, Liberty Mutual, State Farm, etc. are popular in the USA. Lifehack: after choosing a car and taking out insurance (no one will return the car from the salon until car insurance is issued), you can drive for six months. And then call another car insurance company and say that you want to go to them if they ask for a lower payment. Believe it or not, it works!
Well, now some numbers. An inexperienced driver buys a 2019 Nissan Rouge. Since he has no driving experience yet, his car insurance will be from $500 per month (this is the minimum). If the car insurance for the same car is taken by an experienced driver without accidents and fines. For him, it will cost $110 already. The difference is palpable. Therefore, each driver carefully builds a driving history.
Car maintenance costs
Periodic maintenance of the machine (for example, oil change) or minor repairs is free, as they are included in the lease payment. As for incidents or accidents, it is paid for by the car insurance company. Fines are entirely on the shoulders of the driver, and not paying them is fraught with the suspension of a driver’s license (before payment).
Fines vary by state. Speeding is an average of $50, refusal of a medical examination for alcohol is $500, but the absence of car insurance is $750 and more.
In the US, the system is built in such a way that it is not enough to pay a fine: the data on them is transferred to the car insurance company, and the more fines, the more expensive the car insurance becomes. Each fine is assessed by the corresponding number of points in each state. If you score, for example, 18 points in New York, then the rights will be suspended. 18 points are not that much. Speeding up to 10 miles per hour is already 3 points, and not stopping behind a school bus is 8 points. Losing a driver’s license in the United States is easy.
Financial incentives (in the form of increased car insurance in the presence of fines) and the summation of points for violations have led to a high level of driving and driver culture in the United States.