EPDM Coatings
rvupgradestore.com Composet Products PO Box Zone
Over The Network Custom Yacht Interiors

Author Topic: What are the hidden extras?  (Read 6618 times)

Sparti

  • ---
  • Posts: 6
What are the hidden extras?
« on: August 03, 2005, 08:26:14 AM »
Hi,


This has probably been asked many times before but so far I’ve not found a complete answer so...

I am looking to buy a used medium size ( 24/28 ft ) Class C RV early next year when my wife and I take some time of work in the UK to do a bit of travelling. What I want to confirm before I dive in and buy is the extras that I will need to pay before I can drive of into the sunset. By extras I mean the legal requirements (and not the Hawaiian shirt and sunglasses)

For instance in the UK once you have bought the vehicle you need to post of the log book to the registration centre and make sure the vehicle has an MOT (road worthy examination), Road Tax and Insurance. You can then drive away.


What is the procedure in the USA? What additional costs are involved and what sort of time scale are involved from finding the RV to driving away.

Thanks in advance,

Steve.


Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 60421
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: What are the hidden extras?
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2005, 09:04:34 AM »
You will, of course, need  driving licenses for yourselves. An International License should be acceptable for actual driving, but may not be acceptable for other purposes, e.g. obtaining insurance.  Perhaps some of our other UK Rvers can comment further on tht aspect.

There are no uniform national requirements in the USA - each state sets its own stanards, so there may be some variation depending on where you choose to register the motorhome.  These are the general requirements:

1. The vehicle itself will have to be insured for liability, i.e. damages  caused to others as  a result of operating the motorhome.  You will probably also want insurance to cover potential loss/damage to the motorhome itself, but that is a personal decision. I would guess a range of $600-$1200 for insurance (both liabilty and loss to the motorhome), depending on a variety of factors and how much time you have to shop for the lowest price.

2. The vehicle has to be registered for use in one of the states - that is how you obtain the license plates.  The registration itself is usually inexpensive, but many states assess a tax at registration time and that tax can be substantial percentage of the value of the motorhome, in range of 4-7%.  In some states this tax is the standard sales tax collected on most all retail transactions, but it is collected at the time of registration. In other states, it may be a separate personal property tax asessed on major items of property, including motor vehicles.

3. The vehicle must be titled, which merely means a certificate is issued designating you as the legal owner.  The fee for this is usually insignificant, maybe $10 US.

4. Some states may require an exhaust emmisions (pollutants) certification and safety inspection, which a dealer would provide as part of the sales transaction. For private sales, it would be a matter of negotiation who pays for the certification.  The inspection, if required, would typically be in the neighborhood of US$15-30, assuming no repairs were required to bring the vehicle into compliance.  Not all states require emmisions inspections - generally only those that have a vehicle exhaust pollution problem.   For example, Florida does not.

Some US states are lower in registrations costs/taxes than others, so RV owners often "shop  around" and chose a state with costs/regulations most suitable for them.  Visitors to the US often find Florida to be attractive because there are many large RV dealers, the state offices are well-versed in handling long term visitors and registration fees are relatively modest except for the Florida sales tax of 6%.


This summary will undoubtedly raise further questions in your mind, so ask away.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Karl

  • Former Staff
  • ---
  • Posts: 5154
  • No Brett; no sweat. A QB's not the whole team.
Re: What are the hidden extras?
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2005, 09:11:34 AM »
Hi Sparti,

Compared to the U.K., it's pretty simple to get under way. When money changes hands with the previous owner, they must provide you with the Certificate of Title to the vehicle, signed over to you as the new owner. After you buy the "C", you'll want to contact am insurance agent and get what's called a 'binder' This is not an actual insurance policy, but a promise that the company will write one for your vehicle.  You supply the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), and some other info about it and you, and they can fax the binder to wherever you are. You are then considered insured. At some future time the company will send you a complete policy and usually credit-card size 'Proof of Insurance' cards that you can carry in your wallet or inside the rig. In most cases it is not necessary to have license plates on the vehicle immediately; you are given a number of days, which varies by state, to apply for them. On rare occasions, you may be required to get 'Temporary' license plates and display them on the vehicle. They are good for varying periods of time, but I think 30 days is about the maximum. If buying thru a dealer, they can do the necessary paperwork (and take the required fees) at the time of sale and issue you documentation that shows you have applied for 'plates'. You will also need to send in the old Certificate of Title to whichever states' Department of Motor Vehicles or Department of Transportation you're registering the vehicle in, so they can issue you a new title in your name.  That's pretty much all there is to it. There is no vehicle logbook or inspection required - unless there are special circumstances which I know nothing about. On some rare occasions you may be stopped at vehicle inspection points during your travels so they can check your brakes, wipers, or whatever, but that's not part of the process for a newly acquired vehicle.  

Safe and happy travels!
Karl (Cheesehead) Kolbus   Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow ...what a ride!"

Sparti

  • ---
  • Posts: 6
Re: What are the hidden extras?
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2005, 09:38:21 AM »
Hi  RV Roamer, Karl and thanks for the quick replies.

I am already feeling more relaxed  8), it seems it may not be as bad as I was expecting.

I was thinking  (but still open to suggestions) ) of buying the RV in Arizona, I have been in touch with a dealer in Messa? this morning, he seems to have a good record on EBay, he has mentioned 6.3% sales tax, documentation fees and Title transfer but not any additional taxes so I am guessing (or is that hoping) that the personal property tax  mentioned by RV Roamer is not applicable in Arizona.

Does anybody know different? or as Florida has been mentioned , is there a "Best" state to buy an RV.

Steve

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44396
    • RV Forum web site
Re: What are the hidden extras?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2005, 10:48:18 AM »
Steve

As others have stated, it's relatively straightforward and they've covered it pretty well. Transferring title is essentially the same as getting the log book transferred to your name via DVLC. Here, you'd either do it at a local DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) office or, in most cases, the dealer can do it for you. Most dealers will issue you a temporary registration before you drive away and the official tags and title will follow in the mail from DMV. The title document itself will be a relatively small piece of paper, affectionately known as "the pink slip", rather than the folded A4-sized "log book" you're used to.

Sales tax will vary by state and county but, unlike VAT, it's not included in the advertised price. Some states have zero sales tax.

One clarification on the driving licence, from the CA DMV website:

"The State of California does not recognize an International Driving Permit (IDP) as a valid driver license. California does recognize a valid driver license that is issued by a foreign jurisdiction (country, state, territory) of which the license holder is a resident."

You can check this out before you arrive by going to the web site for the applicable state. The URL for the California DMV is: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/ but you can just Google for the respective state/DMV.

On the vehicle emissions test/certification (aka smog) that Gary mentioned, you should be able to insist that the dealer get the test done and obtain (or issue) the certification. A valid smog certificate will be a requirement for re-registering the vehicle in your name, at least in those states that have smog requirements. Here in California, the smog test machine sends the pass/fail result directly to the DMV computer, so there's no loophole.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44396
    • RV Forum web site
Re: What are the hidden extras?
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2005, 11:00:34 AM »
Steve

If you haven't already seen it, you may wish to read the article in our library for foreigners buying a used RV in the U.S. written by another Brit who did the same as you're planning to do.  Click on the Library button, then click What newcomers need to know and select Foreigners buying a used RV in USA.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Carl L

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7303
Re: What are the hidden extras?
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2005, 01:20:28 PM »
Hi  RV Roamer, Karl and thanks for the quick replies.

I am already feeling more relaxed  8), it seems it may not be as bad as I was expecting.

I was thinking  (but still open to suggestions) ) of buying the RV in Arizona, I have been in touch with a dealer in Messa? this morning, he seems to have a good record on EBay, he has mentioned 6.3% sales tax, documentation fees and Title transfer but not any additional taxes so I am guessing (or is that hoping) that the personal property tax  mentioned by RV Roamer is not applicable in Arizona.

Does anybody know different? or as Florida has been mentioned , is there a "Best" state to buy an RV.

Steve

I do not know any state that fails to charge either a weight fee or an ad-valorum tax, and a batch of tiddly fees besides.  There are states, Oregon is one, that do not charge sales tax.  There are many states that require a smog test prior to allowing registration.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44396
    • RV Forum web site
Re: What are the hidden extras?
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2005, 02:14:59 PM »
Steve

I've just learned that the Log Book issued by the UK DVLC does not in itself prove title or ownership of the vehicle. The title or pink slip several of us have mentioned here is in fact legal proof of ownership; You'd have a tough time selling the vehicle later without the title.

One of my current house guests is a supervisor for vehicle registrations at the DVLC in Swansea and I was asking her some questions after I posted my last message. That's when I found out that the UK Log Book could, in practice, record anyone as the owner of a vehicle, not necessarily the legal owner.

Also learned that DVLC is now called DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licence Agency).

[edit]Correct DVLC to DVLA.[/edit]
« Last Edit: August 03, 2005, 10:37:42 PM by Tom »
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Jim Godward

  • ---
  • Posts: 5734
Re: What are the hidden extras?
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2005, 09:48:50 PM »
carl,

MT does charge all that stuff but it is included in the fee that is described in the DMV books for MHs.  This last year I think I paid about $250 and the max is less than $400.  No sales tax either.

Jim
Jim & Pat Godward
AC7PO & KD7ZDM
Hillsboro, Oregon

Sparti

  • ---
  • Posts: 6
Re: What are the hidden extras?
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2005, 02:31:27 AM »

Thanks for the replies, this really is a great site. 


I did read the "Foreigners buying a used RV in USA" and found it very useful, I have also read some excellent posts from UK-RV on exporting back to the UK without paying Import Duty or VAT which has started me thinking!

I still have a few questions on sales tax but I will ask those in a new post.

Thanks,

Steve

soazlaney

  • ---
  • Posts: 5
Re: What are the hidden extras?
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2005, 09:42:05 AM »
Arizona sales tax is 7/6%

soazlaney

  • ---
  • Posts: 5
Re: What are the hidden extras?
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2005, 09:43:12 AM »
Sorry, I mean 7.6%

BernieD

  • ---
  • Posts: 5813
    • PressurePro
Re: What are the hidden extras?
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2005, 10:03:22 AM »
Sorry, I mean 7.6%

The tax rate varies by location. In Goodyear, AZ, the tax rate is 8.3% and there are restaurant and other surcharges on top of that.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

Ian H

  • ---
  • Posts: 248
Re: What are the hidden extras?
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2005, 01:37:15 PM »
Everything on the USA side of the pond is very easy,your problems start on the UK of the pond.My first insurance quote was £10k then £7K but just by luck i got it very reasonable in the end,as for importing duty and tax free ,been there and gave up the fight when they asked for proof of foreign citezenship complete with passports and i am now being turned upside down and shaken to get the last penny out of my pockets.Once i have my beloved RV in my possesion i will let you know what it cost me to give you a true idea of importing
Ian and Doreen
Dodge 3500 Dually   Cedar Creek 5th Wheel

Cornwall UK   when not touring USA

Sparti

  • ---
  • Posts: 6
Re: What are the hidden extras?
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2005, 02:32:21 AM »
Once again, thanks for the advice.

The RV dealer I spoke spoke to in Mesa AZ has suggested that for the 4 months insurance cover would be from $400 - $600 ( not sure if this is third party liability only, never thought to ask :-[ ) and I could arrange that locally when I pick it up.

Ian - Would be great if you could do a post when you get your RV back on the final costs and any helpfull hints you may have picked up on the way.

Steve

UK-RV

  • ---
  • Posts: 815
Re: What are the hidden extras?
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2005, 02:56:55 PM »

Hi Steve

I seem to have missed your post until now.

May I suggest you visit www.americas-mailbox.com

They will be able to provide you with a US postal address and register your motorhome in that State (South Dakota).

You will then only have to pay 3% sales tax - one of the lowest in the US.

Also, for around £50 you have the added bonus of a US postal address - useful as a "holding point" where your mail is stored until you notify them of a specific destination campground for stuff to be forwarded.

Insurance is also cheap in SD too I am told (we havent got that far yet)

Good Luck

Paul

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44396
    • RV Forum web site
Re: What are the hidden extras?
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2005, 03:46:43 PM »
You will then only have to pay 3% sales tax - one of the lowest in the US.

Paul, I suppose that 3% seems low compared to 18% or whatever VAT is nowadays. But remember that some states have zero sales tax and that you don't need to register your RV in the same state you buy it.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

UK-RV

  • ---
  • Posts: 815
Re: What are the hidden extras?
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2005, 04:11:07 PM »

Hi Tom

Ive emailed each 0% State and enquired about registering there, using a mailbox address.

Unfortunately, each has returned the same answer - no way !

I am contemplating going down the LLC route (like Ian H) as it seems I only need to have possessed the RV for 6 months and not actually owned it to benefit from the vat/duty free situation.

$150k RV in SD = $4,500 sales tax
$150k RV in Montana LLC = $1,000-$1,500 legal fees

LLC would save over $3k

I just want to be 100% sure of things first, before I decide which way to go.

Paul

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44396
    • RV Forum web site
Re: What are the hidden extras?
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2005, 04:18:08 PM »
Paul, A Montana LLC is certainly one way to go and will save you a few quid. There will be registration fees there in addition to the legal fees, or was included in your "legal fees" numbers?
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Jim Godward

  • ---
  • Posts: 5734
Re: What are the hidden extras?
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2005, 07:43:11 PM »
Registration in MT is moderate.  I think a new MH would be less than $400 for a year.  My MH is cheaper than my JeepGC.  :-((
Jim
Jim & Pat Godward
AC7PO & KD7ZDM
Hillsboro, Oregon

 

Hosted by Over The Network