Buying a car in the USA as a tourist

Route 66, the Pacific Coast Highway, the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The number of iconic drives in America is staggering. Yet, there’s something not-quite-satisfying about driving them in a hired Hyundai Sonata.

In order to experience these roads authentically, you really have to drive them in your own car. But if you’re a tourist in the USA, buying a car can be confusing and difficult.

So in this article we’re going to break down the process of buying a car in the USA as a tourist.


Buying a car in America is simple.  You give someone money, and they give you keys.  But that’s the easy part. In order to drive the car legally, you’ll need to properly register it.  That’s a bit more difficult.

In order to drive your car legally, you’ll need to properly register it.

American states, not the federal government, handle vehicle registration.  And most states require you to be a resident of that state in order to register a car there.  But as a tourist, how do you establish residency in an American state?


Most states require some sort of proof of address, such as a lease agreement or a utility bill, that make the process of establishing residency as an individual a bit more involved than simply using an AirBnb address, for instance.

But there’s another way to create a residency in the USA: set up a company.


Companies in America enjoy many of the same legal rights as “natural people” (i.e., those of us with a pulse).  One of those rights is the ability to register a vehicle.

So here’s how to buy a car in the USA as a tourist:

  1. Form a company, which is a resident of whatever state it’s formed in,

  2. Buy a car, and

  3. Register your car to your company.


Sound complicated?  It doesn’t have to be.  Here at, we set up companies and register cars for tourists like you, day in and day out.

The best part?  We can have it all done before you turn up, so all you have to do is pick up the keys and start your trip.


If you want to know exactly how it’s done, head here:

Or get in touch with us today.  If you’re a tourist, we’d love to help you buy a car in the USA.