On September 18, 2017, we asked the question: do international visitors want a cheaper way to visit the United States for longer?
The answer, three years later, is a resounding “Yes!”
The service, first launched under the brand Adventure Agent (the web domain was $5 - what a deal!), originally helped international visitors register vehicles in the United States, even though they didn’t live here.
Our first customers took some amazing adventures: criss-crossing the US on a Harley, driving a 4x4 from Atlanta to Costa Rica, and boondocking with a pickup truck and slide-in camper from Alaska all the way to to Argentina.
These initial customers told us we were onto something. Since then, people from all over the world have entrusted us to register vehicles (almost $1,000,000 worth) for them in the United States.
But we also learned that registration was only one of many problems that international visitors face when they try to buy and sell a vehicle in the US.
Insurance kept coming up as a stumbling block for our early customers. So in 2018, the founder, Matt Copenhaver, studied for and passed the exams to become a licensed insurance agent. Since then, we have placed insurance policies that have protected our customers from more than $10,000,000 in risk.
We learned something else along the way: the Adventure Agent brand spoke to some, but not all, of our target market.
While some people wanted to explore the wild, rugged expanses of United States (and beyond), others wanted to see the cities: concerts, arts, food, culture. Others bought cars in the US for work trips, to spend time with family, and dozens of other non-Adventure reasons.
We realized that we weren’t just helping adventurers explore the US, we were helping visitors explore the US.
And so, in early 2019, we re-launched as visitor.us, and we couldn’t be happier with the name. We’re all just visitors on this little blue dot, after all, so why not be helpful to other visitors along the way?
We also learned that registration and insurance, while useful, didn’t solve everything. International visitors still had to convince auto dealerships to sell them a vehicle, which is not easy to do when the dealership’s first and second questions are 1) where do you live, and 2) when can you come in for a test drive?
So in late 2019, visitor.us became a licensed auto dealer. When customers engage us to broker a vehicle for them, the process couldn’t be simpler: we call the seller, give them our dealer number, tell them we have a buyer, and start the purchase process.
Today, international visitors can buy, register, and insure a vehicle in the United States through one single point of contact: visitor.us.
As we look back on three years in business, we’re incredibly grateful for the visitors who have taught us so much.
But we know that our work isn’t done yet. You’ve told us that you want a guaranteed buyback option at the end of your visit; that you want to buy a car in Anytown, USA and have it shipped and waiting for you at LAX, JFK or O’Hare airport; that you want financing options; and more.
We’re hard at work on these features, and looking forward to rolling them out soon. They’re all part of our mission to help international visitors explore the United States longer for less money.
Thanks for three amazing years!