Newbie moving to the USA


New member
Hi there folks

I'm moving from South Africa to the USA, got a job in Washington DC. See Most likely will settle in Virginia. I'm clueless to purchasing a vehicle in the U.S., and am keen on buying/leading a LR4. My current drive is an LR3 that I'm sadly having to sell due to the move.

I will most likely move in the summer (June/July) once my work visa is sorted. I have no credit history in the U.S. and have to open bank accounts once I am legally able to do so. Any tips and guidance would be most helpful.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


I don't have much advice on establishing credit, but I did live in northern VA for about 20 years. I would highly recommend checking out Fairfax, Centreville, and Burke VA as places to live. They are nice areas, and are pretty close to the beltway.


Sent you a PM with an email to a close friend of mine who's from Cape Town and now lives in Dulles/Chantilly.

By all means, Virginia, not a degree of latitude further north.

vati kaki

When I came over 14 yrs ago,I opend a few store cards first ,think Target and Sears.Paid them of every month.If you dont have money for new car you should be able to get something that you pay at dealer self,not sure if this will help ur credit.
Try to buy only what you need ,things are way cheeper then back home and remember everything will be on sale soon.
And bring ammoboxes and canvas bags with you nothing from south africa is cheap here
Voorspoed broer
Last edited:


New member
Great tip about the ammo boxes. Means I don't have to sell everything this side.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Supporting Sponsor, Overland Certified OC0018
Welcome to the US.

While I realize Land Rovers are an addiction, and I don't want to get into a debate with people on the values or lack thereof in the Brand, you will find the US lacks in Rover spare parts and service facilities. You will also find vehicles, vehicle repair, and parts to be expensive. Might be time for a Toyota or a Jeep.


Anything you SA guys need from home, let me know, I do sea freight shipments from there fairly regularly. Drop me a PM. I also could occasionally could use someone who is coming to bring small stuff so I don't have to air freight it.

I think South Africans are quite familiar with Jeep there, with everything Jeep being very popular. They have got their fan club there as well, like the Rovers.


My current drive is an LR3 that I'm sadly having to sell due to the move.
Two questions:
1-why are you "having" to sell the lr3? Can you not bring it with you? Shipping shouldn't be more than around $1500 in a container right?
2-If you will be retaining SA citizenship, and not staying forever, couldn't you bring a vehicle of choice from there? If I could bring one, I'd bring myself a TDV8 Land Cruiser 200 series, maybe called a Sahara there. Or a recent Defender 110 TD5, Mercedes G320, Land Rover Discovery 3 TDV6.


I came to the US 7.5 years ago (from Germany) and couldn't even bring my Harley-Davidson with me. There is a difference if you come as a visitor (< 1 year) or for longer. If you want to stay longer your vehicle has to be brought up to DOT/EPA standards in advance, and that takes time - even if you work with the manufacturer (H-D in my case) which I didn't have.

Re: the credit line: I went to Bank of America and they offer a "prepaid" CC - I deposited $1500 and used this limit for a couple of months and then got a "real" CC. Another way to build up history is to finance your vehicle for a short amount of time (1-3 months) and then pay it off, assuming you have all the funds for the vehicle in advance and could buy it in cash. The $ that you pay for the short credit will give you another good record.

This helped us to be able to secure a home loan that we got 9 months in ... Good luck with your move.

PS: I live in NoVA as well but moved further our west (Loudoun). If you don't mind to drive you might be able to find a more affordable home in a much nicer area - no suburbs but a more rural setup with wineries, micro-breweries and more outdoor opportunities than Fairfax or other counties closer to DC. If you think about taking public transportation, there is as good MARC commuter train in MD (Frederick/Montgomery counties; basically following MD28).


Congrats on the job->move. The one thing I'd say is first decide if you want a Rural/suburban lifestyle that will take a LOT of driving or if you want something a bit more city-like but outside the edge of the city-city. What I mean by that (and this is just my opinion, flamesuit on!) you couldn't pay me to live in fairfax. Its way too far (by duration) if I had to go all the way into the District every day. I had a few friends out there that technically lived about 10 miles from me, I saw them 3 times in the 3 years I lived in the area. When I was there I lived in NW DC which was great, but definitely not worth the $ I ended up paying. If I had to do it again, I'd much more strongly consider Arlington specifically Rosslyn, Ballston and Clarendon. Its easy to get into DC during the week and you don't feel like you NEED to get into DC for good bars/restaurants/nightlife on weekends. There are plenty of parks, etc again without a need to go into DC, but again not hard to do if that's your prerogative. For the exact same reasons (but admittedly a bit further) and more "quaint" Alexandria, specifically Old Town. (Again, this is my opinion) You cannot judge driving effort/time by distance in the greater DC area, everything is done by duration due to traffic congestion.

There is nothing wrong with the parts of VA out by Dulles, its just not my cup of tea. I could always drive there if I wanted to or was doing something out there, I didn't want to be forced onto 66 for EVERYTHING.

Good luck in the states! There is a great Rover group in NoVA/DC that you could join up with.


Expedition Leader
More Baas!

In Arlington. Always ready to throw something on the braai.

There is a group of trail drivers who meet monthly for drinks and dinner. They even have links to the local Land Rover groups.


New member
We are looking out that way cos of good public high school. 3 teens, which is why the Disco came up the first time. But no final decisions made as yet. My workplace will move to Crystal City before year-end.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Congratulations on the Job/Move. I have family in South Africa, and grew up (though most would say i havent finished growing up yet at 30 lol) living in King George.

If you're looking for an area a bit less crowded than the places listed, you could try living south of woodbridge in the stafford, spotsylvania, fredericksburg area... it is much further than the places listed but easy highway access and even easier train access. cost of living is lower than the areas of woodbridge and north (VA speaking) and you could even look at the King George area, route 301 is an alternate to 95 that leads through maryland into DC though there is a toll on the bridge. the commute would be quite long, though when youre talking about the DMV (DC Maryland Virginia) area the commute from areas closer can be the same length in time.

personal opinion says avoid living in maryland though there are some beautiful areas.