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Car options on emigrating: Hire, lease, part lease, buy?

Car options on emigrating: Hire, lease, part lease, buy?

Old Jul 4th 2012, 2:35 pm
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Default Car options on emigrating: Hire, lease, part lease, buy?

I am emigrating on an H1B in Sept to be with my wife (a USC in MD). From there it will be an AOS for a green card to settling down in the DC metro area.

Now everything has been approved, I am looking at car options for at least 2 years before starting a family becomes an option. What options are recommended for getting a reasonable car?

Obviously leasing for an expat specialist is the suggested option here. But I can also use my wife's credit history to go a more standard route too. What is the secondhand market like, are there benefits to lease-hire or lease-purchase, is taking over an existing lease a good idea or would a longterm hire (Avis has options) be more suitable?

Using google does not give me much situation awareness from an armchair in the UK and the wife hasn't bought a car in a long time, so any recommendations?

Thanks.
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Old Jul 4th 2012, 2:46 pm
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Default Re: Car options on emigrating: Hire, lease, part lease, buy?

I used my wife's credit score to help my get approval for financing a car, even though her income was very low and it was my income that was used for the financing.
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Old Jul 4th 2012, 3:15 pm
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Default Re: Car options on emigrating: Hire, lease, part lease, buy?

Cars.com is a good resource to see what things cost.
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Old Jul 5th 2012, 3:45 pm
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Default Re: Car options on emigrating: Hire, lease, part lease, buy?

I leased when I arrived - shouldnt have bothered, its i) tricky to setup if youre new and ii) pricey - though convenient I suppose.
Its easy to buy decent second hand cars in the US and theres plenty of choice, though for some reason second hand cars in the US are generally more expensive than the UK.
If I had the time again I'd just stroll into a lot and buy one ...
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Old Jul 5th 2012, 4:01 pm
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Default Re: Car options on emigrating: Hire, lease, part lease, buy?

Originally Posted by Birt Tiddler View Post
I leased when I arrived - shouldnt have bothered, its i) tricky to setup if youre new and ii) pricey - though convenient I suppose.
Its easy to buy decent second hand cars in the US and theres plenty of choice, though for some reason second hand cars in the US are generally more expensive than the UK.
If I had the time again I'd just stroll into a lot and buy one ...
Yes, second hand cars are expensive here. I think it's just that the cars are generally bigger than in the UK which pushes up the base price. I bought new as cars can take a beating here in Texas so I'd prefer to know what I was getting, look after it and keep it a long time rather than having to buy a new car every 2-3 years. That being said you can get some cracking deals buying second hand and that was always my preference in the UK but here, I just feel more confident buying new.
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Old Jul 5th 2012, 5:51 pm
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Default Re: Car options on emigrating: Hire, lease, part lease, buy?

How long has the OH been outside of the US? The gap in the credit history might or might not have more of a issue.

Either way, buy second hand, it's better to let someone else get the premium hit with depreciation and it'll help to build up your own history and score.

The thing to worry about with second hand cars, in cold areas, rust. Especially if on the coast, with the salt on winter roads, can really ruin them and affects the chassis, so get the car checked up, get car history report to check for any flood/crash damage. Can get great bargains if the car has been brought in from a hot state.

Other thing to consider, you'd still have sales tax added on even on a second hand car, which you don't in the UK.

Will save a lot on insurance though, so that's always a bonus, especially as you'll have no driving history.
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Old Jul 5th 2012, 7:05 pm
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Default Re: Car options on emigrating: Hire, lease, part lease, buy?

Originally Posted by anro15 View Post
Obviously leasing for an expat specialist is the suggested option here.
No it isn't.

While leasing may be the right answer for some people my first suggestion would be to look at buying a used vehicle.
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Old Jul 5th 2012, 11:00 pm
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Default Re: Car options on emigrating: Hire, lease, part lease, buy?

Originally Posted by Bink View Post
Yes, second hand cars are expensive here. I think it's just that the cars are generally bigger than in the UK which pushes up the base price. I bought new as cars can take a beating here in Texas so I'd prefer to know what I was getting, look after it and keep it a long time rather than having to buy a new car every 2-3 years. That being said you can get some cracking deals buying second hand and that was always my preference in the UK but here, I just feel more confident buying new.
I just bought a brand new Jeep for less than 2 used ones with 20k+ miles on that they had sat on the forecourt. Go figure
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Old Jul 14th 2012, 6:26 pm
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Default Re: Car options on emigrating: Hire, lease, part lease, buy?

In the middle of this process now - lease/ buy. I could get a really good deal on VW (see other threads on expat deals) leasing, however the insurance requirements and the fact that the insurers I have spoken to so far ignore my clean UK history means the insurance payments are more than the leasing.

So its off to the second hand car lots for a bit of a lottery, but may take a small loan to start building the credit history.
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Old Jul 14th 2012, 6:32 pm
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Default Re: Car options on emigrating: Hire, lease, part lease, buy?

Try some smaller insurance brokers - the first one recommended to me by the dealer (also a small family business) just took my word for it that I had a good record, and I pay about $80/month for my wife and I on a used 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan.
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Old Jul 14th 2012, 6:47 pm
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Default Re: Car options on emigrating: Hire, lease, part lease, buy?

Thanks GeoffM, any suggestions?
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Old Jul 14th 2012, 11:49 pm
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Default Re: Car options on emigrating: Hire, lease, part lease, buy?

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
Try some smaller insurance brokers - the first one recommended to me by the dealer (also a small family business) just took my word for it that I had a good record, and I pay about $80/month for my wife and I on a used 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan.
That's a 7 year old beater though, so it probably wouldn't have been to much difference, as that's $960 a year.
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Old Jul 14th 2012, 11:55 pm
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Default Re: Car options on emigrating: Hire, lease, part lease, buy?

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
That's a 7 year old beater though, so it probably wouldn't have been to much difference, as that's $960 a year.
Was quoted about $880 for 6 months through Autosource, the usual recommendation, albeit for a new car. Can't remember who the actual insurance was with though.

Could have sworn you previously said it was reasonably good rate for a new immigrant... might have been somebody else I guess.

Will look up the actual broker's name, though there's no guarantee they'd do the same again for a different car, different state maybe, different history, etc, etc.
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Old Jul 15th 2012, 12:51 am
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Default Re: Car options on emigrating: Hire, lease, part lease, buy?

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
Was quoted about $880 for 6 months through Autosource, the usual recommendation, albeit for a new car. Can't remember who the actual insurance was with though.

Could have sworn you previously said it was reasonably good rate for a new immigrant... might have been somebody else I guess.
A new car, that's the difference.

A grand per six months, on a new car, for decent level of cover is a general rule of thumb, yes.

Reason why getting second hand makes so much more sense, for the first year at least
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Old Jul 15th 2012, 1:30 am
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Default Re: Car options on emigrating: Hire, lease, part lease, buy?

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
Was quoted about $880 for 6 months through Autosource, the usual recommendation, albeit for a new car. Can't remember who the actual insurance was with though.

Could have sworn you previously said it was reasonably good rate for a new immigrant... might have been somebody else I guess.

Will look up the actual broker's name, though there's no guarantee they'd do the same again for a different car, different state maybe, different history, etc, etc.
We leased VW via Autosource. Paid $600 for 6 months, including cover for rental. That was 21st Century. I now pay $85 a month, all the coverage I could get, $500 deductible (= excess to Brits). Had to make a claim when some bint reversed into the side of me in a parking lot. Was handled well by US standards but very slowly - took 4 months!
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