Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > USA
Reload this Page >

Cars - Leasing vs. buying used for cash?

Cars - Leasing vs. buying used for cash?

Old Mar 27th 2019, 2:10 pm
  #1  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 199
Tanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Cars - Leasing vs. buying used for cash?

Another day, another headache

Bit of background - hubby got offered a job in his company's office in NYC and we're looking to move over on L1A (L2) visas in late May/early June. The idea is for this to be a permanent move (with Green Card application after 2 years) but things happen and life doesn't always go according to plan so we may end up coming back at some point, be it after 2 years, 3 years or whenever....

I've gone into complete planning mode and today's headache is sponsored by trying to work out what to do for cars when we get out there

I have been in touch with IAS and, while they sounds great, they are so expensive! We did expect that to a certain extent but it has made us think of other options. We do have some cash tucked away which was meant to be a buffer for helping us get set up there etc but we are now wondering fin it might make sense to use that money to buy second hand cars out there for cash and not faff about with leasing at all...?

Has anyone done this? Any thoughts? PLEASE SEND HELP!!!
Tanja87 is offline  
Old Mar 27th 2019, 2:26 pm
  #2  
Austin. TX.
 
petitefrancaise's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 5,136
petitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Cars - Leasing vs. buying used for cash?

Most of us have had to do this! I also assist a lot of people moving to the USA.
IAS - negotiate, negotiate, negotiate....
go to expatride and get a quote from them - similar company so directly relevant.
Mazda, VW, Toyota have "international business professional" programs set up for people in your situation, so you could also go to local dealerships and ask what they will offer. FWIW, here in Austin, Mazda have been particularly accommodating to new arrivals. Getting everything sorted out even before the SSN arrives.
If you lease a car then I would get 15k miles rather than the 12K miles standard package since you will drive a lot more in the USA.
Ford dealers will probably refer you back to IAS.

Used cars - they're pretty expensive relative to the UK costs. Look on carvana/carmax websites, local craigslist and then KBB.com to check on the prices.
petitefrancaise is offline  
Old Mar 27th 2019, 2:45 pm
  #3  
Lt Col (Retd)
 
Pulaski's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2001
Location: Dixie, ex UK
Posts: 45,657
Pulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Cars - Leasing vs. buying used for cash?

Used cars are certainly pricy in the US - anything under about $5k probably isn't road worthy and will need continuous repairs, even under $10k in a high cost area is probably a bit iffy. and in northern areas, including the New York area and New England, cars are often badly damaged by rust after only a few years because of all the salt and grit used on the roads in winter.

I heard that IAS leases were expensive, so why not buy? If you need to sell early/ at short notice, car dealers like Carmax will buy pretty much any car that you drive onto their lot, and give you 7 days and a thousand miles to accept their offer . So if you need to leave quickly, get a quote a few days before you leave, then drop the car off on the way to the airport.

Last edited by Pulaski; Mar 27th 2019 at 2:49 pm.
Pulaski is offline  
Old Mar 27th 2019, 3:11 pm
  #4  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Hotscot's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 6,156
Hotscot has a reputation beyond reputeHotscot has a reputation beyond reputeHotscot has a reputation beyond reputeHotscot has a reputation beyond reputeHotscot has a reputation beyond reputeHotscot has a reputation beyond reputeHotscot has a reputation beyond reputeHotscot has a reputation beyond reputeHotscot has a reputation beyond reputeHotscot has a reputation beyond reputeHotscot has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Cars - Leasing vs. buying used for cash?

I've never thought of US cars as expensive...but I don't really know much about comparative prices.
Do they cost more than in the UK relatively speaking?
Hotscot is offline  
Old Mar 27th 2019, 3:22 pm
  #5  
Austin. TX.
 
petitefrancaise's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 5,136
petitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Cars - Leasing vs. buying used for cash?

I would be careful about blowing most of any savings on buying a car... I think everybody underestimates how much it costs to set up home in the USA. If the company is giving you an allowance, you will need it all, They have these amounts pretty much figured out with not a lot of wriggle room.
If you're in NYC, do you really need a full time car? Maybe public transport and hiring a car as needed would be helpful until you figure out your lives a bit more.
Nobody has mentioned that a lease car can also help with your credit score - it is reported to the credit agencies.
petitefrancaise is offline  
Old Mar 27th 2019, 3:46 pm
  #6  
BE Forum Addict
 
tom169's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2015
Location: NC, USA (ex Yorkshire)
Posts: 3,753
tom169 has a reputation beyond reputetom169 has a reputation beyond reputetom169 has a reputation beyond reputetom169 has a reputation beyond reputetom169 has a reputation beyond reputetom169 has a reputation beyond reputetom169 has a reputation beyond reputetom169 has a reputation beyond reputetom169 has a reputation beyond reputetom169 has a reputation beyond reputetom169 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Cars - Leasing vs. buying used for cash?

Avoid leases. Waste of money.
tom169 is offline  
Old Mar 27th 2019, 3:47 pm
  #7  
Lt Col (Retd)
 
Pulaski's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2001
Location: Dixie, ex UK
Posts: 45,657
Pulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Cars - Leasing vs. buying used for cash?

Originally Posted by Hotscot View Post
I've never thought of US cars as expensive...but I don't really know much about comparative prices.
Do they cost more than in the UK relatively speaking?
Used cars, yes - you can buy something that will probably run OK for not much more than £1,000 in the UK, but it seems that most cars in the US under about $5k are junk, either rusty or have interstellar mileage on them. US cars can and do achieve extraordinary mileages, so the prices stay firm a lot longer - you might assume a car in the UK with 100,000 miles on the clock is mostly used up, whereas in the US a car with that mileage will be snapped up as "barely run in", and there is a market for cars that have 200,000 miles on the clock and much more. …. My daily driver, an Accord, will reach 355,000 miles this weekend, and is actually in fairly good shape, IMO far from ready for the scrap heap.
Pulaski is offline  
Old Mar 27th 2019, 4:23 pm
  #8  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 199
Tanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Cars - Leasing vs. buying used for cash?

Yes, I had thought about the credit score thing but wouldn't renting a home do that too? We will be renting from the same time we'd be leasing a car so I figured we'd still build up the same amount of credit history...?

We will definitely need a car (most likely 2!) as we will not be living in NY but are looking to settle in CT so hubby will need one to commute (at least to the train) and I will need to be mobile with 2 kids and a household to run.

Leasing the kind of car we'd want/need for our family would cost us in excess of $12,000 over a 2 year period and that is for only 1 car! Surely for that kind of money you'd be able to pick up a decent second hand SUV...? NO??? I totally hear what you're saying about not using up all our money on a car and that is my main worry as well. That's why I came to the wise people of BE for advice
Tanja87 is offline  
Old Mar 27th 2019, 4:36 pm
  #9  
Lt Col (Retd)
 
Pulaski's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2001
Location: Dixie, ex UK
Posts: 45,657
Pulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Cars - Leasing vs. buying used for cash?

Originally Posted by Tanja87 View Post
Yes, I had thought about the credit score thing but wouldn't renting a home do that too? ….
No, rent on homes is not usually reported to the credit bureau, especially not for houses, in some large apartment buildings it might be.
….. Leasing the kind of car we'd want/need for our family would cost us in excess of $12,000 over a 2 year period and that is for only 1 car! Surely for that kind of money you'd be able to pick up a decent second hand SUV...? NO??? ….
It sounds like you're assuming that the vehicle you own will not incur any further costs - are you setting yourself up for a financial crisis if you get a repair bill for say one $1,000 each year on the vehicle you own? Per PF above, when you move, cash is king - financing might be the best solution even if unpalatable to you, as having cash reserves can help avoid a crisis turning into a catastrophe.

As I said above, you can probably finance a new vehicle for much less than the $500/mth lease that the numbers you cited above imply. We bought a new Accord in 2017 for $326/mth, and you can probably buy a Kia or Hyundai today for around what we paid.

Whether you buy or lease you're still looking at $2,000+/yr insurance for the first few years.

Last edited by Pulaski; Mar 27th 2019 at 4:42 pm.
Pulaski is offline  
Old Mar 27th 2019, 4:42 pm
  #10  
BE Forum Addict
 
Guindalf's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 2,773
Guindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Cars - Leasing vs. buying used for cash?

Originally Posted by tom169 View Post
Avoid leases. Waste of money.
To you, maybe, but don't make sweeping statements without backing them up!

Some people (not me) prefer to lease and have a relatively new, higher grade car in their driveway and will have a monthly payment whatever, so it can make sense to lease. It all depends on priorities.

So, to go back to your statement, it is extremely ignorant to assume that because it's not right for you, it's not right for everyone.

OP, whilst I personally wouldn't lease, it's up to you what you want. There are some good cars to be had out there, but remember, unless specifically stated in the ad, most cars are sold 'as-is', without any kind of warranty or comeback. Also be aware of added fees on top of the asking price (tax, title, registration and even a document fee of up to and in excess of $800 alone!!)
Guindalf is offline  
Old Mar 27th 2019, 4:46 pm
  #11  
Austin. TX.
 
petitefrancaise's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 5,136
petitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Cars - Leasing vs. buying used for cash?

Originally Posted by Guindalf View Post
To you, maybe, but don't make sweeping statements without backing them up!

Some people (not me) prefer to lease and have a relatively new, higher grade car in their driveway and will have a monthly payment whatever, so it can make sense to lease. It all depends on priorities.

So, to go back to your statement, it is extremely ignorant to assume that because it's not right for you, it's not right for everyone.

OP, whilst I personally wouldn't lease, it's up to you what you want. There are some good cars to be had out there, but remember, unless specifically stated in the ad, most cars are sold 'as-is', without any kind of warranty or comeback. Also be aware of added fees on top of the asking price (tax, title, registration and even a document fee of up to and in excess of $800 alone!!)
+1
I got caught out with sales tax on a used car here in Texas. Another $1000 to find that I hadn't expected.
petitefrancaise is offline  
Old Mar 27th 2019, 4:48 pm
  #12  
Lt Col (Retd)
 
Pulaski's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2001
Location: Dixie, ex UK
Posts: 45,657
Pulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Cars - Leasing vs. buying used for cash?

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
+1
I got caught out with sales tax on a used car here in Texas. Another $1000 to find that I hadn't expected.
And insurance can be something else that catches out new arrivals from the UK.
Pulaski is offline  
Old Mar 27th 2019, 5:45 pm
  #13  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 818
sherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Cars - Leasing vs. buying used for cash?

Originally Posted by Hotscot View Post
I've never thought of US cars as expensive...but I don't really know much about comparative prices.
Do they cost more than in the UK relatively speaking?
Absolutely! Can you imagine spending 4 grand on a car with 100k on the clock in the UK?

To the OP, we bought both of our used cars outright on craigslist. They both have a lot of miles on them (110k and 120k). One is a 2002 Toyota that will probably keep on going until it hits 300k and still be fine, we paid 4k for it. The other is a 2008 Mitsubishi that we paid 7k for. Warning: buying from craigslist is a nightmare and you have to be really careful. You can take the car for a mechanic's check before you buy (we didn't but would do next time). Make sure you meet the potential seller in a public place and not their home (starbucks parking lot, gas station etc). Make sure you see the title (the title is the document that proves they own it, sometimes people try to sell the car without this in hand because they handed over the title document for a loan to buy the car in the first place). When time comes to pay, make sure you do the cash handover in a public place, preferably inside a bank. That said, we ended up with two great cars and didn't have issues with the sellers.

You can go to second hand car dealers (you'll overpay and they specialise in selling to people who have little money and bad credit so they want you to pay in monthly installments etc. Cash discounts are not a thing here).

Also, there are now many companies that will do all the hard work of buying a car for you. It will cost you more of course, but you will have peace of mind that you're not buying a piece of crap.

Last edited by sherbert; Mar 27th 2019 at 5:47 pm. Reason: missed a few zeros off!
sherbert is offline  
Old Mar 27th 2019, 6:06 pm
  #14  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 199
Tanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond reputeTanja87 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Cars - Leasing vs. buying used for cash?

Wow, so much great information! Thanks everyone!!

Another one of our worries re. leasing is the fact that, if we enter a lease agreement for, say, 3 years and then we have to return to the UK (for whatever reason) before the term is up, we'd be liable for the full outstanding amount when handing back the car. On the other hand yes, I would be hesitant to use all our "fall back cash" just on vehicles..... Gosh, so many things to think about.... How do you ever know if you're making the right decision with big things like this??
Tanja87 is offline  
Old Mar 27th 2019, 6:09 pm
  #15  
Lt Col (Retd)
 
Pulaski's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2001
Location: Dixie, ex UK
Posts: 45,657
Pulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Cars - Leasing vs. buying used for cash?

Originally Posted by Tanja87 View Post
….. Another one of our worries re. leasing is the fact that, if we enter a lease agreement for, say, 3 years and then we have to return to the UK (for whatever reason) before the term is up, we'd be liable for the full outstanding amount when handing back the car. ….:
That's another reason to just buy - you can bail out and sell at any time.
Pulaski is offline  

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.