Leasing vs. Financing: Expat Car Buying Advice

Are you having trouble deciding if you should finance or lease your next vehicle? We’ve broken down both options to help Expats in the car-buying process.

expat car leasing and financing


  • Financing includes a person taking a loan out with the car lot or their bank in order to pay their car over in time.
  • Customers own the vehicle at the end of the term.
  • The cash value of the vehicle is for the customer to use as they like.
  • Customers are free to drive as many miles as they want.
  • There is no worry about wear and tear, but it could lower the vehicles trade-in or resale value.
  • The vehicle is for the customer to modify as they would like.
  • At the end of the loan term, no further payments are needed.
  • Customers have built equity to help pay for their next vehicle


  • Offers customers the ability to drive the car of their choice through payments directly paid to the manufacturer.
  • Customers need to pay a percentage down on the vehicle.
  • Customers must return the vehicle at the end of the lease, unless they decide to buy it.
  • Customers are only paying for the vehicles depreciation during the lease term, plus interest charges.
  • The future value of the vehicle doesn’t affect customers financially.
  • Customers must pay any overages in mileage on the vehicle.
  • Leases last between 2 and 4 years.
  • At the end of the lease, customers have the option of financing the purchase of the car, or leasing/buying another vehicle.

Questions for Expats to ask themselves before making their decision…

1. How long is your visa? Expats only planning a 2 – 4 year stay may find it easier to lease a car. This helps you avoid the process of selling the car when you move back home.

2. How often will you be driving your vehicle? If you have a long commute, or plan on road trips and other long driving trips, you may want to consider financing so you can avoid paying for overage fees on the mileage for your lease.

3. Will you be modifying your vehicle? You cannot modify or customize your vehicle during a lease, if you have plans to do this go with financing.

4. Do you get bored of cars quickly? A lease is a great choice for people who want the ability to drive a brand-new car every few years.

5. Should Expats Lease, Rent or Buy a Car in the U.S.?

Have more questions about Expat car leasing and financing? Ask us in the comments below!

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