Are you Canadian planning to relocate to the US temporarily or permanently? Getting a car to drive for your time in the US is essential. So, can a Canadian lease a car in the US?
A Canadian can lease a car in the US. The process involves the following steps: research, determine your needs, set a budget, know the lease terms, negotiate, and read paperwork. You can go to a car dealership yourself or use specialized car leasing services. But it’s best to use car lease services.
Usually, you need credit history to lease. Without it, the process might become a little complex. But you’ll find several dealers who’ll lease to foreigners without a credit score. Here, we discuss how Canadians new to the US can lease a car and everything else they need to know.
How to Lease a car in the US as a Canadian
Here are the steps you need to take to lease a car in the US.
The importance of research before making any financial decision can’t be overstated. When it comes to car leasing in the US, you need to research your options, so you’ll know which company or brand dealerships are best for you. Research also helps you to plan. This is something that several people who move to the US fail to do. Given that about 45% of residents here don’t have access to public transportation, having your car can take a weight off your shoulders. So, you don’t need to wait till you’re in the US before you start finding out about the leasing process.
2. Determine What You Want
Car leasing can be a costly financial decision, given that you’re only paying to use the car. Thus, you need first to ascertain if leasing is the best move for you. If you aren’t staying in the US for a very long time, leasing might be right for you. But even then, you still need to be particular about the kind of lease you’re getting. That’ll help you save costs and never pay more than it’s necessary to lease the car.
Part of determining what you want is knowing whether you want a closed or open lease. An open-end lease is generally less expensive, but you have to guarantee a value at the end of the lease. If the market value is lower than GRV, you’ll cover the difference. On the other hand, closed-end leases are more expensive and make you bear full depreciation costs. There’ll be restrictions on mileage, too, and going over that might cost you a lot more.
3. Set A Budget
Look at the overall cost of the lease and not just monthly fees. This helps you see whether leasing the car is a good financial decision instead of buying. It also helps you compare multiple leasing offers, so you’ll see which is most suitable. Consider costs of insurance, fuel, and taxes on the car too.
4. Know Relevant Terms of The Lease Contract
Several terms are key for anyone leasing a vehicle. Mileage is a good example, and you should know how much mileage you got. First, you need to know how many miles you drive and compare it with lease contract mileage. If you’re someone who has a long commute, leasing might not be advisable. Also, the trade-in value is important, just as you need to know how to use the car.
5. Always Negotiate
The best deal you get is the one you’re willing to bargain for. As a Canadian trying to get a lease in the US, you must negotiate prices. If you’re doing it yourself, compare multiple leases to see which one is right. This is where research and planning are essential.
6. Read paperwork
Don’t sign any contract until you’ve read through it. This is very important when such an agreement has financial implications. No matter how tired you might feel after all the hard work of getting a lease, always read through the paperwork and clarify anything you don’t understand before you sign.
Is Credit History Important When Leasing a Car?
Canadian credit history and that of the US aren’t the same things. So, Canadians in the US will have to build their credit history from scratch. Some dealerships won’t lease a car to anyone without a credit history. Fortunately, most dealerships don’t mind.
A credit score doesn’t necessarily have to be an issue. As long as you’re forthright with the dealer and they’re aware you’re an expat, they’ll look past your credit score. But you’ll need to provide sufficient documentation to prove you have a job.
Where to Lease a Car in the US
You can use two options when leasing a car as a foreigner in the US. They include
1. Use Car Dealerships
Several car dealerships in the US have special programs for foreigners who want to lease a car. Brands such as Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen, Ford, BMW, Audi, etc., have these programs. In that case, you only need to visit their stores.
2. Use Specialized Car Lease Services
There are also companies whose service is to help foreigners lease cars while in the US. These companies, such as International Autosource and Expatride, are specialists. They can help you get any car you want in the US before or after you arrive in the country. Some of these businesses also help you find the right deal.
Using car lease services can be beneficial as they report your payments to the credit bureau, thereby helping you to establish your credit history. These companies also understand the needs of foreign nationals better than local leasing companies. So, if you want to avoid the hassle of getting the car yourself, this is a viable option to try.
Can You Bring a Leased Car to Canada?
If you’re leasing a car in the US, you may want to know if it’s possible to take it into Canada. The answer is yes, it’s possible. The customs will allow lease or rental cars to cross the Canada US border. But that’ll depend on your agreement with the dealer. Most dealerships won’t allow you to take them into Canada, reducing their chance of getting the lease payments.
But in some cases, they might allow it. In such cases, you’ll be able to take the car into Canada but have to return it within specific days. Also, if the car is registered to the leasing company, customs will require a letter saying you can take the car to Canada.
Leasing a car in the US as a Canadian can be quite stressful because of the lack of credit history. But It’s possible, and with the right steps, you can get the best deal.