What value can the ExpatRide program give me?
Our program will save you time, hassle and money. The “Personal Car Shopper Service” gives you the benefit of a skilled and knowledgeable contact person who understands the auto market in the U.S.
Many customers find it to be a large task to navigate the many options the American car market offers. Your advantage is having your Personal Car Specialist work with you to maximize your options and to find the best fit for you. We work with different criteria to find the best match – your needs, wants or budget.
You’ll receive a non-binding quote in your inbox that will be clearly explained to help you make an educated decision. This saves you from spending hours at a dealership that many times turns out to be unsuccessful and wasted time.
ExpatRide offers you access to flexible lease/finance programs, competitive auto insurance program and the opportunity to start building your U.S. credit score.
What is an open end lease?
It is the best of both worlds – A “bank loan” with a residual value. The customer owns the equity in the car. We aim to get the customer into a positive equity position after 12 months of payments = in theory the customer can break the lease after 12 months at no cost. The average profit for our customers at the end of term is $2,000 after fulfilling the term.
What is the difference between a closed end lease and an open end lease?
The main differences are that you can break an open end lease at any time without any penalties. We simply take the car back, sell it and calculate the difference between what is owed on the vehicle and what it sells for. In the case we make more money on the car, we will send you a check for that amount. With the open end lease agreement you also have no wear & tear and excessive mileage penalties.
With a closed end lease you are locked into a full term agreement with hefty penalties for breaking the lease, any wear & tear and excessive mileage. Also, should the leasing company make a profit on your vehicle when they resell it after you return it, the leasing company will not share that profit with you.
Below is an overview of the differences:
Closed end lease restrictions:
Open end lease:
- Lack of Flexibility
- Mileage restrictions
- Wear and tear penalties
- Hefty penalties for breaking the lease early
- No set amount for buying the car at the end (on most leases, not all)
- Lease extension not possible
- Use like a finance or lease
- Flexibility to extend or end early
- No mileage restrictions
- No wear and tear charges
- No penalty for breaking the lease early
- Set amount for what you can purchase the vehicle for at the end of term
- Easily extend lease
My visa isn’t ready yet – can I still submit my documents?
Yes, we can start the process without visa and I-94, but we can’t complete the process without it.
Do I need to perform maintenance on a leased vehicle?
Yes. As part of your lease agreement, you are responsible for servicing your vehicle in accordance with the manufacturer's minimum recommendations and as requested by the manufacturer in connection with any recall campaign.
Do you offer a maintenance/service program?
Yes. Your Personal Car Specialist will give you the details.
If I lease, am I responsible for sales tax and property tax?
In some states, you pay sales tax based upon your monthly payments. Other states require you to pay tax on the full value of the vehicle. Property tax treatment varies from state to state. Ask your Personal Car Specialist for information about the tax regulations in your state.
What are my options at the end of my lease?
At the end of your lease agreement, you can:
- Get new car, trade in old one
- Extend the lease agreement
- Change the agreement to a purchase agreement
- Pay it off and take ownership
- Return the car (If open end lease our partner will sell the car for you and you get the proceeds above the residual value back)
How long does the process take?
That depends on a few things. If you are in a hurry to get a car, a new car is always a quicker option. The more flexible you are with your preferences will also play a role how quickly you can get a car. Once you have decided on a car and the initial funds have been sent, it takes 5-7 days in most states to complete the paperwork that must be done before you can take possession of the car.
What is the minimum finance/lease period?
Finance period is available from 12 to 60 months. The length is based on the length of your assignment and how long your visa is valid.
What U.S. states are ExpatRide's services available?
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Will I build my U.S. credit score with the ExpatRide lease/finance programs?
Yes, your on-time monthly payments will be reported to a U.S. credit bureau. You build your credit score by having a loan of some sort and ensure that you make your payments on time every month. It takes about 2 years to build a useful credit score.
Is there a minimum finance amount?
Yes, the minimum finance amount is $12,000
What information do you require to be approved for credit?
The following information is required to apply:
Completed finance application form
Copy of passport with photo and visa document
Copy of valid driver's license - from your home country or local
Letter of employment stating salary, length of assignment and allowances
What is the interest rate?
Interest rate is between 4.75% to 6.50% and is subject to individual credit review.
What types of financing options can I choose from?
1. Open Ended Equity Lease program – Tailored for expats: Technically a bank loan with a residual value gives you the best and most flexible financing solution. The “Open Ended Equity Lease” provides the flexibility of a bank loan and the low monthly payments of a lease. Early termination is possible and there are no wear and tear penalties. This flexible lease option is usually only available to businesses. You are responsible for the un-depreciated amount, called the reduced book value (RBV), when the lease term ends or if you exit the lease early. If our partner sells the vehicle for more than the RBV at the end of the lease, you get to keep the difference. If we sell the vehicle for less, you pay the difference.
2. The Closed End Lease: Function the way many customers perceive all leases to function: You are restricted to a specific mileage and are charged a fee for every mile over the contracted limit. You are also responsible for any abnormal wear and tear, such as broken, dented, or damaged items. Also, you are responsible for a cancellation fee if you have to break the lease early. This option is not ideal for expats.
* Important question to ask before deciding for a “Closed End Lease” is “How much will it cost me to break the lease at any time during the lease term?”.
3. Cash Purchase Program (Prepaid Lease): With ExpatRide’s Cash Purchase Program you are technically buying cash, but gaining four major benefits you will not get with a regular cash purchase: Personal Car Shopper Service, only pay for part of the car, build a U.S. credit score and assistance with selling the car.
4. Traditional purchase finance (Similar to a regular bank loan): Allows you to take ownership of the vehicle at the end of the term.
What is the application processing fee?
The application processing fee covers the cost of establishing the lease contract. It is sometimes called a "bank fee", "assignment fee” or “acquisition fee”. This fee is charged by most car leasing and financing institutions and may vary from $600.00 to $1,400.00 depending on services included.
Do you offer direct billing for rental cars?
Yes. In order to set a corporation or partner up for direct billing we need to schedule a conference call to discuss the options and next steps. The process usually takes 30 days to be set up.
Can I co-sign an agreement with my spouse?
With our program you don’t need a co-signer.
I want to take possession of my car right after I arrive – is this possible?
There are a few different factors to keep in mind for this answer: You will need to have a U.S. bank account established to set up the monthly automatic
payments before you take possession of the car.
Some states will require you to have a driver’s license from the state where you reside. You will need to obtain your Social Security Number first.
The time it takes to register a vehicle in the different states in the U.S. vary from 2-3 days up to
If the above all fall in the most favorable position, you should be able to take possession of the vehicle right after arrival.
I would like to pay for my car with cash – can I still use your Personal Car Shopper Service?
Yes, we offer a prepaid lease option, which is a variation of paying with cash; our Cash Purchased Program. You can obtain a higher value car for the same amount of money; paid up-front. This program gives you access to the same benefits of all our programs, including assistance by a Personal Car Specialist, negotiating better discounts and convenient return of the vehicle at the end of your assignment. The better discounts when purchasing the vehicle and re-sale value, combined with building a credit score, all makes up for the cost involved in establishing a pre-paid lease.
Can I finance a car and have it stored while I obtain my local driver’s license or arrival to the U.S.?
Yes. A car that has been signed for and initial payment has been made can be stored up to 30 days. Monthly payment will be due and an activated insurance policy will be required.
What foreign car brands are not available in the U.S.?
The following major car brands are not available: AvtoVAZ, Brilliance, BYD, Chery, Citroën, Great Wall, Geely, Holden, Isuzu, JAC, Lada, Lancia, Lifan, Opel (Vauxhall), Peugeot, Renault, Rover (Roewe), SAIC, Saipa, Seat, Skoda, SsangYong, Tata, Wiesmann.