5 ways to get a car lease as an Expat in the UK

For those of you who have left the UK for work or personal reasons, then headed back to try and pick up where you left off, credit for a car can be very difficult.

Photo of an Airplane
Expat Car Lease

I personally deal with Expats everyday in my business, the frustration is unreal for these individuals, grabbing an opportunity to go overseas and upon their return, being refused for credit. It’s a very regular occurrence.

Gaps in credit history can be harmful, but if you’ve got a gap in UK addresses, then things can be much harder for you. Expats can find it extremely difficult to get conventional credit for a car lease or finance.

So from experience, I have come up with a few ways to help you get a new car as an Expat:

  1. If you’ve got a gap in your UK address history, don’t apply for lots of finance. This can seriously go against you and be wary of dealers who say they have a panel of finance firms, one car quote could lead to 3–5 credit checks. Use a specialist.
  2. Search online for Expat Car Leasing or Expat Car Lease — You will then bring a list of search results of specialists who can help you, they will advise the best approach.
  3. Try something on a short term basis. Short Term Car Leases are usually underwritten on more favourable terms. Guarantees, deposits or higher initial payments may be required, but it gets your foot on the ladder.
  4. Car Subscriptions from the likes of Expat Cars, Subscribe & Drive or Flexigo Cars are a great start for Expats, it also gives you the ability to pause, upgrade or downgrade easily. Think of it as Netflix for motoring.
  5. Speak to your own UK bank, many of these offer their own leasing programs now and so long as you’ve looked after your UK bank account, then there should be no reason why they can’t help you.
Set of Car Keys with a Cocoon Vehicles Logo
Credit: Cocoon Vehicles

What about Overseas Workers coming to the UK?

Overseas workers coming to the UK, may find themselves in the same boat, but what can you do to get a car lease?

There are a few firms that can verify your status in the country that you are coming in from. For instance my business deal with a lot of workers coming in from Canada or America to work in the UK for the likes of Airbus and Rolls-Royce, especially the latter as we are Derby based.

Our external underwriters can carry out credit checks in these countries, which give a score that can be used on a short term car lease or a flexible car lease. Certain long term funders will also allow acceptance, in particular those car firms that are associated with General Motors.

Short term car leases work extremely well for Overseas workers, as generally these are for 6 or 12 months and coincide with their UK employment contracts.

I’m happy to answer any questions below to see if I can help, just drop them in the comments box and I will try and answer each and everyone individually.

Companies That Offer Expat Car Leases

Additional Reading…

About Rhys Adams

I am a Director of a Contract Hire & Leasing firm in the UK, its called Cocoon Vehicles. It was set up by ex-dealership staff who wanted to offer a different experience. When the UK credit crunch hit, Cocoon’s short term solutions grew with the help of Lombard Asset Finance.

Cocoon now offers a wide range of products and services in the car leasing sector, with over 300 vehicles on the road and access to hundreds more. Their flexible offering, can be delivered the next working day when a credit line is in place.

Find out more by searching “Cocoon Vehicles” on Google or Bing.

I live in a beautiful town called Belper on the edge of the Peak District with my wife Rebecca. I enjoy writing, photography and gadgets.