Usually leasing requires you to have a credit history in US and establishing it takes at least a year. What options you have to lease the car without credit history in US but having employment here (eg being able to show your income)
There are brands that have special programs for foreigners:
- Mazda (Foreign Resident Program)
- All European brands (VW, BMW, Mercedes, Audi)
There are dealerships that might have specific programs allowing foreigners to lease (I know about some Ford dealerships).
There are special companies that can help foreign nationals get a car lease
There are offers from Hertz and other rental companies for foreigners (my personal experience: extremely expensive)
Toyota, Nissan, Honda (and their premium counterparts) are known NOT to have any offer for foreigners, regardless of dealership, however YMMW.
Note to be very upfront about your situation with the dealer and demand clear answer regarding offer not to loose time.
Have you already chosen leasing as your best option for a car? Leasing has some attributes that might not make it a great choice.
A lease is for a fixed period - usually two years. You are contracting to make monthly payments and there is no way out of that (well, repossession, but you don't want to go there). There are also mileage limits and wear and tear limits. If you go over your mileage allowance the penalty costs can be very high.
If you're not sure that you can commit to all that, consider buying - a modest used car can be quite inexpensive - or try a car-sharing service like ZipCar.
I used ExpatRide with great success. They can assist expats with any make or model available in the U.S. Before or after arriving in the U.S.
I got a pre-owned BMW 5 series with manufacture warranty on an Open End Lease (which means that I can break the lease at any time at little or no cost). I was afraid to lock myself into a regular Closed End Lease which is impossible to get out of.
I checked out Autosorce as but went with ExpatRide because Auotosource could only offer a few number of new cars, there was a wait time, the only offer Closed End leases which is too risky for me. Also I needed to put down a deposit before I moved to the U.S. and they were VERY pushy about me having to sign NOW NOW NOW. I did not feel comfortable working with them.
I've heard from other members on here that leasing a car with a company like Intl Autosource is a good idea because not only do they specialize in serving foreign nationals without a credit history but they also report all your payments to the credit bureaus, which helps towards your establishing a credit history. You might also consider just buying a car outright, if at all possible; this would give you a purchase, as well as an asset, which tends to make you more creditworthy too.
Can Confirm that Ford, Jeep and others will only lease until your Visa Expiry. Mine was a 3 year visa and I could not obtain a 3 year lease once I had arrived.
Stay away from IntlAutosource. Their rates for leases are uncompetitive and they gave me a lot of spiel about the rates on manufacturer websites being unavailable. The only benefit I saw was that I could get a 3 year lease.
Credit score is not an issue, as an expat they look past your lack of history but require lots of documentation to prove you have the job you say.
At the time of writing with the 2018 models coming out there appear to be lots of great deals. Chevrolet has great 24 month lease offers on Traverses and other vehicles. (at the time of writing, Early August 2017)
Any Ford or Mazda Dealers can lease it to you. However Ford only lease until the expire date of your visa but Mazda can lease it by your I-94 date.