New to US & Leasing - Pls guide

Hi all,

I am almost sure I bungled up, but yet, life’s about learning, so here I am! Newbie to leasing, so pls be kind!

I recently transferred to the US (TX) and have been struggling to buy a car thanks to lack of local credit history/lack of driving history for insurance/ even lack of six-months of continuous residence proof in the US… Basically, the system appeared a tad inflexible for a mid-career transferee. Multiple car dealers basically said no, and even when I tried for the expat programs that some European/Asian OEMs have, the dealers refused to honor them. Finally signed up a lease with a Volvo dealer for an XC60 B5 FWD Plus trim (total cost ~$51K), along with a local co-signer (a relative) who has excellent credit history. The mistake I feel I made was relying on this relative who basically had earlier been leasing almost exclusively from Mercedes-Benz for some 15 years. I ended up with a $800 monthly lease for a three year/12k miles per year agreement and signed it last month (Around 4K was due at signing). I had a feeling I was being overcharged, but this relative was confident it was a great deal. I was happy that I finally was able to get a car though! Nevertheless, started reading up and ended up on this (fab) site. Lot of learning to come still, but I see lots of cars that are far more expensive at much lesser monthly lease rates. And that convinces me that I got a really poor deal. But maybe I am understanding it completely wrong. And if I got a very poor deal, I doubt there’s anything I can do now. Or is there? Any tips/insights/guidance is most appreciated. Thank you! (Mods, pls feel free to move if this is not the right forum - thank you.)

You can’t transfer Volvo leases and it’s way underwater now, so you’re stuck with it. Continue reading this site so you can learn what to do on your next lease in 3 years.


One can only imagine what your relative is paying for his Benz…

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:frowning: Thought as much but was hoping against hope. Will indeed lurk around a lot more and hopefully will do better for second car in a few months. Expensive lesson.

Tbh their sales guy at the dealer rolled out the red carpet when we went there. In retrospect, should have guessed then itself.

Have you looked at your buyout amount? You may be able to buyout with a lower rate (if possible) or just try to sell the lease back and get something better (again, if possible). Feel free to work with some of the brokers here.

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$500/mo with $40K DAS.


Get some values from Carmax, Vroom and look at your buyout (including tax)
If you can get away with little or no cost here’s the procedure

  • Go to Volvo Dealership, buy out the car and get a loan on the difference
  • Wait 30 days for the loan to fund and you get the title.
  • Walk into Carmax (Or any other buyer place) and sell the car.

Walk away.


Payoff rate currently after two payments is just over 50k. Not sure I understand selling back the lease but will read up. Thanks for that suggestion :pray:

Thanks so much. Will dig into this and see what comes out. :pray:

If OP needs a loan for buyout. He might be back to square one because he’s so new to the country.

Thanks. This was a challenge when I was in the market for buying. Not anymore (i think) as I got a pretty decent credit score now + got a pre-approved loan from a credit union at 5.7%. But not fully clear if it makes financial sense to buy out. Need to understand that further.

TBH you probably won’t be scoring any great leasing deals for awhile, and the biggest drawback will be how thin your credit file is - basically not enough history for lessors to judge your creditworthiness. But you may be able to get decent loans for straight purchases.

The good news is that your Volvo lease will help you build your history; bad news is that you’ll be paying for the privilege. In any case, take your time, do your research and educate yourself. Just don’t continue to throw good money after bad :slight_smile: good luck!!


Put together a lease calculator from your current deal to see how you did and prepare for future. Post link for review.

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Welcome to our over-rated nation of super debtors!

Without auto history on your credit report, you likely don’t qualify for the lowest rates (Tier 1) — and if we look at your deal they likely also marked the rate up. It happens.

This deal isn’t hateful, but you’re likely married to it for the duration. You could buy it out anytime and refinance at a lower rate, but Volvos are not great long-term investments (reliability, resale, etc). Says the guy driving his second.

Keep reading LH, come back here before your next deal and ask questions / get the deal checked. Meanwhile keep driving your incredibly safe XC60 in good health.


Thanks for the reply. Yea this seems like an expensive lesson indeed. Adding insult to injury was the fact that I had to ask this relative to co-sign which was not something I was comfortable at all in (payments are not an issue at all). And my (clearly, dumb) expectation that someone leasing a good brand for 15 years might know and that having a co-signer with excellent credit history should help get a good deal (one dealer originally deigned to give me a 29% interest rate!). Nevertheless, painful learning. Love the car though, so that’s the silver lining.

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Great country man, but one thing I am quickly learning here- irrespective of product/service category, Price = f(ignorance). Be it a bottle of water at a grocery or a pack of 40 at Costco :slight_smile:

I guess no better learning than experiencing.

Love the Volvo though. Hopefully will be better prepared for round 2

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Very good observation: many people and businesses make their living off of information asymmetry. Websites like this exist to democratize that information. There’s nothing wrong with paying a little more for convenience, if you are at least understand that the thing you’re going to buy at target is a lot cheaper than it may be at the 7-Eleven next-door, for instance. People buy cars all day from dealerships connected to brokers and dealers here and pay thousands of dollars more.

Now you know how to find us, and you have plenty of time to educate yourself so that you get a great lease deal the next time.



Don’t worry you’re not the only one, I was in a worse situation. Another option is that there could be a better Volvo out there with more discounts resulting in less monthly even after you trade in yours.

Really depends on the math.

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Most likely it was not a great deal but you’re also comparing apples to oranges. Possibilities include

A. Loyalty deals vs. non-loyalty deals.

B. A-plan deals vs. without.

C. Lower tax on monthly vs Texas tax on sales price (brutal without credits)

D. MSD vs without

I remember a guy who got the same car I did back in the day and his negotiated discount wasn’t far off mine. But he didn’t know about FEP or MSD, and his tax rate was higher. All those small things made his final payment $200 more than mine.

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