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Transport Solutions for Expats

Most people moving abroad often either end up buying a car or perhaps leasing one for a fixed term but there are some disadvantages with this and there are alternatives…


Buying a Car: If you end up buying, you now have a depreciating asset that, if you have to go home, you’ll have to dispose of. This can be an issue, especially if you do it in a hurry. In addition there are all the other things you have to arrange when owning a car: registration, annual testing, servicing, insurance, toll passes etc. Also people often forget that cars depreciate, particularly when new, so that 75,000 shiny new car is probably only worth 65,000 as soon as you drive it out of the showroom.


Leasing a car: Leasing takes away a lot of these hassles and all for one easy monthly payment, the only real disadvantage is that you have a commitment for a fixed period and if things don’t turn out and you need to go home early, there will be penalties.
Another thing to check with leases is what additional services are included. In places such as the Middle East - items such as replacement cars when yours is in for maintenance are usually included in the price, they will also arrange for tolls to be paid and recharged to you monthly and a few other services designed to make life simpler. However in the west these services are often at extra cost.


Monthly Rental: Another way to get a car, especially if you are away for lengthy periods of time, is to rent on a monthly basis. Typically these rentals will cost more per month than a lease, but you have flexibility. So if you go to your home country for three months, then you won’t need to pay for that time.
The disadvantage is you don’t get to keep the same car and rates can change over a period of time but it will be a cheaper option for some, just depending on how many months you need to rent.


Rent, car share, rideshare or taxi as needed: The other way to utilise rental cars is to not to have a car permanently but just to rent when you need it. This obviously depends on the infrastructure of the city you’re in, so places like London, New York and Paris are well suited to this but also places like Dubai, that have a good taxi service, or a limousine booking service such as Careem, as well as a metro, allow you to go ‘carless’ and just rent if you need to go outside the main city.

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