How to Rent or Buy a Car on H1 Visa

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Have you moved to the U.S. on an H1 visa? Are you confused regarding should I buy a car on an H1 visa? Are you finding it difficult to buy a car for yourself?

If yes, then there is no need to worry anymore. In this article, we will describe a complete guide on how can you rent or buy a car on an H1 visa. So, stay tuned to this article until the end.

What is H1 Visa?

H1 visa is a temporary work visa issued to foreigners who wish to travel to the U.S. The employers in the U.S. can hire foreigners if they possess an H1 visa. So, an H1 visa is helpful for foreigners to find a job while staying in the U.S.

However, an H1 visa is temporary and comes up with certain limitations for foreign employees. So, they usually find it challenging to manage their daily livings and find it difficult to enjoy all those facilities which a U.S. citizen may enjoy.

H1 visa, however, is extendable and can be extended by your employer if he is interested in taking services from a foreigner for a more extended period. So, if your visa is extended and you plan to stay for a longer time in the U.S., you can buy a new car for yourself easily.

The problem arises when you are on H1 visa and are not sure for how long will I stay there and how can I buy a car. Let’s find out the solution to this problem.

When Should you Buy a Car when you are on H1 Visa?

Managing without a car in the U.S. is not easy at all, but if somehow you can do it, that’s great. It is recommended to wait for 4 to 5 months and build a good credit history before buying a new car. The reason is that if you have a good credit history, you will get a car loan at a lower interest rate, which is commonly known as APR in the USA.  

Moreover, if you buy a car very soon, you will have to bear plenty of expenses every month to maintain that car. Let’s see what sort of costs you will have to endure.

Monthly Expensed of Keeping a Car in the U.S.

You should not rush to buy a new car instantly because you will have to spend a significant amount on getting your vehicle insured and also maintaining it properly.

Here are some of the general expenses that come with owning a car, especially in the U.S.

  • Monthly insurance fee ranging from $50 to $200
  • EMI for the loan ranging from $300 to $700 based on the car and interest rate.
  • Fuel for car $150 to $400 depending on how much you travel
  • Oil Change à $50 to $100 or more
  • Parking Space charge à $50 to $500 based on the city

So, as a newcomer to the U.S., it’s not a good practice to pay such a high amount for insurance and other expenses every month, especially when you are on H1 visa.

New Car VS Used Car

Once you plan to stay for a longer duration in the U.S., you can opt to buy a car for yourself. Now either to buy a new car or a used car, the decision depends on you. If your stay is longer than a year or so, then go for a new car.

However, if you are interested in saving money, then go for a used car. You can easily buy a used car for about 4k to 5k dollars, even with “no credit” history.

So, if your objective is to save money, you can buy a used car, otherwise, get a brand-new car for yourself.

Can I get a Car Loan on H1 Visa?

You can easily get the loan to buy a car even if you are on H1 visa and do not possess any credit history. The only drawback is that you will get the loan possibly at a higher interest rate.

How and from Where to get Car Loan?

Now you might be thinking from where can I get the loan to buy a car while I am on a temporary visa? Well, there are several options available, but you must go for the best one.

You may face the issue of credit denials while going for some banks such as, “Bank of America” or “Chase,” but that’s not a big issue. These banks do not issue car loans for a period higher than the validity of the H1 visa.

However, instead of taking loans from these banks, you should rather consider local ‘Credit Unions.’ These unions are small financial institutions and are comparatively flexible and cooperative in their policies.

These credit unions are operational in almost all states. They can offer you a car loan with five years plan to H1 visa holders. The processing is so fast that it may be completed in as less as 1 hour.          

Car Brands and their Offers

Honda, Toyota, and Nissan are considered as the best car brands based on their engine reliability and better mileage. All newcomers prefer to buy these brands.

Keeping in view the high demand for their vehicles, these companies have started 0% interest car loan offers provided you get it financed from their own sister companies.

So, you must get proper knowledge before buying these cars and take the benefit of their offers.

Lease or Buy

If you are confused that either you should lease or buy the car, then a good suggestion is to buy the car even if you have to use bank finance.

You might not be good at understanding leasing tricks as a result of which you will fall prey to the tricks played by the Car sales agents.

They will encourage you to buy a lease deal by showing the lower monthly payment as compared to finance, but that’s not true at all. You will end up paying more for the same car at the end of the lease than finance.


If you have traveled to the U.S. on H1visa, then you can buy or rent a car even with no credit history. Moreover, you can also take the loan to buy a car. Consult local credit unions to take a car loan and get things done for yourself.

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