Getting a car with no credit history


When you come to the US, and want to get a car, it is a nightmare because you probably don't have any credit history.

I have summarized some options. Hope this helps.

Buy Cash

Buying a new car in cash

If you have enough cash in USD, you can of course do this. But be aware that paying for car lease or finance is one of the best ways to build your credit scores, so keep that in mind that you will not be able to leverage your credit score if you do this.

Buying a used car in cash

As mentioned above, buying in cash will not improve your credit score. So be aware of this. However, you may be able to find good deals on bulltinboard sites like vivinavi (in Japanese ) where expats who are returning would like to release their cars.

Buy Lease

Buying a new car as lease

This will help you build your credit score. One of the most popular cases especially for Japanese expats to get a lease deal is at the Toyota Sunnyvale. There is a person called Nobu Ishihara, who can speak Japanese and can help you.

Nobu Ishihara

cell: 408-313-7272

Toyota Sunnyvale

Another company which can help is IAS. They specialize in expats in getting cars, so it may be worth talking to them.

Buy Finance

Buying a new car as finance

This will help you build your credit score. I have not heard any expats who has done this (most of them do leasing), because usually the expat benefit only applies for leases. But I heard that some German and Japanese car dealership do have such financing programs for expats w/o credit score, only if they were to submit the original employment contract and prove that they are financially secured. IAS mentioned above can also help you too. Hope you find one and if you do, please let us know!

Buying a used car in finance

Same as the case for financing new cars, need to find a right dealer who can provide financing even without credit history. Good luck and let us know!


Subscription model

The new trend is coming for car ownership. One of the known one in the Bay area is Canvas( ), which is run by Ford. They provide lease terminated cars, so usually few years old, but good enough for day to day driving. It even includes insurance, which is the biggest difference compared with buying it.