Many new Olim find that owning a car eases of the transition of settling into their lives in Israel. But when it comes time to buy they are faced with a few options: buying new (using Oleh benefits), buying used, or leasing. Which is right for you?
Buying a Car with Oleh Benefits
Fortunately, new Olim are eligible for a discount when they purchase a new car within the first three years of Aliyah. Other Olim choose to buy a second-hand car or to lease a car. It all depends on your personal needs. (Check out this Nefesh B’Nefesh article for more information about car ownership in Israel.)
Hezy BenTzur and Ezra Benjamin are two Olim who own businesses that specialize in guiding Olim on respectively leasing and purchasing cars – both great options should you decide that the Oleh benefit isn’t for you.
Leasing a Car
Hezy launched iAnglo Auto Association in 2009, and now guides 86% of his clients in leasing both new and used cars in Israel. Because cars depreciate over time, Hezy believes that leasing a car could be a great option for an Oleh. Not only is it possible to drive away in a new car, but you’ll be able to make affordable monthly payments, you’ll get a three-year warranty, and you won’t face the burden of selling the car once it has lost a lot of its value. Leasing a used car can also be very practical for new Olim.
“Leasing a car gives you the best of both worlds–easy payments without needing to worry if anything breaks,” said Hezy.
Buying a Used Car
As a partner in Zvi Cars, Ezra Benjamin helps Olim make smart purchases on used cars. Used cars can be in great shape–and will come at a fraction of the price of new cars. But before purchasing a used car, Ezra stresses that the following due diligence is necessary: researching whether the car is built to last and has a good reputation; taking it into a mechanic to see whether the car has been involved in any accidents in the past; and checking that the car has always been well-maintained. Ezra also recommends purchasing a used car from a dealership because it will come with a one-year warranty.
“If you have a full history of your car and you’ve read the car reviews online, then you’ll be in a position to buy wisely,” said Ezra.
Before making Aliyah, according to Ezra, it’s also a great idea not to immediately cancel your car insurance policy. You’ll have a six-to-nine month window to purchase another policy in Israel and to continue on your preferred rate. Before moving to Israel, request a letter from your insurance company that states that you’re a client in good standing. Then, you’ll be sure to get the best rate in Israel.
So whether you chose to buy a new car using your Aliyah benefits, buy used or lease, if you’ve done your research, you’re bound to find an option that works for you
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