What is a reasonable budget for car rent/lease?

Hello Friends,

I am reviewing my company's package for moving to Germany, and I was wondering how much leasing or renting a car actually costs?  My package says they'll pay 700 USD per month.  Is this reasonable?

Thank you!

Rental or leasing costs vary greatly on the class of car you get. I looked at the German site mietwagen.check24.de which compares all of the rental companies. There are small cars for less than 100 Euros a week, midsize around 150 to 200 Euros. What other hidden cost might come on top is always a question by car rentals. The bigger names in the field would tend to be more transparent than others but not to be blindly trusted either. A big question is the mileage charge. Is it high and how many free kilometers does one get for the given period of time?

I've never leased a car but did a search and see midsized cars for as cheap as 200 to 250 Euro a month. But these are all based on a 48 month contract and no comparison prices for shorter terms were shown. In most German cities there is the Stadmobil car sharing system and they also have business rates including weekly rates; say a midsized car for 145 Euro/week and then 18 cents/KM but that also includes the fuel and all insurances.

Thank you, TominStuttgart!  I'm also not sure about hidden fees or insurance requirements, but I've been warned that as a US citizen I have 0 credit in Germany, which may mean higher prices for things like car buying/leasing.  It's good to get a feel, though- thank you for posting your findings!

I don't think that credit ratings are a factor for renting and for leasing I am not sure. But I would think that if you are working for a company then they would look more at the company than you just as an individual. I don't think it can mean higher prices. There might just be a risk, say you are buying a car on your name, that a bank or car dealer would not extend you credit at all. But dealers particularly have an objective to sell and why not when you can present that you have a job and a regular income. Being self-employed or working for an unknown start up might be another matter.

Banks in general are difficult for Americans now. The US government has strong-armed banks world-wide to report annually any accounts or investments by American citizens. Most banks will simply not take Americans as customers anymore because the rules for compliance are so complicated. Even as a resident of Germany, the only country outside of America where I can have an account is in Germany and even this is being put in question.

I have had to sign a number of documents for my bank here allowing them to give my information to the IRS. But they are no longer accepting new American customers and whether they will continue on with present ones is in question. The catch-22 being that one hardly survive here without a bank; certainly not doing business.

The only option in the future, as my banker told me, might be to have an account with an American bank with a German branch. The only one I know of offhand is Citibank but their website says they do corporate and investment banking, not sure what retail banking services they might offer. Maybe there are such US banks with online services…

I think Americans arriving here are in for a shock in the future as they are singled out as not eligible bank clients. I've hear that such things are forcing some to give up their American citizenship. America is one of 2 countries world-wide that tax their citizens even when they are abroad. Even if one has no tax liability in the end (and there are special exceptions and credits possible) one still has to file every year and the bookkeeping requirements for some small business owners here becomes prohibitive. In addition, one has to report any foreign accounts or investments in addition to the normal tax returns….

In the end, the IRS is making it near impossible for Americans to live abroad and keep their citizenship and stay in compliance with tax laws. The purpose is supposed to be to stop people from avoiding taxes but their measures are stomping on the little guys while the people stashing millions will still find a way around through foreign incorporation or trust funds or whatever.

This might have gotten a bit off topic but it's something Americans should be aware of when going abroad.