Car Guide: Leasing vs Buying

When it comes to getting a car, there’s a great deal of debate about the best way to go about it. Some drivers say that buying is the only way to go, while others are strong advocates of leasing. Here are the pros and cons of leasing. Use them to decide which option is right for you.


* When you lease a car, you don’t have to pay much money up front. There’s rarely a down payment, and you don’t have to pay sales tax up front.

* Lease payments are generally lower than the payments would be if you were buying the same vehicle. This is because you’re only paying the depreciation for the lease term, not the entire cost of the car.

* When you lease, you can often get a more expensive vehicle than you would be able to buy. This is partly because the payments are lower, and partly because banks usually won’t finance more than $30,000 for a car.

* Leasing provides an easy way to get a new car every two or three years. Instead of buying a car and then trying to sell it at a price that will pay the remainder of the loan so you can buy another, you simply lease one car for a while, turn it back in, and start leasing another.


* When leasing, you always have a car payment. Once your lease term is up, you must usually take the car back to the dealer and choose another one to lease. If you are looking to make payments for a while and then own your vehicle, leasing is probably not for you.

* With some leases, you have the option to buy when the lease term is up. But in most cases, you will end up paying more for the vehicle than you would have if you had bought it in the first place.

* Leased vehicles come with mileage restrictions. If you put more than a certain amount of miles on them (usually 12,000 to 15,000), you must pay extra when you turn the car in. The amount you have to pay is generally 10 to 25 cents per mile. If you put a few thousand extra miles on the car, this can really add up.

* When you lease, the dealer often requires you to carry more insurance on the car than you would have to if you were to buy. This will add to your monthly or yearly costs.

Whether leasing or buying is best for you depends on your wants and needs. If you are intent on eventually owning your vehicle and no longer having a monthly payment, buying is the better option. If you want a new vehicle every few years and lower payments each month, leasing is a better idea.

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