July 19

Leasing Versus Buying: Which Option is Best for You?

hand holding a red toy car and car keysWhen you’re in need of a new automobile, there are countless decisions that need to be made, including which make and model you’ll drive. Perhaps the most important decision, however, is whether you’ll lease or buy your car. Both leasing and buying have their benefits, which makes it important to examine each in closer detail before you make your decision. Before you start searching for your next car, learn whether leasing or buying is the right option for you.

Advantages of Leasing

If you’ve never leased a vehicle before, then you might have some common misconceptions about this payment option. Many people assume that buying is always a better option than leasing, but this isn’t always the case. For some consumers, leasing is far more beneficial.
One of the biggest benefits of leasing is that you’ll be able to drive a new vehicle every few years. Typically, a car lease will last between two and three years, and when the lease is up, you can trade in your old leased car for a new model.

Another big benefit of leasing is that your monthly payments will be much lower than they would be if you were purchasing a car. With a lease, you aren’t responsible for the full price of the car, only the residual value of the car during your lease. Also, with a lease, you will not need to make a substantial down payment, which can lower your costs even further.
Finally, when you lease a vehicle, you usually will not need to cover the cost of repairs or maintenance. The majority of leased cars are covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, so if your car breaks down or you’re involved in an accident, the repairs should be covered.

Benefits of Buying

Now that you know some of the ways that you can benefit from leasing, it’s time to take a look at some of the advantages of purchasing your next vehicle. First and foremost, the benefit of purchasing a car is that you will actually own your vehicle after you’ve finished paying off a loan. You can use your car’s remaining equity however you wish, including selling the car to another person or trading in its value towards the purchase of another vehicle.
Another big benefit of purchasing is that you will not be restricted on how much you can drive your vehicle. Leases generally come with a mileage limit, and once you reach this threshold, you will have to pay a fee for every additional mile that you drive.
The primary drawback of buying a car is that your overall costs will be much more expensive. It’s also possible that your vehicle will depreciate in unexpected ways, which means you won’t have as much available equity after you finish paying your loan. If you don’t mind the extra expense, however, buying a car is usually a great choice.
Consider these strengths and weaknesses of leasing and buying so you can make the purchasing decision that best fits your lifestyle and budget.
Photo by free pictures of money via Flickr | Licensed under CC BY 2.0 | Cropped from original


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