The question of whether to buy or lease a vehicle may constitute a conundrum for many buyers.
The option of leasing a vehicle is very appealing. However, the chance to own your vehicle outright is nice, as well. How do you know which option is right for you? Here, you will find helpful hints to make your car purchasing decisions easier.
Leasing a car is much like renting an apartment. You can drive a nicer car for less money per month, you can drive a new car more frequently and you don't have to worry about things like major maintenance (costly 30, 60, 90 and 100+K mileage services).
However, leasing a car has some disadvantages, as well. For instance, your mileage is limited. With most leases, you can only drive 15,000 miles per year (sometimes less). If you exceed that mileage limitation, you will have to pay for it in addition to your lease amount.
In addition, you must pay for wear and tear on the vehicle when the lease is over. This can be a considerable amount. The amount of money due at the end of the lease term can also pose a problem, especially if you let that time sneak up on you. If you find that you have to terminate your lease early, you can expect to pay a hefty sum to the finance company.
Buying your car can be a great experience. You will own your vehicle, so you can do what you like with it. If you decide that a wing spoiler is something you want, you're free to add it to the car (don’t try that with a lease!). Also, buying a car is ultimately less expensive than renewing a lease (or leasing another vehicle) every two or three years. Once you have paid off the car, you no longer have to make car payments, but simply pay for maintenance. Leased vehicles (much like rent) continue to cost the same amount perpetually.
However, buying a car can also have its drawbacks. For instance, you often have a higher down payment amount when financing a car for purchase. In addition, car payments are frequently more expensive than monthly lease payment. Once the warranty expires, all problems, maintenance issues and other concerns are your problem, unlike a leased vehicle.
In the end, the question comes down to one of personal preference.