Buy vs. Lease

BUYING is for you if …

  • You always drive more than 15,000 miles a year.
    When you lease a car, you are typically capped at 15,000 miles a year. Additional mileage can cost you up to 35 cents per mile. And that can really add up.
  • You like to customize your car by tinting windows, adding pinstripes, sound system, etc.
    If you like to personalize a car, this investment can be lost on a leased car.
  • You get emotionally attached to your car.
    If you like the idea of ownership, you are less likely to be happy with the lease option.
  • You like to see your payments dwindle to nothing.
    If you like the feeling of accomplishment that paying off a large purchase brings, you should consider that when you lease a car, the payment ends only when you return the car.
  • Your current car is more than 3 years old.
    If the car you presently own is over 3 years old, you are more likely a buyer. While not always true, you can usually drive for less if you’re willing to buy and drive for at least 3 years.
  • You like to do your own repair work.
    If you don’t mind doing your own car repairs, you probably don’t mind driving a car after the warranty expires.

LEASING is for you if …

  • You always drive less than 15,000 miles a year.
    Lease arrangements usually involve a 15,000 miles-per-year cap and charge for extra miles. If you drive very little, you may be a candidate for a luxury lease.
  • You have to have that new car smell!
    When you negotiate a 24 or 36-month lease, you can be sure you’ll always be driving a new vehicle.
  • You like the security of driving a vehicle under warranty.
    Although you need to maintain and repair your leased vehicle just as you would an owned vehicle, because you typically lease for 2 to 3 years, the car is normally under warranty.
  • You usually choose a car that you can’t afford.
    Many people prefer to drive a vehicle that is priced above their means and leasing provides the solution.
  • You are willing to trade ownership for low, monthly payments.
    If you don’t mind not owning the car, you are free to enjoy the benefits of leasing like low monthly payments and a low down payment.
  • Your company reimburses you for car expenses.
    If you own the company and you use your car for business, check with your tax advisor. You may be able to deduct your auto expenses, including your monthly lease payment. And if the company you work for gives you a monthly car allowance, you may want to lease since you’ll be able to drive a nicer car for a lower monthly payment.