Buying or Leasing: Which Option Has the Advantage?

Buying or leasing a new car is an exciting event.

Like most people, you probably depend on a vehicle every day. If your primary vehicle is nearing the end of its life, or if you are ready for a change, you have a few choices to make. As you shop for a new car, you will need to choose whether buying or leasing is the right choice. This can be a difficult decision, as both options have benefits and disadvantages. To help you do what makes the most sense in your situation, it is helpful to understand how each works.

Buying or leasing a new car is an exciting event.

Selecting the right vehicle is important. The financial aspect of this transaction will impact you for the next several years. If you do what is best for your needs, you can both have peace of mind and satisfaction.

Pros of Buying

When purchasing a car, you can either buy it outright with cash or finance it. Many customers choose the latter given the significant cost a new vehicle can be. When you purchase and finance a car, you own it for as long as you would like. While you have the vehicle, there will be no restrictions on how many miles you drive it. It can be the car you drive exclusively, and you can take it on long road trips. No matter how high the odometer readings rise, you will not be penalized.

Owning a car also gives you some flexibility over what you can do with it. You are free to make any enhancements or alterations that you wish. You can add a custom paint job or put on spoilers or fins. You can replace the upholstery or change out the seats. As long as the changes you make are legal and safe, there are no restrictions.

By owning your vehicle, you can also sell or trade it when you see fit. You may do this with a dealer or privately. You also have the option of trading in your vehicle for something that better fits your style or needs.

Cons of Buying

Be aware that purchasing a new car might not also be the right move. There are downsides to buying instead of leasing. Your monthly payments with a purchase will be higher than they would be in a lease. If you are living on a tight budget, this could be problematic. Similarly, you will have to come up with a larger down payment when you buy and finance your new vehicle.

Purchasing a car means you will probably end up paying more in the long run for repairs and maintenance. All cars will experience problems at some point. Because you will probably have a car you own longer than if you were to lease it, you can expect to spend more money at the mechanic’s shop.

Pros of Leasing

A lease comes with a three-year warranty on major parts, systems, and components.

A lease will come with lower monthly payments, which can be a welcome benefit if you are worried about this aspect. Most dealers will not require as large of a down payment for a lease either. You may even find zero-lease deals and promotions.

Your lease will always come with a new car and the latest model available. This can give you peace of mind that the car will perform well during the lease term. You shouldn’t have to worry about major mechanical problems, but if you do, a three-year, 36,000-mile warranty will cover the vehicle.

Many dealers will throw in perks with leasing, such as free oil changes and other tune-ups, during the term. However, other fees you may have to pay with a purchase are often not included in a lease.

Cons of Leasing

You will have mileage restrictions when you lease a car. This is usually 36,000 miles. If you exceed the mileage, you will have to pay a fee or purchase the car at the end of the lease term. You also cannot make any changes to the vehicle. Bringing the vehicle back to the dealership in poor condition at the end of the lease can also result in extra fees or penalties. Leasing only allows you to keep the vehicle for three years, which can be difficult if you have fallen in love with it.

Help to Decide Whether Buying or Leasing Is Right for You

If you are still struggling to know which decision is right, talk to people you know who have recently shopped for a car. Ask family members or friends which option they chose and how it has worked out for them. You can also talk to a trusted dealer and find out what might make the most sense in your situation. Regardless of whether you pick buying or leasing, you can feel good about your choice. Study the pros and cons of both of these and examine your preferences. Then, you can visit a dealer near you to start shopping for your next car, truck, van, or SUV.

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