I imagine a lease has it's advantages but if your planning on keeping your automobile for ever then a purchase is the way to go I believe.
I agree with you because I usually keep a vehicle for years. I had the last one 8 years and the one before that 12 years, but I don't put many miles on a vehicle. However, people who put high miles on their autos, such as salesmen and others who travel in their work, tell me that they come out ahead financially by leasing. A person I know leases an SUV to travel around the state for her job but they own a family vehicle and her husband drives it to his work locally. She says it's the best of both worlds.
I really do not know the details surrounding lease plans. I always heard they had low annual mileage limits so I thought they would be bad for travel. Seems that may not be accurate. I always keep my vehicles a long time and get way too attached to them. For that reason, I choose to buy my vehicles.
The way to tell is to do the calculation. Multiply the lease payments by the length of the term. How much is the total? How does that compare to the outright purchase price?
I'm in Australia and here, leasing always works out far more expensive than buying - but it may be different in the US. However, I'm not sure how much different it can be. After all, the leasing company has to make a profit out of the lease, so it stands to reason they'll add their margin.
In Australia, the only people who lease are businesses, because they can claim the lease payments as an expense, which reduces their tax. So although the lease costs more, they save on tax and come out ahead. If you're not using your vehicle for business, you can't claim the payments on tax, so you're way behind.
I found this useful comparison and calculator for the US:
http://www.smartmoney.com/calculator/au … 833645461/
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