I prefer leasing. You never have to worry about the car breaking down or replacing parts, and you always have a new one.
As someone who worked within a dealership for a few years within the service, reception, sales, and billing office (yeah, I moved around a lot within the same dealer), I have to say that it truly depends on you, your needs, and preferences.
For instance, do you like getting a new car, then having the ability to hand it in at the end of your lease and leaving with another new car about 3 years later? Or are you the type of person who likes to OWN your property?
Leases typically require a down payment, there are times, though, when you can find lease deals that require $0 down, and personally, those are the deals you should look for as the amount you put down just gets thrown to the wind. It doesn't go to the principle of the car and typically tax, license, title, and other fees aren't included in the down payment, whereas a finance deal is the opposite, the amount you put down goes toward the fees and dealership fees they impose within your deal.
I worked with a sales manager that loved leases, however he would only lease $0 down for the reason I just mentioned above, but he loved being able to constantly trade in his 3 year old car for the newer model when the time came.
If you want to own the car in the long run, it isn't the best choice to lease then finance when the lease is up, as you'll pay more in the long run.
When you lease a car, you're basically just paying for the depreciation of the car over the course that you are using it. You also can pay out of pocket as there are mileage caps, usually anywhere from 10k to 14k miles over the course of the lease, and if you're someone who drives a lot, a lease might not be for you as the overage of miles could result in thousands being owed (after you hit your mileage cap, a typical price is .25/mile over the cap, which gets pricey!). If you smoke, you risk burning the interior of the car and also paying out of pocket. If you put dings, rips, scratches on the car, you may pay out of pocket. You also typically cannot customize the leased car, either.
Therefore, it really depends on your personal preferences, how you plan to use the car, the amount you drive, and whether or not you prefer to own your car in the long-term instead of 'renting' one.
I hope this helps, please feel free to ask if you have any questions! I'd be happy to try to assist!
TLDR; It depends on your preferences, how you plan to use the car, how much you drive, etc. for a lease option. Financing has much less restrictions and risks of taking a financial hit for mileage overages, damage to the car, etc.
Take a look at the leases offered in S Cal. These lease typically allow less than 10,000 miles a year, and charge 25 cents a mile after that. People commute long distances in S Cal, so the cost of leasing is high. There are no real zero down here,
Brad, yes it appears to be the new 'thing' to offer ultra low mileage leases now, but it truly depends on you. I leased a car @ 14k/yr @ 36mos and used it as my main vehicle and didn't touch the allotted mileage. After 3.5 yrs I only put 25k on it.
Neither financing nor leasing are the best options. Paying in full for the best used car you can manage is the best option.
Americans waste so much money each year on cars because they feel they owe it to themselves to have a newer car every few years, even if it puts a strain on their finances by adding debt to do so. Admittedly, it will take some spending discipline to accomplish this, but if you swallow your pride, do your research, and maybe get some help picking out a reliable car, it will be worth it eventually.
Now I know I may get comments about not being ABLE to go this route, but if you consider all the money you're wasting on interest, you're actually making it financially harder on yourself to finance. This is the option that will save you the most money in the long run and you'll actually have something to show for it---a paid off car that you actually own.
However, many people don't have 10k+ to buy outright. There is also the fact that any less than 10k, you're typically looking at a very used vehicle. While you own your car, you have to worry about whether or not the vehicle was properly cared for.
Kelcie, I'd have to respectfully disagree with your 10k figure. There are many decent vehicles to be found for well less than 10k. But it is important to do your research before purchasing. That fact remains that you're wasting lots of money financin
Levi, I didn't say it was impossible, however the search doesn't always prove to be worthwhile. The amount you spend in interest you could very well be spending just as much if not more on maintenance plans, fixes, and so on. Either way, U pay to own
I have never spent more that $2,500, for any car I have bought. My '95 Honda ($1,000) sat in a guys front yard for 5 years, I bought it, got it running, took it to my mechanic, spent $1,200 (including new tires) and it runs like a dream. Case Closed!
I am 53 years old and have never had a car payment in my entire life. I have always paid for my cars outright usually for around 1 to 2 thousand dollars and used the money that I saved from buying a new car into getting anything on the car fixed so I know it will run without having the fear of it breaking down.
In 2006 I bought a '91 Honda Civic for $900.00 and put $500 hundred into to get it running right, I sold it in 2014 for $900 dollars. In 2013 I bought a '95 Honda Civic for a thousand dollars and put $1,200 into it and it runs like a dream, gets 40 mpg and never breaks down.
Buying a new car is a complete waste of money to me, a car is a tool, that you use for transportation, not a trophy to put on your mantle to admire.
How can people continue to pay top dollar have an expensive car payment, when that car doesn't even get the gas milage that a car made twenty to twenty-five years ago does?
Because they are conditioned and told what to think by their TV, period end of story!
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