There is nothing quite like the feeling of buying a brand new car. Most people have a few clunkers, and maybe a lemon or two as their first few cars, while they save up for a decent down payment for their dream car. Nowadays however, with every major car company allowing people to lease a vehicle rather than buying it, saving up for a down payment is not as necessary as it used to be.
Leasing dropped into the car scene a few years ago and has been viewed as a life saver to many would be car owners. When you think about it, what person wouldn’t choose to pay $175 or $250 a month for a car instead of $350 or $500? Leasing prices are much lower than monthly payments, no matter how big your down payment is! Some companies offer leasing packages that almost sound too good to be true. However, they usually are too good to be true!
If you are looking to buy a new car but you are dragging your feet about paying a high monthly payment, the leasing option is probably starting to look really good to you. If you do your research however, you will ultimately find that buying your car is almost always the smartest thing to do. I would say that the only exception to this is if you have moved somewhere for a short period of time for your job, or for schooling and you need a car. In these cases, leasing would be a smart thing to do, as long as you are not planning any long road trips.
When you enter into a leasing agreement, you are basically borrowing a car from a company, with the understanding that if anything should happen to the car, you are 100% liable, and you will have to pay any damages. When you buy a car, the same applies, but when you own your car, you don’t have to give it back after putting your money into it!
When you lease your car, the lease agreement is usually for four to five years, after which you will have the option to give it back (once the car company has made absolutely sure it is coming back with no scratches or dents!) or to pay the remaining thousands cash down so you can own the car. The monthly payment for leasing is lower, but it is still cheaper and better in the long run to buy the car and pay more per month.
If you own your car, you make the rules, you decide if a dent or scratch really does need fixing and if it does, you can decide where you want to get it fixed. You can also drive as far as you like in a year, and not worry about paying for your mileage. Leasing agreements usually give you 20,000 kilometers or miles per year an you will pay a lot extra to be able to drive more in a year.