Leasing and buying each have pros and cons, and how you feel about these may help guide your decision on whether to lease or buy.
For example, a lease requires little or no money down and offers lower monthly payments. But when the lease ends, you have no car and will need to go shopping again. On the other hand, buying a car is more expensive initially, and the monthly payments are higher. But when you pay off the loan, you will own a car that you can drive for as long as it runs.
Here are a few more factors to consider while deciding between leasing and buying:
- You can drive a more expensive car for less money.
- You can drive a new car, with the latest technology, every few years.
- There are no trade-in hassles at the end of the lease.
- You have more flexibility to sell the car whenever you want.
- You can modify the car to your tastes.
- There are no mileage penalties if you drive a lot.
- In the long run, your car expenses will be lower.
If you are still unsure whether to lease or buy, let the numbers help you decide. Use Edmunds' Auto Calculators to compare a monthly auto loan payment to a monthly lease payment.
by Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor at edmunds.com