To Buy or to Lease: Pros and Cons

To buy or to lease? This is a pretty common question asked by individuals who are planning to get a new car—whether their very first ride or a replacement to an existing one. The question is getting tougher to answer because both options have advantages and disadvantages. ‘Buy here, pay here’ used car lots remain as a popular option among individuals who do not want the hefty price tag of brand new cars from the dealership. However, an increasing number of people are also turning to ‘lease here, pay here’ car lots because these can offer even more benefits in terms of cost (if utilized correctly).

If you’re one of those individuals who are torn between buying and leasing your next vehicle, consider the following advantages of buying and leasing.

Buying a Vehicle

For most car owners, the biggest advantage of buying a vehicle is the pride of ownership, the knowledge that the car is yours—a product of all your hard work. You can use it in any way you want and drive it as much as you want without limitations. And if you really take good care of the car, you can have it with you for a long time without needing a replacement.

However, owning a vehicle isn’t all flowers and rainbows; there are disadvantages, too. First off is the cost—you will have to shell out a huge amount of cash for down payment, get ready to always allot a certain amount on car maintenance, and deal with the reality that your car’s value is depreciating over time. When the time comes that you decide the car is no longer meeting your need (and you must accept that this will happen sooner or later), selling and disposing it might not be too easy. You might need to hold on to it for a while before you can sell it, in which case it becomes a liability.

Leasing a Vehicle

When you lease a vehicle, the biggest advantage is the lower cost—lower down payment and lower expense on maintenance and repairs since you’ll most probably trade it in before it starts experiencing problems. Most drivers enjoy driving a new car every few years, which is a benefit that leasing provides. Additionally, you don’t get tied down to an asset that later becomes a liability as it depreciates. Anytime you want to dispose the car, you can do so.

In terms of disadvantages, leasing will impose a limit on your mileage each year. And if you’re a bit of a reckless driver who doesn’t follow periodic maintenance in your ride, then you’re likely to face huge charges upon turn in of the vehicle. If you’re like other car owners, you also may not be keen on the idea that you won’t own the vehicle at the end of the lease term.

Given the pros and cons mentioned above, it will be easy to determine whether buying or leasing a car is the right choice for you. Whatever your decision, remember to look for a reliable ‘buy here, pay here’ used car lot or a trusted ‘lease here, pay here’ dealership.