The Pros and Cons of Leasing

When making a decision between leasing or buying your next vehicle, there really is no clear-cut answer. You can say good things about both buying or leasing a new car. It really comes down to your finances, how you like to pay for things and your lifestyle. A lease will most likely give you a lower monthly payment, however, when you purchase a vehicle you're ultimately building equity.

Do you like to pay cash for things? Or pay things off completely? Do you like to stick with the same car for years? Then purchasing a car and keeping it for as long as possible is best for you. You'd get to enjoy a few years without a car payment-this is something people often don't think of.

Do you like to drive a new car, truck, or SUV every two to three years? Then leasing is for you. Leasing will also give you the option of possibly driving a nicer car than you could afford if you were purchasing a vehicle.


Lease or Buy

There is all kinds of advice out there as to how much you should or should not spend on a vehicle. Some experts say that's okay to spend half of your annual income on a car. Some say that the total of all your automotive expenses -gas, insurance, maintenance-should not exceed 20% of your pretax monthly income. And some say your car payment should not exceed 15% of your monthly take-home pay.

Instead of listening to the experts, we recommend you do the math yourself and figure out what you're comfortable spending on a car each month. Add up all of your expenses for the month-rent/mortgage, food, insurance, gas/electric, water, extra spending money, savings, retirement-and then see what you have left over to spend on a car.

Once you have your car picked out, click here for a payment calculator to see if your monthly payment falls within your budget. We regularly have deals, rebates, and special offers. Click here for a list of our latest specials and offers.

Below is a list of the pros and cons of leasing, and the pros and cons of buying. Some of these points are financial factors, some are facts and figures, while others relate to your lifestyle. Keep in mind that there is no perfect answer to the question of whether to lease or buy-it basically comes down to what is best for you.

Leasing Pros:

  • Lower monthly payments with a lower, or possibly no, down payment.
  • Drive a better car for less money.
  • Lower, or no, repair costs because the vehicle is always under warranty.
  • It's easy to transition to a new car every two or three years.
  • There is no trade-in hassle at the end of the lease.
  • You only pay sales tax on the monthly payments, not the full purchase price of the vehicle.

Leasing Cons:

  • You don't own the car at the end of the lease and are not building equity.
  • Mileage is typically limited to 10,000 to 15,000 miles per year.
  • Lease contracts can be confusing. You need to do your homework.
  • In the long run, a leased car will cost you more than you if you were to buy a car and keep it for several years.
  • There is a possibility that you could face excessive wear-and-tear charges at the end of a lease.
  • It's costly to terminate a lease early if needed.

Buying Pros:

  • You have the freedom to customize your car as you wish.
  • You'll save money over the long term.
  • You don't have to worry about how many miles you're putting on your vehicle.
  • You can sell your car whenever you want to-you're not obligated to keep it for three years.
  • You can use your used vehicle as a trade-in on the next car you buy.

Buying Cons:

  • You usually have to pay a higher down payment so you're not upside down on your loan-you don't want to owe more than your car is worth.
  • Your financed monthly car payments are higher than lease payments.
  • You're responsible for repair costs once the factory warranty expires.
  • It can be a hassle to trade-in or sell your used vehicle.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, leasing makes it easier to get more car for less money. You're only paying for the use of the car for the term of the lease, instead of paying for the vehicle itself. Buying, on the other hand, helps you build equity and frees you from restrictions involved in leasing, such as mileage caps. Ultimately, it's up to you to weigh the pros and cons, and decide which choice best suits your lifestyle.

If you're ready to buy or lease a vehicle, click here to get pre-approved for a loan, click here to see how much your trade-in is worth, and click here for a list of our rebates and finance offers.

Then stop in to test drive your new vehicle. We're conveniently located at 1700 SE 16th St., Ames, IA.

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