Leasing Vs Buying
Information gathered from top sources on leasing vs buying cars
Is it better to lease or buy a new car? Ask most people and they’ll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it’s true, provided you’re willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It’s also good if you’re someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.
1. How far do you drive?
The standard lease contract allows for 12,000 miles a year or 36,000 miles for a typical three-year lease. If you drive farther than your allowed miles, you will have to pay 20 cents for each additional mile at the end of the lease. That could be quite a shock! Buying extra miles upfront is an option, but in most cases, high-mileage drivers are better off purchasing a car than leasing it.
2. Do you use your car for business?
Are you a real estate agent or a CEO or just someone who wants to impress clients by taking them to lunch in a luxury automobile? You probably can write off your lease payments as a tax deduction. But check with your accountant before you head to the dealership.
3. How clean do you keep your car?
Most lease contracts are for three years, which gives drivers plenty of time to spill soda on the seats, ding the bumpers and scuff the door panels. Hey, stuff happens. Lease contracts allow for “average wear and tear,” but when you return the vehicle, the word “average” becomes debatable. This could prove costly for some people.
4. Do you like to customize?
Some drivers like to customize autos with hot rims, running boards or spoilers. If you lease, you’ll have to take all that modified stuff off and return the car with the same look it had when you got it. So if you go for “mods,” leasing is probably not for you.
5. Are you short on cash but strong on credit?
A commonly cited advantage of leasing is that it maximizes cash flow. Another way of thinking of it is a “pay as you go” form of car ownership. So, rather than dumping most of your savings into a large down payment — and making high monthly payments — you can lease instead. If you have strong credit, you can start a lease with $0 down and still have lower payments than if you bought the car. Just keep in mind that three years later, you’ll have to return it (or pay the buyout amount).
6. Do you love driving the newest model?
Most of us have limited amounts of money, so we spend our hard-earned cash on things we value. That means we have to make choices. For some people, spending money to always drive newer cars is important. Maybe they like the prestige they think it brings, or they like having the latest design and cutting-edge technology. Such people will prefer leasing.
7. Are you comfortable always having a car payment?
Leasing is inexpensive in the short term (low down payment, low monthly payment), but over the years, the costs add up. Why? Because the person who leases is always driving a newer car and paying the steep depreciation that clobbers a car’s value in the first year. Compare that to the person who buys a vehicle. After five years of making higher payments, the buyer can continue to drive the car with no payments. This can be especially important if the economy tanks or you face financial hardship.
Leasing Vs Buying Exotics, Things To Consider
People that drive long miles shouldn’t consider a lease. Most leases include a mileage limit; so if you’re putting 15,000 or 20,000 miles on your current car, you’re likely going to run over the allowed mileage of your lease which will probably incur a hefty penalty. Make sure to be mindful of your lease’s mileage limits. Some dealers may offer a low-payment lease option that has a very low mileage limit. For most drivers this is going to be a bad choice. Look for a lease that has a limit between 10,000 and 15,000 miles a year. Most average drivers fall somewhere between those numbers.
You should also look at your current car; What kind of condition is it in? If you put a lot of wear and tear on your vehicles (dents, dings, interior wear, or any other kinds of damages) or if you often drive off-road, a lease may not be the right option for you. That’s because many dealers charge a hefty fee if you beat up the car too much.
Business owners may receive a tax credit that will essentially allow you to write off most or all of your lease payment, which is great if you’re using a car for business purposes. When you purchase a car for your business, you are usually only allowed to write off the interest for each monthly payment. An accountant or tax professional can best tell you which option is going to make the most sense for you when tax day comes around.
Luxury cars make good leases
Luxury automobile brands make the best lease values, dollar for dollar, than other brands — due to high lease-end residual values relative to MSRP. In fact, luxury vehicles, as a category, are leased significantly more often than vehicles in any other category — by the people who best know and understand the value of money.
The best lease deals are for those vehicle brands, such as Lexus, Mercedes, Porsche, Land Rover, and BMW, with the highest future resale values, or residual values, relative to their original cost. A high residual value creates a low monthly lease payment.
In fact, a better lease deal can often be obtained by leasing a high-residual luxury car than by leasing a car with a lower residual value, even though the price of the luxury car may be greater. This is the reason smart automotive consumers like to lease luxury brand vehicles.
Being money-wise is a typical characteristic of high-end car leasers. They are not trying to save a few bucks — they have the cash to buy the car they want. They simply know that it’s not smart to put money into depreciating assets (automobiles) when that money could be used for more productive purposes.
Source: Lease Guide
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