Buying A Car, Your Best Bet.
If you have ever seriously considered leasing a car, this post is for you. Even if the thought has crossed your mind, continue reading. Leasing may seem like an attractive option, as leasing typically is correlated with lower monthly payments. However, leasing a car rather than buying it has many drawbacks. Here’s our list of the top 8 reasons buying a car makes more sense than leasing it.
Buying A Car vs. Leasing
- If you lease it, you won’t ever own it.
Perhaps the biggest reason to buy a car instead of leasing it, is the fact that you will own that car after your loan is paid off. If you decide to lease a car, once your lease is up, you will be left with nothing, and be forced to either buy a car at that time, or lease another. Think of a car lease the same as you would an apartment lease. At the end of your lease, you do not own the apartment. You either re-sign your current lease, go out and sign another lease, or buy your own home. Buying a car helps you build equity, and provides you with a sense of accomplishment and ownership once your auto loan has been paid off.
- Cars last a long time.
Let’s face it, a car is a major investment, and lasts a long time. If you don’t plan to switch your car every two to three years, buying a car may be a better option for you. In most instances a vehicle will last years after you have paid off your auto loan. Once your loan is paid off, you will not have to pay a dime for your vehicle outside of normal maintenance and repairs.
- You’re still responsible for repairs.
Business Advice Sources states that even if you lease a car, you are still responsible to pay for repairs that are not covered under the warranty. This means that you will be responsible for investing your own money in something that you don’t even own. Also, keep in mind that if you lease a car you are not able to customize it. For instance, you cannot put in a new sound system, change the paint color, tint your windows, etc. When you buy a car, you are able to make any modifications to its appearance and technology.
- You can’t sell your car.
Keep in mind that if you buy a car, you will be able to sell it later. The same is not true with leasing. Buying a car already makes a lot of sense since your vehicle will likely last much longer than the terms of a typical lease. When you also factor in the ability to sell your car at any time, it is easy to see how buying a car could be a more cost effective option.
- Strict lease regulations.
With any sort of lease comes pages and pages of terms and conditions. Many of us fail to read an entire lease document all the way through. If you decide to lease a car, there are many terms and conditions that you must follow to avoid penalty. If you buy your car, you are free to do whatever you want with your vehicle without fear of repercussions from a dealership.
- Early termination fees apply.
If you lease a car, and decide to end the lease early, you are likely to incur an early termination fee. In many instances, these early termination fees can be almost as costly as fulfilling the terms of the lease. Buying a car allows you the flexibility of being able to sell or trade in your vehicle at any time.
- Limited mileage.
Consumer Reports advises that many leases put a limit on the number of miles you can drive per year. For instance, some leases may limit you to 10,000 to 15,000 miles per year. Many times, you will be forced to pay charges for exceeding your mileage limits, should you go over the allotted mileage specified in your lease. If you buy a car, you can drive as much, and as many miles as you want.
- What’s “normal” wear and tear?
When you lease a car, you will be responsible for what the dealer considers “normal” wear and tear. Sometimes it can be difficult to understand what the dealer will decide to charge you for. If you own your car, you do not have to worry about stringent dealer standards as to what is and isn’t normal wear and tear. In addition, it will be your decision on what to fix and what not fix. You will not have to answer to anyone but yourself.
As you can see, buying a car over leasing does hold many benefits. Buying a car allows you freedom, while also providing you with a sense of ownership. After you pay off your auto loan, you own your vehicle, whereas with a lease, you pay money towards a vehicle that you will never own. Think of a lease as almost a parental contract. When you lease a car you must abide by all the terms in the contract, you must answer to the dealership and follow their specific guidelines on “normal” wear and tear. What they consider “normal” wear and tear may seem minor to you; however regardless of how minor it may seem, you will still be responsible for any costs associated with repairing it. Consumer Reports provides a great chart that compares leasing vs. buying a car.