When it comes to purchasing a vehicle, there are two popular options: leasing and buying. Both options come with their own benefits and drawbacks, so when you think about leasing vs buying a car, it's less about which option is the best and more about which option is the best for you.
Should I Lease or Buy a Car?
First, you are not alone when you ask this question, and the answer that's right for you might not be right for someone else. Further, it's completely normal to go back and forth on which option is your preference. To help you in your comparison, we put together a handy infographic detailing the top benefits of each option. Use the information below to uncover which benefits best fit your needs.
Leasing Vs Buying a Car Infographic
Benefits of Leasing a Car
Lease terms typically last two or three years. When you compare that to the average ownership cycle of six or more years, leasing cuts the time you spend in each vehicle in half, at least. For individuals who prefer to drive new, leasing is a smart choice. Additionally, lease vehicles have lower monthly payments than purchase agreements. This is because, in a lease, you're only paying for the cost of the vehicle's depreciation while it's under your care, instead of paying for the full cost of the vehicle.
If you find comfort in driving a vehicle that's under manufacturer warranty, the peace-of-mind that comes standard with lease agreements is probably very attractive to you. Additionally, many lease agreements require zero dollars down. That means you won't be burdened by coming up with a down payment, which is typically 10-15 percent of a vehicle's purchase price.
Benefits of Buying a Car
When it comes to buying a car, there are fewer restrictions on what you can and cannot do with the vehicle. For instance, mileage limits - which are standard practice in lease agreements - are nonexistent in purchase agreements.
You are free to put as many miles on the vehicle as you wish. Similarly, you can make any and all customizations to the vehicle when you decide to purchase. Want a different stereo system? Want to have a sunroof put in? With a purchase agreement, you can.
Because you don't need to return the vehicle in re-sale condition, typical wear and tear like stains, tears, dents, and scratches do not have penalties associated with them. There will, of course, still be expenses if you wish to repair those things, but there is no requirement to do so.
One last benefit of buying a car is that once it's paid-in-full, the vehicle becomes an asset. You have full ownership, and you can leverage its value the next time you purchase a vehicle.
While both leasing and buying have different benefits, the most important thing to decide is which benefits work best for you and what makes sense for you in your current situation.