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To Buy or To Lease Your Car?

By: iTHINK Financial | Jan 10, 2016

It’s the question everyone is asking, and it seems like everyone has an opinion on the subject. Neither option, however, is right for everyone. The best plan is to study the facts, know your options, and make the choice that best fits your individual needs. 

Read on to learn the advantages and disadvantages of buying or leasing your next vehicle.


Buying a vehicle has many advantages. You have full control over the vehicle the minute you drive it off the lot. It’s your decision if you want to paint it or get the windows tinted. There are no mileage or wear and tear restrictions, either. At the end of the payment period, you will have full ownership of the vehicle and can claim it as an asset. The downside of buying is that the vehicle will devalue over time and only be worth a portion of what you paid when you turn it in. Also, if you decide to trade it in before you pay it off, you may end up being upside down on your trade-in. In other words, the trade-in value of the vehicle would be less than what you owe on your loan.


  • Immediate ownership interest
  • No mileage or wear and tear limitations


  • Higher down and monthly payments
  • Maintenance and repair costs after warranty expiration



Leasing is a great way to upgrade your current vehicle without upgrading your monthly payment. In most cases, you can lease a vehicle for less per month than if you had purchased it. At the end of your lease term, you can just return the vehicle to the dealership and not have to worry about being upside down on your trade-in. Make sure that you are planning on staying within the parameters of the lease before you sign on the dotted line. For instance, you need to know the wear and tear and mileage restrictions. It’s very important that your mileage allowance is higher than the amount you plan to use. Going over the allotted amount will result in additional fees.


  • Drive a new car more often
  • Pay a lower monthly payment than with financing


  • Mileage restrictions
  • Continuous payments

So is it better to lease or buy? That’s really up to you. The most important thing is to be educated on both choices. If you are someone who wants a new car every few years, drives short distances and takes impeccable care of your car; than leasing may be the option for you. If you prefer to customize your car, drive it long distances and keep it for several years; than buying is the route for you.

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