buying: We've Weighed the Pros and Cons of Leasing vs. Buying a Car - PressFrom - US
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buyingWe've Weighed the Pros and Cons of Leasing vs. Buying a Car

22:51  14 august  2019
22:51  14 august  2019 Source:   goodhousekeeping.com

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When it comes time to get a new set of wheels, you have a lot of factors to consider as a consumer. A purchase of that magnitude can have a sizable impact on your finances, so it pays to weigh your options before making any big moves. The pros and cons of leasing vs buying a car can depend largely on your personal preferences and financial situation. People who like to slide into a new ride every couple of years regardless of the car's condition may make excellent candidates for leasing, while those who just want an affordable option to get from A to B might want to finance a vehicle instead.

We've Weighed the Pros and Cons of Leasing vs. Buying a Car© Zero Creatives - Getty Images Experts explain how to decide on leasing vs. buying a car, including factors like insurance cost, your credit score, and a new car's depreciation.

"Leases aren't for everyone, and they're not cost-effective for every car," explains Grant Feek, co-founder and CEO of TRED. "That said, if you're the type of buyer who likes getting into new cars every 2–3 years, and/or if you're sensitive to monthly cash flow, and you like cars with relatively shallow depreciation curves, then leasing might be right for you."

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Factors you should take into consideration before heading to the dealership include your personal driving style, financial health and goals going forward, the value and depreciation of the model you have in mind, and how much flexibility you're looking for. Let's break it down.

Look at your finances

When you lease a car, you're paying for the depreciation — or decrease in value due to wear and tear — that takes place over the life of your lease. For that reason, your monthly car payments on a lease may be lower than financing a vehicle. Feek explains that, if you lease a car with an upfront value of $20,000 for three years, and the car's residual value is $12,000, then you're only really paying that $8,000 difference rather than the full $20,000.

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But those monthly payments aren't the only costs you have to worry about. When you lease a car, the company will often require more insurance than your state minimum. You'll also need to pay a down payment, generally 10–20 percent of the car's total cost. Leasing companies also require customers to have good credit to enter into the agreement; they want to know you're going to pay on your investment.

So if you carry a lot of debt, prefer to stick to bare-bones insurance, or want to own your car eventually, financing or purchasing one outright might be a better option for you.

Take repairs into account

If you lease a brand new vehicle, it will generally come under warranty. Because many car warranties last for three years, that policy will save you from paying for some repairs. Many dealerships will also throw in perks like oil changes and other maintenance to encourage customers to take good care of their cars. However, you may have to pay out for new tires, scratches and dings, and any damage the car acquires while it's under your care.

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When you own the car, you're responsible for all the repairs it might need. Older cars or those that get more use may need more regular maintenance, and those costs can add up. Those who decide to go that route will want to budget for that, especially if you spend less up front on a well-loved vehicle or one that comes with a few quirks.

Think about your travel plans

Many first-time car shoppers may not realize that leases come with mileage restrictions. In order to keep cars from depreciating too quickly, dealers will set a ceiling on how much you're allowed to drive it before incurring penalties. While that distance varies, it hovers around 12,000 miles per year for a standard lease. Going over that number could mean you get charged extra at a rate of about 15 cents a mile. That can really add up, if you take a few long road trips or drive the carpool consistently.

Consider your car personality

Your long-term car ownership goals really matter when deciding whether to lease or buy. If you plan to own your vehicle for more than three years, you may want to buy or finance a car instead of going through the hassle of the process again every few years. "Conversely, are you the type of person who likes getting into a new car every 2–3 years? If so, you might love leasing," Feek points out.

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Some cars, like many SUVs or Subarus, tend to depreciate fairly slowly so they also come with lower monthly lease payments. Think the kind of cars you still see on the road a decade or more after they first hit the market. But flashy sports cars and some European models will depreciate more quickly, so those lease payments will be higher, too.

If you just have to have the latest and greatest, or you like to customize your ride, leasing may not fit your style. Breaking a lease early comes with steep penalties, so once you sign that paperwork, you're more or less locked in. And for those who want their car to reflect their individuality, buying one you can trick out to your heart's content might be a better bet.

Don't forget to negotiate

Just like bartering at a garage sale, there's often a little wiggle room on both leases and vehicle financing. But every effective negotiator does their homework first. Before you try to haggle either a sale or a lease, run the numbers. This easy calculator can help you figure out what your actual monthly payment will look like, on either choice. Then when you hit the bargaining table, know what you're asking for.

"Just like you can negotiate the price of a car when you purchase or finance, you can also negotiate the 'capitalized cost' when leasing a vehicle," Feek explains. "This is the starting value that your residual value will be subtracted from when calculating your monthly lease payment. Make sure to confirm that your capitalized cost equals a fair price to pay for the vehicle, regardless of how you choose to pay."

At the end of the day, it all comes down to what you value. Some people can't fathom paying into a depreciating asset, while others love getting a shiny new set of wheels every three years. Do your homework and make the decision that suits your lifestyle and your budget, to really drive away happy.

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