When you lease a new car instead of buying it, you effectively hire it from the leasing company long-term, which makes it an attractive option for those of us who wince when they see the prices some new cars go for. But which is ultimately the better route for you? Check these comparisons to see what appeals.
Leases usually last one, two, or three years. In most cases, if you bought a car new and then sold it off after the same period, you’d find yourself worse off financially than if you had simply leased the same vehicle. Of course, a good car can last you a lot longer than three years, though it’s also true that after a long ownership any car—no matter how good—will have depreciated in value so much that you’d only see a tiny fraction of the original price in resale value.
This depreciation is also one of the factors affecting leasing prices (the more prone to depreciation, the higher the leasing cost) which means leasing is a great way to get prestige makes that retain more of their value.
Once you buy a car it’s yours and you can do anything you want with it, so long as it’s legal and you let your insurer know. Leased cars don’t give you this kind of freedom. On the other hand, buying a car is a commitment, and losses on resale are high so if you make a bad choice you’ll really pay for it. A lot of leasing companies offer the option of buying the car at a discounted price once the lease expires though, which means if you’ve really fallen in love with it you have the option to keep it.
Many leasing companies offer full maintenance packages, as do many motor retail outlets. What this means is the amount of control over and responsibility for your car’s wellbeing depends on who you deal with and your own preferences in both cases, but leasing companies will expect the car to be in good nick when you return it.
Overall it looks like leasing is the better option as long as you go through the right dealer, unless you want the benefits that only buying can offer.