I did it! I finally got my car! I’ve been (im)patiently waiting for 4 years to get my car and I’m so happy to have finally made it happen. There were many considerations going into this process and it took a lot of research and several “pause” episodes. But when I went to the car dealership today, I was prepared, informed, and new exactly what I wanted. My only decision was whether I should buy or lease a car.
One of the biggest differences about getting this car was that I ended up deciding to lease. Yep, you heard that right. I leased a car. I never thought I would. But in the end, after crunching the numbers, leasing was my best option for what I wanted. Here’s what it boiled down to:
Top 5 Reasons to Lease a Car
- Safety, safety, safety! As you might imagine, safety is a pretty important factor in my car purchases. It’s less about the bells and whistles and more about the improved safety features that drive me to wanting a new verses used car. After driving my last car for more than 10 years, I knew I wanted to load up on safety features in a new car: back-up camera, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure alert, assisted braking, automatic high beams, pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, and dynamic radar cruise control to name a few.
- Value– The car I wanted holds its value so well and people love driving it so much that finding a 2-3 year old used car is so hard. And when you do find one, the cost is only a small amount less than a brand new car (but without the improved safety features!).
- Cash Flow– By leasing, you can drive a brand new car without having to hand over a huge down payment. Sometimes you don’t even have to put anything down! This keeps more of your cash flow available if needed for other expenses.
- Monthly payment– While you should always consider the total cost of the car versus the monthly payment, this financial liability did factor into my decision. Leasing offered a significantly smaller monthly payment compared to a traditional loan for purchasing a new vehicle.
- Option to purchase– At the end of the lease, there is a set price option to purchase the vehicle. It is much lower than the cost of buying a similar vehicle (same make/model/year) and you know the car has been well maintained and taken care of. Additionally, if you purchase the vehicle at the end of the lease, mileage overage doesn’t cost you extra. This was a big factor for me because I was very worried about exceeding the mileage limit! Knowing that I will most likely purchase the vehicle at the end of the lease puts that concern to rest. However, if you don’t decide to purchase the vehicle, there is a set cost per mile over your total limit.
Before taking the leasing route, I researched my options for financing a vehicle. I considered different down payment amounts, loan term lengths, and interest rates. Credit scores play a big role in financing a car – whether you plan to buy or lease – so knowing yours ahead of time can help you prepare for the negotiations. Before acquiring your next vehicle, I strongly recommend you consider the option to lease a car rather than purchase a brand new one.
Best of luck and happy driving!
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