To buy or lease?

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Once the decision has been made that the time is right for you to get a new car, the next question that should arise is whether buying or leasing makes more sense for you. This decision will determine which makes and models are in line with your budget and will help you narrow your choices to the best options for those dollars.

Leasing has become an increasingly popular option in recent years – the percentage of leased cars rose from around 10% in 2009 to over 20% in 2012. At Cartelligent, this number is even higher with over 40% of our clients determining that a lease is more advantageous for their personal circumstances.

The most obvious benefit to leasing is that you can get more car for a lower payment compared with buying and many times a lower overall cost. Not only is your monthly payment lower than what it would be to buy the same vehicle, but, with upkeep and depreciation, the overall expense of leasing multiple cars over a given number of years can be similar to that of buying and holding a single vehicle for the same time period.

The car buying experts at Cartelligent have compiled a list of questions you should ask yourself in order to determine if leasing may be a good option for you.

Can you benefit from consistently driving a newer model? 

There are a number of advantages to driving a newer car including:

  • Safety – Car-makers are constantly adding new features to their vehicles. Driving a recent model ensures that you always have the latest safety innovations to keep you and your family protected. Lane Tracking Assistance, Blind Spot Monitoring Systems, and Pre-Collision Braking are just some of the features that have become available in recent years. Having a new car ensures that you have the best safety devices available today – can any of us imagine still driving a car without an air bag?
  • Fuel Economy – Each model year brings an increase in fuel efficiency that can save you money at the pump. If you have a longer than average commute or do occasional road trips, these savings can add up quickly. Couple the money saved at the pump with the lower monthly payments of a lease, and the total cost of ownership  is often lower than that of a purchase.
  • Maintenance – A newer car is always under warranty so you never have to worry about unexpected repair costs or the potential safety concerns of wear and tear on the vehicle. An unforeseen repair bill can derail even the best personal budget – leasing gives you consistency in your expenses that you can count on.
  • Technology – If having the latest technology in your car appeals to you, the newest gadgets available in recent models can represent an added benefit to upgrading your vehicle every few years. Additionally, avoiding distracted driving citations by using your car's Bluetooth enabled phone system is not only safer – it’s the law.

How many miles do you drive in an average year? 

The average commuter here in California drives between 12-15,000 miles per year. Many folks drive even less. There are a number of lease options that we can customize to match you driving habits. Also, if you know up front that you will be driving more miles, but still feel you can benefit from leasing, Cartelligent can help you purchase additional miles and build them into your monthly payment so that you avoid surprises down the road.

How much money are you willing to put down on the vehicle? 

Leases typically require less money to initiate than a comparable purchase. You also pay only the sales tax on the portion of the vehicle you are leasing which can further decrease your costs. Additionally, many banks have stricter regulations when financing a vehicle over $30,000 making leasing a viable option for those needing more flexibility.

Do you have the option to expense a lease? 

Leasing a car may offer a number of tax advantages if the vehicle will be used for business purposes. Leased vehicles can typically be expensed at close or equal to the monthly payment and are not subject to the notoriously low government threshold for “luxury cars” which can lower the amount that can be expensed on purchased vehicles. In addition, you might not have to maintain that depreciation schedule any longer. 

Ultimately, the decision to lease or buy comes down to your own situation and comfort level with the pros and cons of each option. If you do decide that leasing is right for you, you should be aware that, left unassisted, the process of negotiating more than just a fixed price can be a little more daunting than a standard purchase. However, the car buying experts at Cartelligent will gladly walk you through each step of the process and make sure that you’re taking all the right factors into consideration. Your initial consultation is absolutely free and there is no obligation to use our services, give us a call at 888-427-4270 or get started today.