Cars, most likely the most valuable asset in your possession [other than your home if you have one] are a bad investment.

Unlike your home, which, despite the housing bubble, appreciates over time, a new car will lose 20 percent of its value the minute you drive it off the dealer’s lot. Second, you have to deal with the worry of being invested in that car. If your thought pattern goes something like, “I will keep this car and service it properly for ten years, well beyond the five-year term of the auto loan you took out with the automaker [or your friendly neighborhood bank], then I will sell because I will have no car payments during that lag time.” You aren’t being realistic.

If you’re meticulous enough to make sure your 10-year-old car is “mint”, you might be correct to pursue this strategy. However, you will need to document you have maintained the vehicle in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions – which can be found on page 2010 of the owner’s manual. Should you be one of the very few that can document the history of your vehicle, you’re in luck. If you’re like the rest of us, you’re better off leasing a car than buying one. Leasing a car eliminates any and all worries that come with owning one. Here are a few additional reasons why.

• Leasing will cost you no more than buying. What the vehicle’s worth at the end of the lease is no different than its worth if you’ve purchased it outright.
• A lease has a fixed end-date. You’ll know exactly what it would take to purchase the car outright at the end of your lease.
• You’ll be riding atop a new set of wheels every couple/few years.
• You’ll have far fewer car headaches.

Not only that, but if your lease is short-term you’ll be on top of a fresh set of wheels in no time. Never having to deal with an old clunker, or the salesman you bought it from, is reason enough to strongly consider leasing your next vehicle.

A note of caution. Don’t treat your borrowed vehicle like you’ve rented it from Hertz. While you can leave the vehicle in front of the airport where you’re rushing to catch your flight, you Will be responsible for any damage done.

It’s good to know you have options, but options can occupy space in your brain that could be better spent elsewhere. Owning a car causes headaches. Leasing one is worry free.Just a helpful word of advice among friends. Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. For that matter, keep your eyes on your purse before you place your hands on the wheel. You’ll be all the wiser for doing so.

I know. This is short. Words words words. Of course, I could restate my sentiments in the form of vowels and consonants. But what would be the point of that?

Why does it always have to be about the number of them. I’d rather focus on their quality than on their quantity. I think this piece satisfies the assignment albeit in fewer than 550 words. I wish you well in your leasing endeavors. Just make sure you accurately estimate “lease end value.” Otherwise, you’re achieving short term profitability but long term insolvency.

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