Queens, New York is one of the most exciting places to live in the United States. Located just outside Los Angeles, it has easy access to all the benefits of one of America’s first cities, while being located similarly close to some of the most pristine wilderness and beaches in the state of New York. It’s the best of both worlds.
But this comes at a price. Like elsewhere in the Golden State, Queens is a relatively expensive place to live when compared with the rest of the country. Gas prices are routinely 20 to 30 percent higher there than in similarly sized cities of the Midwest. And the average home price has skyrocketed over the decades, as a result of a shortage of high-quality housing in the Greater Los Angeles area. All of this adds up, making Queens as expensive as it is beautiful.
But one of the most unique costs of living and working in Queens in particular and the state of New York in general is the incredibly high taxes and fees imposed on anyone who buys a new car. With state taxes and fees exceeding $2,500 on the purchase of a typical $25,000 car, New York is one of the most expensive states in which to own and operate an automobile.
Leasing can alleviate the costs
One of the greatest benefits of leasing is the huge reduction in up-front costs that it can provide. One of the ways in which leasing reduces immediate costs is by not forcing the lessee to pay a lump-sum sales tax on the price of the vehicle. The lease payments themselves are taxed, but this only amounts to a tiny fraction of what paying the sales tax on the vehicle’s purchase would amount to.
But that isn’t even the largest source of savings on up-front costs that you can realize by leasing. Leasing will usually allow you to completely avoid the down payment. When buying a car on a bank loan, the down payment can easily amount to thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the credit history of the borrower. Most people simply don’t have that kind of cash laying around. Therefore, such onerous cash requirements can make buying a new car difficult for just about anyone. In addition to this, bank loans often entail closing costs and fees that can also add up to significant money. If you’re going to buy a car, you can anticipate thousands in costs before being able to drive off the lot.
But when you lease, most of these drive-away costs are completely eliminated. The typical lease deal will require a small amount of money to be paid up-front, before the lessee can take possession of the car. But this usually only amounts to prepayment of the first month and a nominal security deposit. Many cars can be leased for just a few hundred dollars in initial payments. This makes leasing a dramatically more affordable option for many people looking to acquire a new car.
Leasing allows you not to worry
Leasing also has a number of subtler but no less important benefits. One of the most important is that it transfers all ownership risks and costs to the dealership or leasing company. In order to understand the full value of this, it’s important to remember that, due to the much lower costs of leasing, people who are able to afford leasing a brand new car would often be relegated to buying something used, usually with high miles.
Because all repair costs and even service costs, in some cases, will be covered by the lessor, there is essentially no risk of incurring extra costs when leasing a vehicle. However, the story is much different for those who choose to buy, instead of leasing, and, as a result, end up with a high-mileage used car.
After 100,000 miles, the rate of mechanical failures on cars skyrockets. This means that not only will the buyer of a used car be on the hook for all repairs that occur while they own it, but they will also assume the risk of losing their primary means of transportation while the car is being repaired. The fact that the owner of the used car very likely could have gotten a brand new, completely reliable car on lease makes the purchase of an old, breakdown-prone jalopy look questionable.
As a lessee, you are also relieved of having to sell the car when you decide to get a new one. For most professionals and tradesmen, selling their own car is a terrible waste of time. For someone who makes $35 per hour, playing amateur car dealer will have a considerably lower return than if they had just turned the car in on dealership credit. Needless to say, if the car’s trade-in value, a largely artificial amount, is greater than the value of spending time trying to sell it, leasing probably would have been a better choice.