There are clear benefits to leasing a vehicle over purchasing one. While car dealerships might tout the benefits of car ownership, there are some real downsides to owning a car versus leasing one.
Ownership of the Vehicle
This could be an advantage or disadvantage depending on your outlook. While a leased car doesn’t belong to you, you’re also not responsible for the maintenance and repairs on it. As soon as there is a rattle in the engine or a problem with a tire, you don’t have to dig into your wallet for the repair costs. All you’ll have to do is return it to the leasing company, and they’ll fix it for you.
Costs Up-Front for Leasing versus Buying
When you buy a new car, you’re required to come up with a certain amount for a down payment. This amount is often large enough that most people can’t afford a new car. While there are some fees involved with leasing, you’ll be paying for the first month of the lease and a small security deposit without the large down payment. This is great for people who have great credit, but don’t have thousands of dollars burning a hole in their pocket.
When you purchase your vehicle, you’ll be thinking about the resale value soon enough. As soon as it rolls out of the dealer’s parking lot, it’s already depreciated in value. Even if you sold it within a few weeks, you’re not going to get the full value of the car. In a few years, it’ll be worth a fraction of what you paid for it. With a leased car, you don’t have to worry about the future value at all. At the end of the lease, you’ll be turning in a car that becomes someone else’s worry. To get a new car, all you have to do is sign another lease agreement.
Excessive Wear and Tear
Normal wear and tear and preventative maintenance are done by the leasing company at regular intervals. They don’t expect that you’ll damage their cars unnecessarily. You’re likely to be more careful with a leased vehicle than your own because you could be charged for excessive wear and tear.
Customizing Your Vehicle
By the time you’re thinking about customizing your car, it’s likely that you’ve had it for some time. You’re bored with how it looks and wish that you had the money to purchase a new vehicle. This is around the same time that you’d be returning your leased car to get a new one. You can turn your car in at the end of the lease period and get a shiny replacement.
With a leased car, you’ll be expected to stay within a certain mileage based on where you work and live. With a car you own, mileage is a factor too. You’ll need to keep the mileage down to ensure that you can sell the car later at a good price. Buyers don’t want cars with excessive miles on it. It’ll bring down the value.
End of the Road
At the end of the car’s life with you, it’ll be time to sell it. You’ll have to ensure it’s in good working condition. The mileage has to be low. It needs to be clean and have a clear title. You’ll have to advertise, show the car to buyers and hope to get a decent offer. At the end of the road for a leased vehicle, you’ll turn the keys into the leasing company and walk around the lot looking for your newest gem.
For many car drivers, leasing can be a confusing process, so they don’t bother checking into the option. It’s actually an easier way to have a new car every couple of years without having to worry about huge down payments and repairs during the life of the car.