Getting a new car is an exciting event, and you may be eager to drive away in the vehicle that you have your eye on. However, very few people will pay the full sales price of a vehicle in cash. After all, even if you have this sum of money sitting in your bank account, you may not want to spend so much money at once. This means that you must either lease or finance your car. Applying for a car loan is one of the most common steps drivers take when getting a new car, but this may not actually be the best option for most drivers. In fact, after you learn more about the benefits and drawbacks for both options, you may decide to set up a lease for your next car.
The Cost of Monthly Payments
When you compare a straight three-year lease against a three-year loan payment for the same vehicle, the lease payment will be far more affordable. Of course, at the end of the three years, you have a car that is paid for free and clear. There may be some benefits to this, but most people cannot realistically afford payments on a three-year loan. Many drivers set up their loan on a five or six-year term, and sometimes the term may even be longer than this. If you plan to own your car for longer than the loan term, a loan could be a better option. After all, you will then have access to a car that you can drive without regular monthly payments. However, most people trade their vehicle in every few years. This means that when you get a longer loan term, you likely will still owe money on the loan when you are ready to retire the vehicle.
Repairs and Maintenance Expenses
With both leases and loans, the vehicle’s repairs will be paid for by the dealership for the first few years under the warranty. With a lease, maintenance will also be paid for. However, when you buy a car with a loan, maintenance tasks are solely your responsibility in most cases. Some of these services may cost you several hundred dollars or more to complete, and you will have maintenance tasks to complete throughout the year. In addition, if you do set up a loan with a long term to enjoy lower monthly payments, you may still owe money on the car after the warranty expires. This means that you may have to pay for repairs, maintenance and monthly loan payments at the same time. Furthermore, repair issues tend to become more frequent and costly as a car gets older.
The Issue of Depreciation
Depreciation is also an important factor to consider. With a car lease, you know exactly how much money you will pay when you sign the lease as well as when you surrender the vehicle. The issue of depreciation is therefore not your problem. If the car declines in value, this is the dealership’s problem. On the other hand, when you buy a car, depreciation directly affects your financial situation. When the car’s value declines too rapidly, you may owe more money than the vehicle is worth. This may mean that you are tied to the car for longer than you really want to own it. In fact, a car that is six or seven years old may be in poor condition and may be a veritable embarrassment to some drivers. When you lease a car, you will always have a relatively new vehicle to drive.
From a financial perspective as well as from the perspective of driver satisfaction and enjoyment, you can see that a car lease makes far more sense. After you have found the vehicle that you are interested in, you can easily explore both financing and leasing options. Compare them closely for yourself, and focus on these points specifically. When you do, you will see that car leasing may be the best option for you to move forward with.