Getting a new car can be a huge decision all by itself without the added stress of deciding just how you’re going to go about it. Taking a look at the pros and cons of your available choices will help you make the right decision and can make the whole process seem a lot less daunting. One major decision to make before taking the plunge is whether you’re going to be leasing or buying the car. Both options have their own benefits and drawbacks.

Leasing Pros

Monthly payments to lease a vehicle are typically lower than monthly payments to buy one. This can result in you driving a much nicer vehicle for only a portion of the amount of money you would pay to own one.

Although you do initially have to pay a security deposit to lease a car, if you take care of the vehicle and return it without any damage then your security deposit will be refunded. Knowing that you have money coming to you at the end of the lease makes those initial payments seem a lot less intimidating.

If you decide that the car you’ve chosen isn’t the right car for you then you can return it at the end of the lease, pay any final fees that were agreed upon during the initial lease, and be on your way with no further obligations concerning the vehicle.

Leasing a car is a great option for anyone that likes to switch things up every now and then without the hassle of buying and selling.

Leasing Cons

The most obvious drawback of leasing a car instead of buying one is that you are not the owner of the vehicle and must return it to the car dealership when the lease is up. However, if you still want to drive the same car, you may be able to lease it again. Or you can have a look around at the dealership’s other options and see if it’s time to lease a different vehicle.

You may be required to agree upon a limit for the amount of miles that you are allowed to drive the vehicle and surpassing that limit can cause additional fees.

Deciding to terminate the lease agreement and returning the car early may also result in additional fees. But, going through this process is much simpler than trying to sell a vehicle that you’ve bought and changed your mind about.

Buying Pros

The best thing about buying a car is that you become the owner. You can make any changes to the vehicle that you want and you don’t have worry about paying fees for any damage.

You’re not required to keep the car for any agreed upon amount of time. You can sell it whenever you like, although this may be more of a hassle than simply ending a lease and returning the car.

You don’t have to worry about having a limited amount of miles that you’re allowed to drive. You can drive it as much and as far as you’d like. But, keep in mind that a higher mileage might lower the car’s value if you decide to sell it.

Buying Cons

If you make monthly payments on your new car instead of paying the entire value upfront, the monthly cost will often be much higher than the cost of leasing a car. This might make buying a car an unsuitable option for people with a limited monthly budget.

The initial down payment will also be higher than the down payment for leasing a car. The security deposit paid when leasing a car makes it seem like you’re paying more upfront, but the deposit is refundable. Nothing that you pay when buying a car will be refunded to you. In the end, owning a car is often more expensive than leasing a car.

If you change your mind about wanting to own the car, you will have to go through the process of trying to sell it to someone else.

In conclusion, choosing the option that’s best for you depends on a few major factors — how much you’re willing to pay upfront, your monthly budget for ongoing payments, whether or not you think you might change your mind about wanting the vehicle, and whether you want to become the owner of the vehicle or would feel more comfortable driving one that remains the property of the car dealership. Buying a car has some important advantages, but also has many disadvantages. Leasing a car can often be less costly, more convenient, and much less of a hassle.

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