Car leasing has become increasingly popular. Is it a better choice than buying? Here are some of the main reasons for each style of car ownership.
1. Staying Current with Infotainment Tech
Nothing is more fun than the latest technology. Staying current is easier with a lease. When technology changes, drivers are poised to take advantage. For instance, just a few years ago, it was uncommon for a car to have Bluetooth, smartphone integration or a touchscreen. Now, just as these are becoming common, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are the new must-have technologies. These systems provide many more apps and even let you stream maps to the touch screen. A few years ago, WiFi was unheard of in cars. Now it is becoming a possibility in more and more vehicles. Even second-row entertainment systems are changing. DVD was usurped by Blu-ray, and now that may be replaced by Bluetooth streaming.
2. Staying Safer
Safety is also changing quickly, and this favors leasing over long-term ownership. Six airbags is now the lowest number. There are affordable cars with eight or ten airbags. Crash avoidance technology was virtually unheard of ten years ago. Five years ago it was out of the price range of most shoppers. For 2018, one major automaker has put an autobrake with collision warning on most of its fleet. A lease leaves you free to upgrade to better safety devices without the hassle of selling a car that may be out of date.
3. Lower Costs
Generally a lease requires a lower down payment. It may also mean lower monthly payments. If you are on a budget or are simply savvy about money, this is certain to appeal to you. Costs will stay low if you trade before major maintenance or new tires are needed. This way automotive expenses are focused on owning something newer and nicer rather than on something that is losing value every day.
1. Long Term Investment
If you view a car as a long term investment, then higher costs are less important. A higher down payment or higher monthly loan payment may be necessary, but you expect the car to last a long time. You plan to recoup your costs by using it until it quits. Perhaps you expect to pass it to a child or grandchild some day. In some cases, owners are focused on future resale values, expecting to make up some of their money by selling or trading. These drivers don’t mind paying for major maintenance. They are willing to own the car even after the warranties end.
2. No Mileage Cap or Other Limitations
Owning a car means you won’t have a mileage cap. For some, a 10,000-mile or 15,000-mile yearly limit is too restrictive. They want to be able to travel widely without worrying about distances, or their job requires constant driving. Others may want to personalize their vehicle, adding graphics or special tires, and a lease would not allow it. Some owners may worry that they can’t keep the car clean enough, or they don’t want to pay for careless dings and scratches.
Deciding between a lease and a loan is easier with guidance from a financial professional. Before you buy a vehicle, make sure to find out your leasing options. It is possible to save money and get the car your want.