Main Reasons Why Most People Shouldn't Lease a Car
Leasing is NOT recommended for most shoppers - reason being, it can cost a lot more over the long run. There are of course exceptions and reasons why leasing may be a better option, but for the most part, buying a car and keeping it for many years makes the most sense if you're looking to save money.
If you're the type of person who likes to keep your car for 5 years or longer, than leasing should be out of the question.
An ideal car loan should be 48 months or less - after which you'll be driving the car payment free for as long as you desire (or as long as the car lasts). With leasing on the other hand, you will ALWAYS have a monthly payment, although the upside is that you'll be driving a new car every 3 years or so.
These days, new cars can easily last 150,000 to 200,000 miles without too many issues. It's a great feeling when you make your last car payment and all of a sudden your monthly bills go down by several hundred dollars and you're driving your car for free.
If you tend to drive over 15,000 miles per year, than leasing is going to be costly for you. Most leases only allow you to drive between 12,000 and 15,000 miles per year - anything above that and you have to pay some stiff penalties.
Finally, if you like to accessorize your car and add a lot of custom options, a lease is not for you. Many people like having a nice sound system or adding new rims to their cars. Perhaps you want to modify the engine - tough luck with a lease.
All leased vehicles need to be turned in at the end of lease in the same condition and configuration as when you first got it. That means you will need to undo all the modifications, and you'll also be liable for all excessive wear and tear issues.
If saving money isn't a big issue to you, then by all means consider a lease, but if you like to stretch your dollars as far as you can, then you really need to be smart about car buying and make sure you choose a good reliable vehicle that you will keep for at least 5 years.
My Recommendation for Car ShoppersTrueCar No-Haggle, Edmunds Price Promise and 1-800 Car Show are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan
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About: Gregg Fidan
Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.