Buying or leasing a new vehicle is a major decision with a lot of factors to consider. Whether this is your first car or you’re looking to upgrade, here’s a list of considerations before making a final decision.
Because of quickly falling resale values, if you plan to trade in or sell your car within a couple of years, leasing may be a better option. You’ll be able to hang on to the money you’ve saved from not making a down payment and spend only the monthly leasing fee. (Maybe that saved money will get you into a few Eagles games.)
That being said, it’s important to know what your goals are as far as having a vehicle, as some people prefer to invest in something that will be an asset.
Figuring out your monthly budget can help you determine how much you can afford as far as a payment every month. When you buy, you pay a portion of your loan payment plus financing fees each month. When you lease, you make a lease payment every month. As a buyer, that money goes toward paying off your car loan vs.a lease payment, which is basically a rental fee from the dealership. It’s important to know what each payment is going toward and what you’re willing and able to pay each month. You’ll also want to talk to your insurance company to see what the cost and coverage difference is between leasing and buying.
With the current state of the economy, more dealerships are offering strong incentives for leasing new vehicles. With low monthly carrying costs and no down payment, leasing can be a great option. If you’re a regular Philadelphia commuter and drive a consistent yearly mileage, this is a good choice for you.
Incentive programs are often offered for both leasing and Nissan buying options, so check them out before heading to the dealership, and be sure to check on other discounts that may be available, such as college graduate discounts.
When you lease a vehicle, you don’t own it. That means if it gets damaged, you get to choose whether to fix it. You also decide how clean it should stay, like whether carpet stains or crumbs bother you. You also want to consider whether scratches and dents from Philadelphia parking will affect your car. If you lease a vehicle, all of these could cost you more when you return it.
A big factor for most folks wondering whether to buy or lease is how much mileage is allowed for leasing a vehicle. If your main purpose is commuting to and from work and that’s a pretty fixed amount, then the leasing mileage may be a good fit for you. However, if you live in downtown Philadelphia and your family lives as far away as Baltimore, and you commute to work and go home every other weekend, leasing may not be the best option for you. You’ll have to pay an extra charge for each mile over the limit you drive. But if you own your vehicle, you’ll have to consider other factors such as the price of maintenance with high mileage, as well as how the mileage will affect your car’s resale value.
In the end, there’s no wrong option, only the right option for you. So do your research and really consider your financial situation from a logical perspective. Taking a long look at your budget and talking to a financial expert can help you make a decision. And then, of course, it’s time for the fun part—a test drive!