In fact, even big banks like Ally are behind them, offering up special lease rates for used cars that have come into a dealer off an earlier lease. But does it make sense to buy or lease a new-to-you car
Leasing allows a person to get a new car every few years. It can keep their payments relatively stable when leasing the same make and model of car over various leases. Leasing also frees the lessee from having to dispose of the car at the end of the lease term.
Dollar for dollar, this typically nets a driver a higher-end vehicle than they could get for the same amount if they were financing the entire cost of the vehicle. When the lease is over, drivers can buy the vehicle for the agreed upon residual value or it will be sold, which recoups the rest of the price for the lessor.
The downside to leasing is that you get no equity in the car. When the lease is over, you have the option to buy, which due to current market circumstances is attractive but may not always be. Also, picking up a lease every couple of years results in an endless cycle of payments that will certainly cost more than purchasing a vehicle and keeping it for a decade or more. There are also limitations on what you can do with your vehicle.
Leased vehicles often include routine service in the terms of the agreement, which can save buyers hundreds of dollars in oil changes and upkeep. But finance companies typically limit the mileage of leased vehicles to preserve the value of their vehicle and keep costs low.
While most new vehicles include bumper-to-bumper warranties long enough to last through most leases, lessees are still responsible for routine maintenance. Some brands (but not all) also include a few years of routine maintenance in new-vehicle purchases, and that extends to lessees.
This is an especially significant risk in 2022, as many new and used vehicles are selling far above historical values or MSRPs. The resale value of those vehicles may not hold up as well if inventories and prices fall back to historical norms in 2024 or later. While a dealer may mark up a $20,000 Nissan Versa to $32,000 because of inventory shortages, in five years that same Versa is likely to be worth a fraction of the original MSRP. What goes up will eventually come back down, and when faced with a markup that massive, a lease is a better call.
Automotive and lending sites, including our sister site Forbes Advisor, offer lease payment and loan calculators to help plan as accurately as possible. It also never hurts to speak to a financial advisor at your bank or credit union about your options before heading into the potential high-pressure environment of the dealership.
Over the long run, leasing is the more expensive option compared to buying a car and driving it into the ground, but record-high prices for new vehicles and a shortage of fairly-priced used vehicles are two good reasons to weigh both options.
When it's time to buy a car, most of us consider three options: buying a new car, leasing a car, or buying a used car. If you decide to go the used car route, you can choose to buy a previously leased car, which can have some unique benefits and disadvantages worth taking into account.
Buying a previously leased car (also known as an off-lease vehicle) typically involves buying a certified pre-owned (CPO) car. A CPO car must be reviewed carefully and vetted to be classified as a car that's in better condition than similar used cars. In general, CPO cars tend to be cleaner, have lower miles, and have a better history than other used cars. CPO vehicles also come with certain protections against pricey repairs or defects, thanks to an extended manufacturer's warranty.
There are a variety of factors that determine the cost of a previously leased car, such as the make and model, condition, and current market prices. Generally, buying a previously leased car will cost less than buying a brand-new one, but that isn't always the case. Buying a gently used, previously leased car from a luxury automaker may very well cost more than buying a less expensive maker's base model.
You may hear car leasing likened to leasing an apartment, and there are similarities between the two. When you lease a car or an apartment, you lease the property for a specific amount of time. You and the property owner have a mutual understanding that the assets will be returned in good condition.
Yet there are additional considerations for leasing a car that you will not have when leasing property. Many car lease agreements last two to three years and typically allow you to purchase the car at the end of the term. Car lease agreements limit the number of miles the vehicle can be driven annually, generally between 12,000 to 15,000 miles. If you exceed the agreed upon mileage, you may owe around 25 cents per extra mile.1
Some people choose to lease a car because it allows them to drive higher-end cars for a more affordable monthly payment. Plus, a two-to three-year car lease allows drivers to easily and frequently upgrade their rides.
Leasing helps protect you against unanticipated depreciation. If the market value of your car unexpectedly drops, your decision to lease will prove to be a wise financial move. If the leased car holds its value well, you can typically buy it at a good price at the end of the lease and keep it or decide to resell it.3
Typically, leasing a car does increase your insurance premiums because you are required to purchase full coverage to ensure there are sufficient funds available to repair the car in the event of an accident. The entity financing the vehicle typically requires this because they have a financial stake in the car.5 Full coverage includes collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. These not only provide coverage in the event of accidental damage, but also theft or vandalism, should the car be damaged during the term of your lease.
Another consideration is gap insurance, which covers the difference between the current value of your car versus the remaining balance owed. Many leased cars have this type of insurance factored into the cost.
First, do you like the car Do you enjoy driving it and does it suit your needs That may seem like a funny question, but consider your lifestyle. If you leased a small, compact car so you can easily maneuver through traffic, and are moving to a rural area where you may need a vehicle that has sturdier road handling capabilities, you may find the compact car unsuitable for your new location. On the other hand, you may not want to drive a large SUV if you are moving to a congested urban area.
There are various strategies to help save money when buying your leased car, including financing through your bank or working directly with the lender (the creditor that owns the car). If you decide to buy the leased car, explore all your options.
Choosing whether to lease vs. buy a car can be a tough decision. Both choices come with distinct advantages for drivers, so the right option will ultimately come down to which one fits your needs, budget, and personal preference. Even with the best auto loan rates, leasing a vehicle may be better than purchasing one for certain motorists.
The decision of whether to lease vs. buy a car is very much an individual one. Take the time to get an accurate picture of your financial situation as well as your personal preferences and monetary goals. Whichever direction you go, be realistic about your budget and stay within it to maintain good financial health.
Determining whether you should lease or buy a car depends on a careful assessment of your finances and driving habits. Think about how much you can comfortably afford to pay upfront each month and consider how many miles you spend on the road to figure out the most cost-effective way to hit the highway.
The main difference between financing and leasing a car is the end result. When financing a car, you are borrowing money from a bank, finance company, or credit union to slowly purchase your car over a certain period of time. When leasing a car, you are paying for the right to use the vehicle for a defined amount of time and miles. The monthly payments on a lease are usually lower than the monthly payments if you bought the same car. When the lease ends, you must return the car unless the lease agreement lets you buy it. 
While the monthly cost you pay for leasing a car is much lower, there are other fees that come with leasing a car. This includes fees for modifications to the car, excess wear and tear, an early termination fee if you terminate the lease early, an acquisition fee, and more.
If you want better odds of getting approved for a loan, you might want to offer a larger down payment. For example, a 20% down payment for a $25,000 car would be about $5,000. Leasing your vehicle would allow you to keep at least some of that upfront cash.
When it comes to financing, leasing has sometimes been described as the best of both worlds: You get to drive a different, spanking new car every three years, enjoy the benefit of the latest technologies and, of course, feel that great sensation of driving a factory new vehicle. On top of that, your monthly lease is usually comparatively low, making it an attractive option if your financial capacities are limited.
As with leasing, you get the latest technology, including up to date gadgets and the most fuel efficient motors available on the market at this moment. Newer cars are also generally more ecologically friendly than used ones, which can be an important argument for some.
It is also worth pointing out that all cars have become significantly more reliable, including used ones. Safely driving a car for 15 years or well above 100,000 miles is no longer a record breaking achievement. Quite on the contrary, it seems perfectly natural. Which means that the argument in favour of new always being the costlier, but safer choice is crumbling. 59ce067264