This is one of the biggest struggles drivers have when shopping for a vehicle. Of course, there are advantages to both options, but ultimately it comes down to you: your preferences; your needs; your budget. Rather than walking into a dealership and allowing a salesperson to make the decision for you, consider a few things beforehand so you know exactly what you want to do once you find the car you want.
This is a big one, as it can ultimately make or break whether leasing is even an option for you. Vehicle leases are always offered with a mileage limit, which typically falls between 10,000-15,000 miles per year. If you are someone who travels a lot for school, work, etc. and you don’t think that you can stick to the mileage limit in your contract, you should absolutely look to buy rather than lease. If you lease and go over your mileage limit, you will be required to pay for each extra mile you put on that vehicle, which can really add up in the long run.
On the other hand, if you are someone who doesn’t drive very often and can confidently stick to whatever limit is applied at signing, it makes absolute sense to stick to leasing.
How much do the technology features mean to you?
Until recently, this may not have even been something that drivers considered when deciding between leasing or buying. However, as technology becomes more and more commonplace in the auto industry, it seems we can’t go one year without a new tech feature being introduced. If you think that you can be satisfied with 2018 technology once 2022 rolls around, then why not buy a car now and not have to worry about mileage limits?
Conversely, if you know that you will feel as though you’re missing out on the latest and greatest, then leasing is the obvious choice. Simply monitor your mileage and upgrade to the latest model every few years.
How much are you willing to pay each month?
One of the biggest draws to leasing a vehicle is the smaller monthly payment. Who wouldn’t want to drive a brand new vehicle without the hefty payments associated with buying it outright? If you want the look without the price tag, leasing is the best option for you. However, make sure that you are fully aware of the hidden costs, and are willing to pay extra once your lease is up if you’ve gone over your mileage limit or if the vehicle has visible signs of wear and tear. If you aren’t prepared to stick to the guidelines of your contract, it may be best to pay a little more each month now, rather than a lot more at once when you turn in your lease.