There’s no doubt that having access to a vehicle can make life much simpler. Whether you need it daily for your commute or only occasionally for taking long trips, being able to rely on a vehicle has a positive influence on your freedom and ability to make more productive decisions. However, it can be difficult to decide whether you should buy or lease a vehicle. Here are some points to consider that will help you make your decision.
What Does Buying a Vehicle Involve?
Buying a vehicle is putting money toward it with the intention of ultimately owning it permanently or until you decide to sell it. Since most people would prefer not to spend a large sum all at once, buying a car often means making a deal with the seller or car dealership to pay what is owed on the car plus interest. In most situations, this means paying small quantities of money to the seller each month to eventually fully own the vehicle.
What Does it Mean to Lease a Vehicle?
Leasing is different from buying in that it involves paying the company you got the vehicle from at an agreed rate, then returning the vehicle at the end of your contract. This means that you never fully own the car and won’t keep it permanently or be able to sell it afterward. Sometimes, however, different deals can be made where you can pay a larger sum of money at the end of your contract in order to buy the car. This is optional, and you can choose to return the car to the company instead.
What Are Your Circumstances?
Choosing between buying or leasing a car will depend on how you intend to use it and for how long. Some people prefer to lease a car because they enjoy trying out new models every few years, whereas other people prefer the idea of having their own car and not feeling worried about having to give it back. If you need a wheelchair accessible vehicle, for example, then whether you want to lease it or buy it might depend on how long you or the wheelchair user will require the added accessibility.
What is Your Financial Situation?
While buying a car outright might seem like the better financial option, remember that once you fully own the car, you won’t be able to sell it for anywhere near as much as you paid for it. A vehicle’s value depreciates as soon as you start driving it. Leasing a vehicle allows you to forego the loss of selling your car later at a much-decreased price. Remember also that if you envision yourself needing a vehicle long-term, buying might be a better option instead of continually leasing cars and never finishing the payments.
As you can see, the best option depends entirely on your own personal circumstances, finances, and requirements. Make sure to take everything into account before making your decision.