Money Read Time: 3 min

Buying vs. Leasing a Car

Some people approach buying a car like they approach marriage, “‘til death do us part.” Others prefer to keep their options open, trading in every few years for the latest make and model, the most cutting-edge technology, or the highest horsepower. Whichever describes you best, we all face a similar decision when it comes to acquiring a car: finance, lease, or pay cash.

When shopping for new vehicles, about one-quarter of consumers choose to lease, while the majority choose to finance. From an investment perspective, which choice is best? That depends on your lifestyle, cash flow, and personal preferences.1

Buying vs. Leasing a Car

For many, paying cash for a car is the simplest way to get one. When you drive off the lot, you own the vehicle outright and are free to do whatever you want with it. You face no penalties or mileage restrictions, and you have no monthly payments. However, you have paid cash for a vehicle that is expected to depreciate over time.

Financing a new car requires a smaller initial outlay of money, usually 20% or more of the vehicle’s value, in the form of a down payment. When you drive off the lot, the bank owns the car, not you. As with most loans, you make monthly payments of principal and interest with the promise of eventual ownership. The amount of your payment depends on a variety of factors, including the value of the car, the length of the loan, and the interest rate offered by the lender. Car dealers sometimes will offer “no money down” or low annual percentage rate loans, which can make financing more manageable.2

If you like to have a new car every few years, leasing is an approach to consider. Leasing a car is like renting an apartment. You pay a monthly fee to use the car for a specific amount of time, usually two to three years. Monthly payments are typically lower than when you finance, since you are paying for the depreciation on the car while you drive it. In certain situations, lease payments may also have tax considerations. However, there are caveats to leasing. For one, a lease typically stipulates the number of miles you are permitted to drive during the course of the lease. At the end of your lease, you may face penalties if you have exceeded the total number of miles in the contract.3,4

Whatever your relationship with your car, it may eventually come time for a new one. Familiarize yourself with your options. You may find that changing your strategy makes sense in light of your lifestyle or financial situation.

1. Experian.com, 2020
2. Investopedia.com, 2021
3. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation.
4. Bankrate.com, 2021

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Share |
 

Related Content

Take the Stage: Planning for All Types of Families

Take the Stage: Planning for All Types of Families

What is a family? In the 1950s, the notion of the nuclear family predominated: Mom, dad and their biological children. Today, things are different. The term “family” embraces everything from...

Choosing a Retirement Plan that Fits Your Business

Choosing a Retirement Plan that Fits Your Business

To choose a plan, it’s important to ask yourself four key questions.

Smart Wedding Registry Ideas

Smart Wedding Registry Ideas

The start of marriage should be all love–not debt.

 

Have A Question About This Topic?







Thank you! Oops!

Infographic: Risks at Retirement

Make a plan to take these risks off the table.

Tax-Advantaged Retirement Planning

Reduce your tax liability in retirement.

Buying Auto Insurance For Teen Drivers

Tips on insuring your teen driver.

View all articles

Historical Inflation

This calculator shows how inflation over the years has impacted purchasing power.

Tax Freedom Day

Assess how many days you'll work to pay your federal tax liability.

What Is My Risk Tolerance?

This questionnaire will help determine your tolerance for investment risk.

View all calculators

Principles of Preserving Wealth

How federal estate taxes work, plus estate management documents and tactics.

Managing Your Lifestyle

Using smart management to get more of what you want and free up assets to invest.

5 Smart Investing Strategies

There are some smart strategies that may help you pursue your investment objectives

View all presentations

The Cycle of Investing

Understanding the cycle of investing may help you avoid easy pitfalls.

The Fed and How It Got That Way

Here is a quick history of the Federal Reserve and an overview of what it does.

Investments

You’ve made investments your whole life. Work with us to help make the most of them.

View all videos