(Closed) Buying vs. Leasing a Car…

posted 7 years ago in Married Life
Post # 3
6892 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012

Okay, let me be honest here. This sounds kind of weird that you ONLY want a brand-new car by either buying or leasing it. My car was two years old when I got it and I haven’t had a single problem with it in the 7 years that I have now had it. (Yep, time for a trade in for me). It’s a 2004. Here’s the thing – you need to do your research. Carfax, etc etc. My Fiance is a mechanic, so I KNOW that there are used cars that do just fine out there.

Now when it comes to lease or buy…. If it were me, I’d buy a slightly used (1-3 years old) car. Leasing feels like borrowing for a high price. But that’s just me.

Post # 4
18643 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I have never leased a car but I have to disagree that all used cars are horrible.  If you know someone who is good with cars, they should be able to check it out to see if there are any glaring issues with it.  Ideally, try to find a good car that you can keep for a long time past you are done paying off the loan.

Post # 5
5496 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2010

I leased a few cars in my 20’s (I’m 33 now) and did it because I didn’t want a used car without a warranty (simply for the reason you mentioned about your car) and loved it because my payments were pretty cheap and I had a new car for a few years. Now, at the end of the lease I was back to square one with no equity, but I was fine with that at the time. Last June I bought a new car and my payment is only about $100 more per month for the same car and I will own it after five years. It makes much more sense financially since you will actually own the car. Really, it’s all about what you can afford and how you look at the situation. What I would do is go look at cars and see what figures you get for both buying and leasing. When they ask if you are interested in buying or leasing, tell them you aren’t sure and would like the numbers for both. Some cars have great lease options. Other’s don’t. It all depends! Not sure if that helped or not. Good luck! And I’m sorry about what happened with your car. My mom bought a used car last summer and it was a disaster!! The engine light came on at least twice a month for a few months and she was in the repair shop so many times. It was just awful. I hope you can find a good deal on a car!

Edit: And we did do our research and look at the Carfax and it only had 40,000 miles and hadn’t had any accidents. There are always lemons. I had one in high school. My mom just had one. That’s why we always buy new (or used to lease new) It’s a personal decision.

Post # 6
3871 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I have never purchased a brand new car before and I have always purchased a used car.  I hope my next car will be brand new but if I can get a better deal buying used or slight used car, I would do it. 

Now with the lease issue, the reason I would never lease a car is because 1) you have to limit your mileage use 2) when your lease it up, you have to quickly find another replacement 3) you have to be prepared with another down payment for your next car.

That’s why I buy, because I know I can get something out of it when I got to trade it in for another car.

Now, my Mother-In-Law who is very smart about her money recently leased a car. Me and the Darling Husband were completely shocked that she would lease a car.  We think that since she want to upgrade to a luxury car in the next two years, that that’s the reason why she chose to lease.  Her payments are probably very cheap then if she had bought the car. Plus, I am pretty sure she is saving the money that she would have spent on buying a car and she will probably use that money towards her new car.

I believe leasing a car is right for you if you want to have a new car every 2-3 years.

I agree, the most bang for your buck would be to buy used.

My current car is a Honda Accord it was 3 years old when I puchased it. I really wanted to brand new car but didn’t like that fact that when I drive it off the lot, that I would be losing 30% of the value.  I couldn’t afford to ‘waste’ money like that… at my age.  Oh, also, my car is pretty loaded. Leather, sunroof, heated seats.  I know I wouldn’t have been able to afford a brand new car with those options and have it be a 4 door car.

This is completely my opinion but I wouldn’t buy a Kia or a Hyundai. Resaie value was something I considered when I bought my car.  My sister is an car insurance agent and she wanted to make sure that if I was to get in an accident and got it totaled that the car insurance would at least pay a big chunk for my next car.  When I bought my Accord, I was looking at Honda and Toyotas because of their resale values and also their reliability.  I wasn’t looking at Fords but I hear Ford are much better now.  I may consider getting a Ford Fusion or a Edge for my next car.  I am looking at compact SUVs for my next car since I’ll be totting aroudn kids. 🙂

Well good luck with car shopping, sorry about your car troubles.

Post # 7
1801 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

My inlaws have been leasing their cars for the last several years and they hate it.  They’re done with the current leases this year and they’re going to buy the next cars.  They said it’s a pain to deal with, you have no equity in the car and your payments are nearly what you’d be paying when you buy one anyhow (you’re just paying longer).

Have you looked into your state’s lemon laws?  They have protection for car purchases like that, but I’m not sure if they’ll cover used or if it’s been too long now.

I’m still driving the car we bought used when I turned 16 and it has been pretty great.  It had about 70,000 miles on it when we got it and now it has over 156,000.  I’ve had to put some money into maintenance and a couple repairs, but if you get a solid car it should be just fine used.  I can attest that Mitsubishi cars are great and last a long time.

Also, I would strongly suggest giving the car a shot for a trade in, because you never know until you ask.  You might find a dealer that will take it for the parts even. 

Post # 8
10367 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

Buying a used car that is 1-2 years old is a much better deal than buying new. The depreaciation in those years is astronomical. Especially considering the underwater nature of the previous car, that would be your best bet.

Also, not sure where you bought the car, but MA has really good lemon laws. You could have returned the problem car instead of it spiraling to this point if you’d bought it there. Something to consider!

Post # 9
1048 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009 - City Hall

We don’t lease, but considered it. The cool thing about leasing a car is that the payments are low, and after 3 or 4 years you have the option of another new car. Think of it basically as paying a monthly fee to drive a new car. But you won’t be ‘paying it off’ because you don’t own it. It’s like purchasing a service really. After the lease is up, you’ve paid in several thousand and you don’t own the car or even partially own it. But for people who always like to have a newish car, it’s a good idea. You do, however, have to be careful with things like mileage, dings, dents, and/or if you smoke or have animals in the car, as the dealership may not like that (it’s not *your* car, after all. It’s a superduper long term rental).

I have a friend who is leasing a Nissan Altima right now, and will have the option to ‘buy out the lease’ at the end of his term. That is, when his lease is up, the dealership will let him buy the car at whatever its used value is. I doubt this is a particularly good deal, but it might be an option for you if you do hope to get something out of your car payments in the end, you know what I mean?

On the other hand, it seems to me that buying a USED CAR is the best idea. I know you don’t want to, but unless you absolutely must buy a new car, used is going to be a better deal. Just don’t go buy another Hyundai Tongue out*. Look for something that’s known for reliability. Check out consumer reports — the have a special edition that’s just about cars and talks about the best cars over time…which ones hold up the best. Off the top of my head, I believe Toyota and Honda are usually at the top of the list, with some of the Groomsmen models and other Japanese models (like subaru) up there too. Also, did you know that some brands offer Certified Used cars? You’ll pay slightly more for certified used than non certified, but those come with a WARRANTY. It sounds like that’s something you want, for peace of mind (don’t we all?!). i know for a fact that Honda has this plan (i drive a honda myself). I believe Groomsmen does on their cars too, and I would bet that most if not all other major car companies do too. Before he got a new one, my husband owned a Saturn Vue–which he bought used–and still had a bumper-to-bumper warranty on it for 3 years after he purchased it. Yet, he didn’t have to pay that ‘new car’ premium.

So I guess my advice to you is that you really ought to re-think your ‘no used’ plan. Often buying a car that’s 2 years old will save you thousands off the sticker. You can probably even get a better model of a slightly used car, maybe with more bells and whistles or cool features even. (i.e., I’d rather drive a 2 year old Lexus than a new Kia.) Sometimes it’s even someone else’s lease that’s run out, so the car doesn’t have very many miles or anything. Just do research on used car reliability, and possible warranties available on used cars. (You probably want to find a factory/dealership warranty (i.e., Mr. MJ had one from Groomsmen on his Saturn, *not* one from the specific dealership).

If you really can’t stomach something used, maybe you can find a deal like my friend’s—lease with a buyout option. Then you at least wouldn’t be left with nothing when the lease is up.


*no offense to Hyundai drivers…I was just poking fun at it ’cause that’s the car that’s giving the OP trouble. I’m sure most of them are decent, and the OP’s just has a weird problem.

Post # 10
336 posts
Helper bee

Both of my cars have been pre-owned. I have never had any problems with my current car which was just under 2yrs old when I bought it. 

There are no guarantees with any car that it won’t have problems, including new. If you are going to be making payments either way, I would go the ownership route vs leasing. Yrret107 made some really good points about leasing. It’s short term, and every time you renew you will have to come up with another down payment. 

I also think you need to look at other brands. I have no personal experience with Hyundai but still have a very bad opinion of them. I know they have made improvements recently but nothing that screams better performance…instead I think they are just copying the design (looks-wise) of other makes/models to look nicer but again, No personal experience. FWIW, I drive a Ford now and love it.

Oh, the other thing to consider is depreciation. Buying brand new means paying much more out of pocket both initially and long term with higher depreciation vs. a pre-owned car. Even brand new, once you drive it off the lot it’s not worth what you just signed to pay for it.

Post # 11
1801 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

@maryjane: Good point on the certified used cars, I forgot that’s what I bought.  It came with a warranty for a couple years or to a certain mileage.  I did use the warranty once when I had a spark plug o-ring bust (it ended up being a super cheap fix anyway, just took forever to figure out what needed to be fixed).

Post # 12
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Certified used and have another 3rd part mechanic give it a look. A new car is going to drop it’s value immensely as soon as you drive it off the lot… 

I’ve only had 1 new car and I got rid of it after 2 years for a used car… I’ve NEVER had used car issues. My first car even lasted until after I graduated college and it was already 5 years old when I got it…. 

Based on your scenario, I would suggest the above, another used car.

Post # 13
5148 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

First of all, I agree with the others, look into buying a used car.

Secondly, don’t assume you “won’t get anything for trade-in”. Cars are overpriced at dealerships, they expect people negotiate, they’ll usually give you significantly more on your trade-in than it’s actually worth. I’ve gotten several thousands for trade-ins that in all honsty the dealership was just going to junk-out for parts, they’d probably get a few hundred dollars from the car.

Third, be willing to walk away!!! Make sure they realize you aren’t desperate for “that car”. And if they do let you walk away without giving you the price you wanted, most of the time they’ll call you a couple days later ready to lower the price.

Post # 14
7771 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I have had really good luck with used cars.  I buy domestic cars, and as others have said- only a few years old.  Do you have a mechanical friend who can check things out before you purchase?  I have had great cars by Dodge and Ford.  (This is my personal opinion obviously- but) VW are great cars and can be easy to work on.  As others have said though, things can go wrong with any car. 


Post # 15
3762 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I leased a car.  I had a vehicle that I traded in and I put a good chunk of money down.  My payments were still over $200 a month for a 24 month lease.  

Basically, when I added it up, over 2 years (which is short and more expensive for a lease) I paid almost $10,000.  I could have bought a REALLY nice certified used car at that price point and after two years would have been able to get some cash out of it. 

So when I went to buy my next car I didn’t have any cash to put down and didn’t have any trade in value (since I just turned in a lease).  I chose to buy a used car that was about $7,500.  I figure if that lasts me two years or more then money wise I had done better than I would have done with a lease.  Its almost 2 years later now and I think I could even get $5,000 back out of the car if I could sell it again making my cost of ownership only $2,500 for two years (plus some small maintenance).  

Anyways, Thats my story over 4 years.  Even if the used car I purchased required a good amount of repairs I still would come out ahead owning this car instead of leasing something.  

Listen to Suzie Ormand, and Dave Ramsey, and all the other financial people that all say leasing is money down the drain.  They are right.  

Post # 16
1251 posts
Bumble bee

Buying a new car is the worst way you can possibly spend your money, because it depreciates so fast. 

I drive a Volvo from the 90’s that gets great gas mileage, has no problems and has over 150,000 miles on it. Just do your research and find a great used car. I paid 2500 for my car, in cash, and have been driving it for 3 years of college. The low price, plus the lower insurance on a used car are awesome benefits. 


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