Car Lease Versus Buy: Lease Beats Buy & Why

February 3, 2011

Why do I favor car leasing? I have a few reasons why leasing is right for me. I will admit that leasing isn’t for everybody. We don’t all have the stomach for it. Some folks think leasing is like flushing your money down the toilet. I disagree. Here are a few reasons why. Some math. Some emotion.

(1) Fixed Cost. Leasing turns your car into a fixed cost. You know, as opposed to a variable cost. A moving target. What makes the target move? See number two.

(2) Maintenance. I won’t go into details but based on my past experience this is key. At the end of the lease you get to hand the keys and all that looming (inevitable) maintenance cost over to the dealer (right before stuff starts to break down.)

(3) New Car Smell. Drive a new car every 36 months. Enough said.

(4) It’s a Rental. If something minor happens, a ding here and there, you get to relax and say, “Don’t worry about that. It’s a rental”.

(5) Flexibility. One example: My wife has worked from home for the past 6 years. When I started working from home we realized we only needed one car. We kept the Jetta and turned in the Volvo when the lease ran out. No hassle of having to sell a used car.

(6) Making Car Salesmen Cry. I know there are good honest trustworthy car salesmen out there (I can even name two offhand). Then there are the others. At some point I began to treat the car leasing experience like war. It gets ugly folks. The result? I compared notes with a friend of mine a few years back. Turned out I was paying less to lease two cars than he was to buy his one. To top if off, my two cars had, combined, three times the MSRP. No exaggeration.

In conclusion, I know exactly how much I’m going to be paying to drive my new car. All the while enjoying a great sense of flexibility and freedom, accompanied by a feeling, that is, the less things that I own means the less things that own me. That is, as they say, priceless.

4 Responses to “Car Lease Versus Buy: Lease Beats Buy & Why”

  1. I like this idea of leasing a car. It is much cost effective that buying a new one. Thanks for posting such an informative article on this.

  2. Curious about your costs. I bought my car brand new almost 11 years ago and it’s been running like a champ ever since. Of course I’ve had to buy new tires, oil changes some new brakes and wiper blades.. but that’s about it. Haven’t had a single car payment for 7 years. I’m just trying to average the price of a new car over those 11 years versus leasing one on a continuous basis.

    • owenwbrown said

      Linda: I’ve had several cars in my twenty years of driving. I’ve replaced engines, transmissions, air conditioning units, all along with tires, etc. I once had a car that leaked oil so badly I put a quart in every stinking time I filled the tank. I had a twelve pack of oil in the trunk. I wish that weren’t my luck. If you are happy with your car then the fact that it’s lasted more than a decade without anything major is awesome. My dad for the last thirty some odd years has driven two Toyota pickups. My sister drove a Honda Accord over 200,000 miles. I have a cousin that commutes from Orange County to Burbank in the oldest Buick you’ve ever seen in your life. That car must have over 300,000+ miles on it. (Yes, a Buick.) The only thing he’s ever had to replace on that car is a water pump. Like I mentioned, I’m not so lucky. Then again, I did admit that I do so like that new car smell.

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