Should You Lease?

Should You Lease?

These questions will give you an indication.

Although leasing offers many benefits, it is not for everyone. Leasing can be an expensive mistake. Before you seriously consider leasing you need to ask yourself the questions below. If you answer yes to most of the questions, then leasing may offer benefits to you.

Do you replace your vehicle before your loan is paid off or soon thereafter?

If you trade-in your vehicle before you pay it off, in many cases the value of the vehicle is less than what you owe.  You end up having to pay to get rid of your vehicle, and you may have to go through the hassle of selling your used car.  Leasing eliminates this problem.

Is it important to you to have a vehicle that is fairly new and under warranty?

If yes, a 3-year lease might be appropriate for you.  Your vehicle will almost always be under warranty and you will always have an almost new vehicle.

Are you unsure if you are going to just keep your vehicle a few years or keep it a long time?

Leasing may be a great option for you. Lease it for three or four years and then decide whether you want to keep it long-term or get rid of it.  If you had bought the vehicle and decided to get rid of it at the end of three years, you may have to eat a several thousand dollar loss, and you also have to go through the hassle of disposing of the vehicle.  Isn’t just turning the vehicle in a much easier option?

Is there significant business use of the vehicle?

There are significant tax advantages to leasing business use vehicles.  Remember, this includes any vehicle that is used for business, not just vehicles owned by a corporation.  Are you an independent contractor, a real estate agent, sell Mary Kay?  You qualify.

Do you hate selling your used car?

When you decide to get rid of your car you often have the choice of trading it into the dealer for less than it is worth or putting an ad in the paper and going through the used car circus.

Are you comfortable with making regular monthly payments?

When you lease a vehicle, your lease payment will typically be lower than the loan payment on buying the vehicle.  However, you will always have a monthly payment.  The payment will never go away like it eventually will if you purchase a vehicle.

Do you have a good credit rating?

Since most leases don’t require a down payment and you are not building any equity, you generally must have a better credit rating than would be required for a loan.  We oftentimes can get you approved, but bad credit is definitely an obstacle to leasing.

Do you take fairly good care of your vehicles?

If you don’t take good care of your vehicle, you may face some wear and tear charges when you turn it in.  If you totally trash your vehicles, you probably shouldn’t lease because the excess wear and tear charges may be prohibitive.  But remember, even if you purchase, you will have a difficult time selling a totally trashed car.