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Should You Buy or Lease Your Next Car?

Updated on March 27, 2020 Updated on March 27, 2020
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Table of Contents  
  1. Show Notes

Matt and Andrew bicker like two five-year-olds fighting over a toy about what is the better choice, buying a car or leasing one.  Andrew gets sweary and Matt gets hangry.  Who will prevail?

Unlike some of our topics, there is no clear answer to this question.  Should you invest? That one is easy.  Yes you should.  Should you go to college?  That question does not have a black or white answer.  The decision to buy or lease a car is one that will depend on the stability of your current situation and your priorities.  We’ll list some pros and cons of each.

Leasing Advantages:  A lower down payment and monthly payment.  Maintenance and repairs will be covered.  You can drive a brand new car every two or three years.  When it comes time for a new car, there is no trade in hassle.

Leasing Disadvantages:  You will never own the car.  You have limited mileage, typically 12-15,000 a year.  The contract can be confusing.  If your circumstances change, ie. you get a new job further away or move to a city where having a car is expensive and a hassle, you’re stuck with the lease.

Buying Advantages: You can make modifications like a new stereo system.  You can drive as many miles as you like.  Eventually you will have no car payment.  You can sell the car anytime you like.

Buying Disadvantages:  Your down payment and monthly payments are higher.  You have to pay for maintenance and repairs outside the life of the warranty.  The trade in process can be a hassle.  A big chunk of your cash is tied up in something that depreciates.

These are all things that you will want to consider when deciding to buy or lease.  Or maybe just take Andrew’s advice and buy a bike.  In order to end an argument with no clear answer, I sent Matt and Andrew both to time out.  Andrew had to wash his mouth out with soap and we gave Matt a snack so his hanger would subside.

7 Lessons I’ve Learned From Owning 7 Cars

7 Lessons I’ve Learned From Owning 7 Cars

Show Notes

Edmunds.com:  A list of pros and cons for buying versus leasing.

Allagash Tripel Reserve:  A strong, golden ale.

Motherfucking Bike:  You just have to watch.

Candice Elliott - Senior Editor
Candice Elliott is a substantial contributor to Listen Money Matters. She has been a personal finance writer since 2013 and has written extensively on student loan debt, investing, and credit. She has successfully navigated these areas in her own life and knows how to help others do the same. Candice has answered thousands of questions from the LMM community and spent countless hours doing research for hundreds of personal finance articles. She happily calls New Orleans, Louisiana home-the most fun city in the world.

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