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Purchase vs Lease

Should I Lease or Should I Buy?


Many consumers face this dilemma: should you buy a car or lease a car? There are certainly advantages to each choice, so the short answer is -- it depends.

Leasing a vehicle means that you pay a portion of the vehicle's cost. You can choose if you want to make a down payment, but you pay sales tax only on your monthly payments (in most states), and you pay a financial rate that is similar to the interest on a loan. At the end of the lease term, you can choose to return the vehicle, or purchase it for its depreciated resale value.

Buying a vehicle means you pay for the entire cost of the vehicle. Car buyers typically make a down payment, along with sales tax. Buyers also pay an interest rate determined by their lender, which is based largely on credit history. After buying a vehicle, the owner can also choose to trade the vehicle or sell it for its depreciated resale value.

Typically leasing doesn't build equity, and buying does. However, those that buy also make higher monthly payments in most cases in order to get that equity. Regardless of whether you choose to lease or buy, remember that a car's depreciation is inevitable.

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