What's better for you - leasing or buying?
Eager to buy a car, or are you looking to lease? Whether to lease or buy your next vehicle is a good question, and it’s one you’ll want to take the time to research.
Whichever route you choose, you’ll want to be satisfied with your vehicle — and your ownership agreement!
Keep these tips in mind as you consider your options.
Leasing a Car
CarMax doesn’t lease vehicles (except at our two Toyota dealerships, for new Toyota vehicles). There are pros and cons to leasing a new car or truck.
- Monthly lease payments can be more affordable than finance payments.
- If you don’t plan to keep your vehicle for more than a few years, leasing gives you the opportunity to turn it in at the end of your lease term.
- Most lease terms place limits on the number of miles you can drive without paying a penalty.
- When your lease is up, you return the car and any equity it might hold (unless you exercise an option to buy it).
- You’re typically responsible for wear and damage that exceeds limits set by your lease contract.
Buying a Car
If you’re looking to buy a car, you’ll typically also enter a financing agreement (unless you’re paying the full cost up front). Some things to consider if you’re buying a vehicle:
- You own the vehicle after you’ve met the terms of your finance contract.
- Once you’ve paid off the amount you owe on the vehicle, the equity in your car is yours (you can sell it and pocket the cash).
- You don’t have to worry about paying penalties for exceeding annual mileage limits.
- Your monthly payments are often higher than lease payments.
- Wear and tear could affect your car’s value when you sell it or trade it in.
If you like having the option to drive a different car every few years, leasing might be for you. On the other hand, if you plan to drive a lot of miles, keep your car, and eventually use its equity toward a down payment on another vehicle, buying might be a better option.
If You're Financing a Car
Unless you’re paying in cash, in full, for your purchase, you’ll enter a financial contract where you make payments over time. The finance articles below can help you understand the process.