When Does it Make Sense to Lease instead of Buy a Car?

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Megan Foukes is a recent graduate from Indiana University who graduated with a bachelor’s in journalism. Megan works as a content writer for Auto Credit Express and contributes to several automotive and finance blogs.


, - August 29, 2019

If you’re on the fence about leasing or buying your next car, we can give you some common situations where it would make the most sense to lease. Although leasing is popular and seen as being cheaper, it isn’t for everyone. Financing may be a better – or the only – option, especially if you have bad credit.

3 Situations Where Leasing Makes Sense

When does it make sense to lease your next vehicle? If you fall under these three situations, you may benefit from leasing:

  1. You don’t drive a lot – If you don’t commute far, or rarely take long road trips, leasing could be a cost-friendly choice for you. Leases come with mileage limits, and as long as you stay at or under that amount, you don’t have to worry about paying extra for going over-mileage.
  2. You want a new car every few years – If you want a brand new vehicle every few years, and don’t care about ownership, leasing is a great option to consider.
  3. You want a lower monthly payment – In addition to getting a new car without the ownership responsibilities, you typically have a lower monthly payment with a lease. Plus, you aren’t required to put any money down.

Keep in mind that leasing is generally reserved for consumers with good credit. Some major manufacturers offer leases for those with less than perfect credit, but the interest rate and monthly payment is going to be higher since these consumers likely aren’t going to qualify for the best car lease deals.

3 Situations Where Leasing Doesn’t Make Sense

Leasing sounds great, but when does it make sense to consider buying instead? Ultimately, it depends on you, but there are three situations where you may want to opt to buy instead of lease:

  1. You drive a lot – If you have a long daily commute, or you’re uncertain about how many miles you plan on driving in a given year, you may want to buy. If you lease and go over the mileage limit, you have to pay for each extra mile.
  2. Your credit isn’t great – There are some lease deals available for bad credit consumers. However, if your credit is too low, you probably aren’t going to qualify to lease, and you could benefit from buying your next vehicle. When you finance a car with a bad credit auto loan, you get a vehicle plus the chance to build or rebuild your credit with each on-time payment.
  3. You want to eventually sell it – If you plan on trading in the car or selling it privately, your best bet is to buy it. You can buy a leased vehicle and sell it when the lease term is over, but there probably won’t be any (or very little) equity involved.

The Bottom Line

Whether you choose to lease or buy your next car is up to you. Make sure you weigh all options available, do some rate shopping, and research vehicles using our new and used car sections.

Once you decide which path you want to take, CarsDirect is here to help you find a local dealership. We work with a nationwide network of dealers that have the lending resources to handle unique credit situations. Our process is simple, free, and fast – just fill out our auto loan request form to get started right now.

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Megan Foukes is a recent graduate from Indiana University who graduated with a bachelor’s in journalism. Megan works as a content writer for Auto Credit Express and contributes to several automotive and finance blogs.


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