To Lease or Buy, that is the question

To give up my car would be great! I wouldn’t have to pay for insurance, maintenance, gas etc. I also wouldn’t be able to just go places or make it to work in any sort of timely fashion. As nice as it would be to just give it up, let’s face it, I need a car. I work too far from home for public transportation and the freedom of just coming and going is important to me.

Without going into details, let’s just say that on Saturday, the guy who takes care of my car (and tries to take care of my wallet) told me that if I was considering trading Bitchy in, to do it sooner than later, with the end of the Spring being a good time frame to have something new by.

Cue panic. Lets also say that Saturday wasn’t a good day over all.  Now, not only do I have to replace Bitchy, I was going to try to help friends out and sell it to them because they need a second car. I can’t in good faith sell a car to someone knowing that it will need work so I feel kind of bad about that.

So now I’m researching my options. I have the following in mind for consideration:

  • I have decided that I prefer a hatchback car over the small SUV (I recently went into a spin and while that was “fun”, the tipping sensation was NOT and made me very scared, but I love the space the hatchback affords.),
  • I would prefer a standard, although this is low on the list and more of a bonus than a requirement,
  • I could afford a payment of up to $200 a month if I need to do so depending on my insurance rates,
  • I would like a car no more than 3 years old,
  • While some will yell at me, I prefer Nissan or Toyotas over Chevys or Fords (although the Fiesta looks like fun and got decent reviews on Top Gear…) and I can take or leave a Honda – but the Fit is NOT for me. It’s too light.
  • Color is not important other than it should be a normal color and not Orange, Lime Green, Pink or any other Easter Egg themed color.

I have to save more money for a down payment to go with my trade in before I can take any actions at all (knock on wood it won’t be any time super soon) but I’m trying to figure out the next part.

Lease or Buy. Buy or Lease?

If I lease something and end up hating it, I only have to have it for 2-3 years before I can get something new. If I buy it, I’m stuck with it for much longer.  I imagine that my life situation will be changing in the next few years and leasing will afford me the flexibility for that.  Also, I’ve found some really great leasing deals out there that I could take advantage of…either way, I’d have to have a “car payment” either I’ll be paying to lease or have a car payment.

Here’s the rub. I drive a LOT. I’ve been known put up to 25k miles on a car in one year. Last year was 18,700-something.  Leasing does not allow for that. I have a couple of friends who negotiated extra mileage so if I could do that, say up to 17,500 miles that would be great. I don’t even mind paying a little extra for it.

So at the moment, I’m looking at options and trying to get as much information as possible. Thoughts?

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One Response to “To Lease or Buy, that is the question”

  1. Andrea Says:

    Ok Ella here’s the deal from someone who has sold cars. Leases are great – HOWEVER! – and that’s a big however if you drive more than 15K a year it is more cost effective to to buy the car. A car that would normally lease around 200/mth normally has a 10K a year max by the time you BUY the extra miles (another 10K) your payment has at least doubled. You could have bought the car and posibly had equity in it.
    Another thing to remember is that for every 1,000 you finance it’s about $20/mth so a $200/mth payment is about a $10,000 car.
    I would suggest looking at a Nissan Versa you should be able to find one in your price range.


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