I showed branflakes your question. This is what he said:
You see, once upon a time, branflakes and I went car shopping together. We got to the dealership at like 7-something p.m. and were there until like... 11:30 p.m. Mind you, they closed at 8:00 and I didn't end up buying anything
. It was obviously a very fun experience for both of us.
In any event, I do know lots (and lots, and lots, and lots) about leasing. I figured I could give you the sales pitch they gave me. Ready?
Basically, leasing means that you're buying a portion of the car. The portion of the car that you buy depends on the term that you buy it for (i.e. 12 months, 24 months, 36 months, etc.). The longer you sign the lease for, the more car you buy. (I still
don't quite get this part because they wanted to give me a loan for the whole car and were telling me I was buying "part" of the car... Hm.)
Now, there are a couple of leasing "myths" that I'd like to address.
(Actually, both of these are exactly what came to my mind.)1. It's like renting.
Not so! When you rent an apartment, you're at a disadvantage because when you turn your keys in at the end of the contract, you're done, they're done, etc. You don't see anything of the rent you've been paying. When you're done leasing, you have three options. First, you can sell the car yourself. Once you sell it, all you'll do is walk into the bank and pay off the rest of your part and essentially buy their part. Two, you can trade it in. If you trade it in, it's just like selling it except you get a different car all in the same deal. Again, the bank gets their money and you get yours, if the car is worth more than what you bought it for. Three, you can keep it. If you decide to do this, you pay the bank whatever you owe them and you're done. 2. If you go over your miles, you're going to pay a ton
Only if you turn the car in at the end. If you do anything else, the miles you put on it don't matter at all.
Okay. Now there are a couple of advantages
to leasing a car that I'd like to go over. First of all, you can always have a new car and it'll always be under warranty so you don't have to worry about paying for maintenance. Second, you can never be upside down on your payments (when you owe more than the car is worth) because you only bought a certain amount of the car. A lot of times people come in and they buy a car without wanting to pay anything down and they want us to roll the taxes and licensing right into the loan. That means that they're starting
the loan upside down. (We (I?) made them draw lots of pictures of this part.) With leasing, you never have to worry about that.
Etc., etc., etc.
And then they'll take you out and show you the car that you're thinking about buying again. (branflakes will insist that I "almost bought a car that I had never driven" but obviously you shouldn't listen to him.)
Honestly, there are
certain situations in which leasing a car is probably the better way to go. But I
didn't do it. Mostly I decided not to because I don't want to always
have a car payment.
As to buying a car, if you buy it, you take on all the responsibility of buying it. That means that you need to figure out how you can afford a car such that you're not
going to end up being upside down on your payments. Either way there's going to be negotiating that goes on. Know that before you go and plan on negotiating the price, downpayment, term of the loan, etc. before you sign.
Anyway. Good luck with things. Email me if you have more questions. Oh, and also, if you want to buy my car, I'll totally sell it to you. It's actually pretty nice.