The decision to buy or lease a car has enormous consequences for you, your finances, and the environment. Yes, the earth cares whether you buy or lease a car.
You might be wondering what the environment has to do with this.
Global climate change is affected by a lot of things. One of those things that affects climate change is automobiles. They emit gases that cause global warming, and the more cars there are on the roads, the more the gases are emitted.
But like everything in life, it’s never that simple. Sometimes, buying a car might be more environmentally friendly than leasing a car, and other times the other way around.
In this article, we’ll look at which is better for you as a person who cares about the environment and your money.
Finally, at the end of this article, I will give you the “should I lease or buy a car” quiz to help you cement what you already know deep down.
Spoiler alert: I am leaning towards……. Nah, you can wait.
Leasing vs. Buying: Which is better?
The decision to buy or lease a car is an important one. Different people will have different priorities and needs depending on where they live and their tastes in cars.
Do you prefer brand-new cars with all the latest bells and whistles? Or do you prefer driving off the lot with a used car that has seen better days? You see, if you love new stuff and considering that new cars with unique and amazing features are rolled off the production line on a monthly or weekly basis, you’d know that in order to stay with the trend, you have to lease these cars because you cannot afford to buy them all. Unless, of course, you’re Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk.
It’s just not practical to own all the new cars made, so you might have to settle for leasing them while waiting for the next best thing.
On the other hand, if you attach sentimental value to cars and want to own them for as long as possible, buying might just suit you better.
Here is another thing, the environmental factor. You’d probably prefer ride sharing to even owning or leasing if you are pro-environment. With leasing, you are sure that you are driving new cars that are more efficient and better for the environment. You can also be sure that the leasing company is maintaining the cars as per standards instead of having individuals mishandle their vehicles to inefficiency.
But what if you are the type who is a stickler for maintaining a vehicle?
There is also the issue of finance and building credit. Obviously, buying a car is better than leasing a car if you want to build your credit score, so long as the debt is paid when due.
Whether you want to rent or buy, there are some important questions that should help you decide. These questions we will ask
Should I lease or buy a car? Quiz questions!
1. How much are you planning to spend?
This is perhaps the most crucial question of them all. It’s also the one that many people overlook when it comes to buying or leasing a car. If you don’t take into account what you can afford and what your financial situation is, you might end up making a decision that is not in your best interest.
Ideally, before you set out to look for your dream car, find out how much you can afford and try to stick to that budget as much as possible. If you are leasing, you have to evaluate how much you can spend on monthly lease fees. And if you are buying, you still need to be sure of how much the loan deductions are and if you can afford them.
2. How long do you intend to own this car?
If you are the type who plans to use a car for, say, 5 to 7 years, then buying may be your best option. If you intend to keep the same car for a long time, then leasing may not be the best idea because you will only benefit from the depreciation on a leased vehicle.
People who have sentimental values attached to their cars are usually bad candidates for leasing. They just could not part with them. If you are one of these people, the decision is best left to buy.
On the other hand, if you are the type who wants to own the next best car, then you might be better off leasing for just a while, while you wait for the next model.
3. Can you maintain a car?
Can you maintain a car? Would you remember to change the oil, brake pads, and all that other stuff when it is due? Can you get spare parts like spark plugs and other parts when required? Can you maintain the car for the entire repayment period and after without it getting scratches, dents, and rust? Will changing a wiper blade be a big deal for you?
What about the insurance premium and all that? Are you good at handling all that, or would you rather someone do the whole thing for you while you focus on getting yourself from point A to B?
If you think that maintaining a car is an ordeal and is just not worth it, then leasing might be your best bet. But if it’s in your wheelhouse, you might be the right candidate to buy it.
4. How long do you actually drive in a year?
Since COVID-19, a lot of people have opted to work from home. Statistics show that by the end of 2022, 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be done from home, and the number of jobs that can be done from home will continue to grow through 2023.
Therefore, a lot of people no longer commute to work. Are you one of those? If so, you may not be 100% sure it is necessary to own your car.
If you are the type who would only drive a couple of miles a month, say less than 1000 miles a month, then there is no need to shell out money to finance a car. But if you think that you will be driving more, then buying might be right for you.
5. The whole pro-environment thing?
There is this whole pro-environment thing, which I totally subscribe to, FYI. bicycling short distances, walking walkable distances, using public transport, and all that. So if you are like me, buying and owning a car wouldn’t even be on your mind. As a compromise, I can lease an EV.
Climate change is real, and the major contributor is us and our motorized vehicles. For example, a typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. This assumes the average gasoline vehicle today has a fuel economy of about 22.0 miles per gallon and drives around 11,500 miles per year. Every gallon of gasoline burned creates about 8,874 grams of CO2, according to the US EPA.
The maths is not that straightforward, but you get the point. Adding more cars is just less environmentally friendly.
6. How do you feel about the depreciation of a property you own at the end of life?
Everyone knows that cars depreciate the moment they’re driven off of the lot. But people still buy, or perhaps lease, money because they think it’s not much to worry about.
Buying a car is not like buying a house. The value doesn’t go up every year. The only way car depreciation can be helped is to trade it in for another model before the end of the loan period. Otherwise, all your money, or at least a huge chunk of it, will go down the drain.
If you do not mind the depreciated value when you eventually want to sell, buying is definitely a good idea. But when you lease, you have to return the vehicle and not worry about its depreciated value. But then again, you paid the lease fee, so you have to keep that in mind.
You can go ahead and take the quiz below
Should I LEASE or Purchase a car quiz question
Pros and cons of purchasing vs. leasing (Things to Consider: Cost, Insurance and other)
We have covered this above, but I’ll spell it out more here. If you want to lease a car, here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of leasing vs. buying a car that you might want to consider.
The pros of leasing a vehicle:
- No worries about the vehicle depreciating in value with a car lease.
- You get to drive a car outside of your financial means. Yes, I said it.
- It is an excellent way to test-drive a car and try it out before you really commit to buying.
- If you don’t like the car, you just return it and get a new one, like a boss, I must add.
- The amount you will have to pay in the lease fee will be based on the features and models of the car, which is a lot cheaper than buying it outright.
- You don’t have to worry about insurance and maintenance costs either, because the company will take care of that for you.
- Many companies will provide complete maintenance services on their vehicles. It’s actually in their best interest and works well for you.
- No more haggling about warranty periods with salespeople in dealerships, for example, as this is something that is covered by the leasing company’s warranty policy and not yours.
- You don’t have to leave your family in the house for hours for the car shop to fix something up, though if you have kids at home, then that is fine with me too.
Cons of leasing:
- It doesn’t feel like ownership
- There is a chance that you will not like the vehicle for some reason. For example, you may find the steering wheel too small or uncomfortable to grip, or maybe you won’t like a particular feature that is not on the options list, and you can’t change it cause it’s not yours.
- If you do not plan on buying the car when the lease period is up, then you have to be okay with returning it to the company.
- No choice of customizing the interiors or exterior color and design of your vehicle unless they allow that option.
- If you want to lease a new model, there might be waiting times, or so I’ve heard which is not as bad as it sounds but still…
- You have to pay the vehicle’s entire value every month, no matter how much it has depreciated or not.
- The company will only provide a limited amount of miles a year and can cancel your contract.
- There might be a chance that your leasing company goes down and the contract gets canceled, in which case you will have to pay for the depreciation of the car if you decide not to buy it anymore.
- There are a lot of hidden fees involved that you may or may not know about until the contract is signed and it is too late to go back on it.
Pros of Buying
- You get to customize the vehicle to your needs and preferences when you are car buying.
- You don’t have to worry about any warranty period for example, as that is something that is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty policy.
- It will be cheaper, in general, to buy a car in the long run since you are not footing a large percentage of the total price of the car in the lease fee, though you still have to pay an annual or monthly service fee.
- You don’t get the hassle of having to return the vehicle when the lease period gets over.
- No restriction on how many miles you can drive in a year, for example, and no limit on how long you can drive it without being charged extra fees either.
- You can customize its interior and exterior colors and design to your liking.
- You don’t have to worry about any limited mileage deductibles that you might be offered by a leasing company.
- If you want to trade in the vehicle, then it is a breeze for most dealers.
- You get to touch and feel the vehicle beforehand, which is really helpful when buying a new car.
- If you decide to sell it at some point afterward and you want the highest possible price for that car, it’s all at your discretion.
Cons of Buying
- They can be very expensive to buy, especially if you are not very informed about how much a car should cost.
- They can be much more expensive than you think they are when you come across the feature list and features of the vehicle. You will want to pay more money because it has these features, but what most people don’t realize is that a lot of these features are optional and not included in the base price of the vehicle, though they may have been priced into the price base because of them.
- They can be a bit heavy and bulky to haul around and transport to different places yourself when it is not just a matter of a weekend trip in the country.
- If you drive them a lot, they will cost more to maintain and fix up with regards to anything that is not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty policies.
- If you have to have a lot of trips to the car shop, it may not be worth it.
- It’s not as easy to drive as a leased vehicle because when you are leasing, you don’t really get attached to the car since you know that you can just return it in two years.
- You will be stuck with the used car salespeople once again, and they can get on your nerves or be really pushy sometimes, though that is never really a big issue as long as you know what you want.
- You have to make the initial down payment, which is not really a lot to worry about, in my opinion, but then again, it might be a big deal for some people.
In the end, the lease or buy a car quiz really all comes down to you. Do you like to have that sense of ownership that buying a car gives you? Or is it more important for you to have the freedom offered by leasing a car and not be bothered with all the changes, repairs, and maintenance procedures or any possible extensive waiting times when leasing a particular car model or wanting to get a particular color?
One thing’s for sure. When you are leasing a car, it is usually cheaper in the short term, but that’s not always the case. Also, a lot of people have more problems with leasing than buying because of all the different hidden fees that you can get entangled in when you lease a car instead of buying one.
That being said, Zipcar is green and we strongly recommend you check their cars out. We will also receive a little commission you eventually lease with them using our link (https://fxo.co/E6D3). Thank you.
I hope you enjoyed the read; please leave us a comment below.
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