What Is The Difference Between Leasing And Buying A Car And Should I Lease Or Buy A Car?

What Is The Best Decision? Leasing A Car Or Buying A Car?

We should get to the point: buying a used car can be the best financial choice you can make in most cases. But that's not the only consideration. Other features such as technology and novelty may come to the fore. With that in mind, you may be wondering whether to rent or buy a car. 

If this is you, dive into some important considerations regarding car leasing or buying before heading to the dealer.

What Is The Difference Between Leasing And Buying A Car And Should I Lease Or Buy A Car

The difference between renting and purchasing a car

Before deciding whether to lease or finance a car, it is important to understand both options so that you can choose the one that works best for you and your finances!

What is leasing a car? How does it work?

So what exactly is car leasing in? Rent a car is essentially a long-term rental car. You lease a car for a specific period under a specific contract with a car dealer. Here's why car leasing is so attractive:

  • Not overly complex or time consuming sales process
  • It requires a lower down payment.
  • You have the potential to trade in for a new car every few years.
  • Monthly payments can also be lower than when buying a car.

How does buying a car work?

When you buy a car, you sign a contract to pay monthly for the period until you own the car completely. You may want to buy a car for the following reasons:

  • Complete ownership of the vehicle.
  • You are free to change your car without violating the contract.
  • You can ride as much as you like without considering the mileage restrictions.
  • You can resell the vehicle once you're finished with it.

The expense breakdown to rent or finance a car 

If you don't know whether to rent or finance a car, you need to start with the cost. When considering the cost of leasing and buying a car, it's a good idea to dig a little deeper than the upfront advertising costs.

This is because the numbers displayed only show part of the story. You need to read between the lines and think in advance that it will be the real cost of your purchase. 

Let's look at some simple examples of how to do this calculation.

Calculating the cost of a car lease

To figure out the total cost of a lease, you have to use this simple formula:

Total cost = your payment x (the number of months in the lease contract-1) + the amount due at signing

Please note that the number of months of the lease is less than one month, as the first payment is usually paid at the time of signing. Please be sure to check.

For example, suppose that you want to lease a Honda with monthly payments of $199 for 36 months and $1,999 due at signing. The leases are calculated as follows:

Total cost = $199 (monthly payment) x 35 (number of months in the lease contract-1) + $1,999 (amount due at signing).

The total rental cost for this vehicle is $8,964.

Always pay attention to the mileage limit of the lease offer. If your vehicle has a very low mileage cap, you can spend more money in the long run if you exceed your contract mileage limit. Here's a simple car lease calculator to help you to calculate your numbers.

Calculating the cost of a car purchase

The cost of buying a car depends on many factors such as whether or not you're paying in cash or if you've secured zero-percent financing. However, most people have a loan to buy a car.

The easiest way to calculate a car purchase is to use a simple car loan calculator. Calculators usually ask for the price of a car, interest rates, and loan terms. Enter this information and you will be notified of your monthly payment.

To illustrate: For example, as a car buyer, suppose the car you want to buy is priced at $ 20,000 and you have $ 2,000 as a prepayment.

You are likewise exchanging a vehicle worth $4,000. In this scenario, you'll only need to finance $14,000. We'll also assume that you will be eligible for a 5% interest rate loan over 5 years.

The formula is as follows:

Total cost = (your monthly payment x the length of the loan in months)+ your down payment + your trade-in value

Using an auto loan calculator, vehicle installments would come to $264 in monthly payments. Furthermore the total cost of the vehicle would be: ($264*60) + $2,000 + $4,000) = $21,840

Keep in mind that buying a car can be more expensive than leasing it in the short term. This is because monthly payments can be higher for purchases than for leases, so leasing can result in lower monthly payments.  

But when everything is said and done and you pay off the loan, it's entirely yours. Find more about different ways to save on car costs when choosing to buy or lease.

Understanding monthly cost with a lease vs. buy

Another way to help you decide whether to lease or finance a car is with the help of a car rental calculator.

It calculates your monthly payments between leases or loans. This makes the element of money easier to understand. Keep in mind that you still need to take into account costs like car insurance.

Here are some of our favorites for comparing your rates:

Understanding the fine print of a vehicle rent

On the surface, wreaths look very simple. in any case, in actuality, it may not be that basic 100% of the time. If you haven't rented a car before, it's a good idea to check the paperwork to avoid misunderstandings. And if you need help, an accountant or lawyer can help you with it. 

Violation of the terms of the rental agreement can result in significantly higher monthly costs. The important items to note are:

Mileage restrictions

dealers often limit the number of kilometers a car can travel (typically 12,000 to 15,000 miles). This is because we want to save the car for future sale. Violations of leasing requirements will incur additional charges ($ 0.01 to $ 0.15 per mile, and in some cases more).

Wear and tear

If the vehicle is returned due to excessive wear at the end of the lease, the lessee will bear the cost of repair and replacement. This can amount to huge cash based expenses for you.

Payment terms and penalties

Owners of leases should read the payment terms carefully and understand the penalties for failing to comply with these terms. Whether you're leasing or buying a car, you need to know the terms and contract or loan you take on.


The manufacturer's warranty from your lease can save you some cost for your car when leasing to you. Normal wear and tear aren't covered, but a few other things are covered, so be sure to check the details if you're considering this option. 

Car Insurance

Car insurance is always mandatory, but there are requirements on the type of insurance coverage when leasing a car.

This vehicle may require collision and collision damage exemption insurance. Some may see this as a downside, but in reality, it's just a cost to take the total into account.

Does an auto lease fit your lifestyle?

The choice between leasing or buying a payment results in what you find most effective for you and your finances.

When you rent a car, you are essentially paying to rent a car that you do not own. This is similar to renting an apartment. However, if you are not considering owning real estate, renting may be appropriate. 

Moreover, for some, the thrill of driving a new car every few years, without being bound by permanent ownership, makes a difference to the world. Reese offers you this opportunity. 

For business people considering car leasing or buying a car, leasing offers more tax credits than loans and can ultimately maximize tax credits lowering your tax bill.

Car depreciation and financial costs are deductibles per the rules given by the IRS.

How to get out of car leasing

Stuck in a car leasing? Sometimes life happens and you may find yourself in a situation where you need to get out of your lease.

Maybe you don't like the payments you have to make, or you may be starting to see your car as an asset you would rather own. There are basically three ways to do this, each with different cost implications. Let's take a look at them.

1. Terminate your lease early

Some leasing contracts offer an early termination option that frees you from the monthly payment obligations of your car. However, this also means that you will have to return the car and pay for it, including cancellation fees and fines. 

One thing to keep in mind when you are in the early stages of a lease is that the cancellation fee will be higher and in some cases may be higher than if you terminated the lease as originally planned.

2. Transfer your lease

Termination of a lease can be costly, but another option is possible– transferring the lease. In many cases, you can find someone to transfer the lease to, as long as you meet certain requirements.

Also, if you don't know who will take over the lease, there are third-party companies that specifically offer this service. Be sure to do a survey, read reviews, and understand the associated costs.

3. Buyout your lease

Another great way to get out of a lease is to buy a lease. You can do this by pre-purchasing your car. If it's an option, you can do calculations to pay the buyout amount (and associated fees and taxes) and see if it makes economic sense to sell your car.

A lease buyout works best if the market value of the car is higher than the leasing company's estimate. To determine how much a leasing company values ​​a car, you can look for the "residual value" of the lease.

You are in the best possible position as long as the market value of today's automobiles is higher than the residual value stated in the contract.

Can you purchase a leased car? (Lease to own)

As mentioned above, it is possible to purchase a leased car, And there is a good reason you want to do this. When you buy a leased car, you can initially know exactly where it is and what it is in, but not when you buy a used car. This can also contribute to resale value.

If you value a car, SUV, or truck during a lease, it may be easy to buy when the lease expires. On the other hand, if you don't take good care of it and you may be facing heavy charges and wear and tear penalties, you may be better off buying a car.

Another scenario where it makes sense to buy a lease car is when you exceed your mileage limit. Beyond mileage often incurs penalties and can be cheaper to buy a leased car.

Should I lease or buy a car quiz?

Have you still decided to lease or finance a car? Our personalized mini quiz, whether I should rent or buy a car, will help you find the one that works best for you!

1. What number of miles do you drive per year?

A. Less than 12,000

B. More than 12,000

2. How long do you typically keep a car for?

A. Less than 3 years

B. 3 or more years

3. Would you rather:

A. Save on maintenance repairs

B. Own your car free and clear

4. Do you like the latest features and technology?

A. Yes, I want the latest and greatest luxury features and changes.

B. Not a necessity. I want to freely design my car as I want.

5. When I get a new car, I usually:

A. exchange it for a new model before paying the full amount.

B. Keep it once it's paid off.

Would it be a good idea for me I rent or purchase a vehicle test results!

Here are the results based on our mini-quiz on whether you should lease or finance a car!

Mostly As: Leasing might be up your alley!

If your answers to the quiz are mostly A, leasing may be a good choice. You drive less than 12,000 miles a year, love tech cars, and don't want to worry about car maintenance costs.

enter into a "high-mileage" lease, but payments can be higher. However, you can charge an overage fee with a rental contract, so it's usually worth it if you drive more than 10,000 15,000 miles a year.

As with anything, always read the fine print to make sure you’re doing the best thing for yourself and your wallet!

Mostly Bs: You would rather own your car!

So we can answer our "rent or buy a car" quiz, so it's no longer a mystery whether to rent or buy a car.

If you want to drive on public roads, it's best to buy and take family vacations you don’t have to worry about your mileage being too long, or one day owning a car and not wanting to borrow money.

You like stability and usually have more than 3 years when buying a car. Now that you know you want to buy a car, all you need to know is to Take our car buying quiz to figure out the perfect vehicle for you!

Be financially prepared whether you rent or purchase a vehicle!

So you have it. Deciding whether to own or lease a vehicle is not easy, but calculations make it easier. 

So do your research and look around to find out your number. You will soon be on your way to drive the right car for you!