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Leasing versus Owning


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My father recently leased his third vehicle over the course of the last five or so years. I swear, that man can't seem to stick to one vehicle. However, this option to lease works out great for him because he only puts local miles on his car and uses it quite a bit to transport clients (he's a lawyer) back and forth to court appearances, meetings and dinners. However, for someone like me, leasing would NOT be a good option at all. I've already been down that road and found out that leasing would not work out for me because I do a lot of long distance driving.

Because of where I live (North Carolina), it takes at least twenty minutes to get anywhere, and though I have plenty of highway options for driving, this still doesn't take away the fact that at the end of the day, just going to the grocery store and running a few errands can rack up my daily mileage to eighty miles or more, easily. I haven't quite gotten over the fact that everything is so much more spread out in North Carolina than it is in some place like Long Island, NY; however, I'm getting better at it. Now, when I want to go somewhere, I am more methodical. Before I go somewhere, I will try to arrange any and all of the errands that I have to run so that they are clumped together in the same general area. Other errands that are not in the area, I usually save for another day.

For me, owning simply makes more sense since I really cannot afford to keep my mileage within the range of miles specified by a leasing agreement. For someone like my father, however, he likes being able to change his vehicle every couple of years. He also comes from a background where he worked for a major corporation prior to his becoming a lawyer in which he was given a new company car every year or so. I guess he's just continuing in a pattern that is most similar to what he was used to. There are many people who swear by leasing and think that it is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but lessee beware! If you don't read the fine print carefully, you could wind up doing a lot of financial damage to yourself in the long term. Make sure that you understand how much money will be required as a down payment in order to secure whatever said amount of money that you are going to pay per month. While you may not own the vehicle and will be keeping it for a shorter period of time versus someone who purchases the vehicle outright, this doesn't mean that you can get away without paying anything up front. Most leasing programs require some sort of down payment prior to you temporarily owning the vehicle.

Also, make sure that you understand the rules for what is and isn't covered in the even that you get into an accident or in the event that someone breaks into your car and does damage. You would be surprised at what some leasing programs cover!

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