Lease or Own?

for those of you presumably not in NYC, do you lease or own cars?

I’ll start - i just leased an entry level lux sedan as the payments are very cheap and i had to put minimal down. i also came off dumping money into a 2007 jeep that left me gun-shy with maintenance on vehicles. i really like the idea of not having any maintenance expenses (besides durables) associated with the lease, and not being worried about the residual value dropping in the case of an accident

I was thinking along these lines to. I own my car but by the time I finish paying for it, the warrenty is up and I am ready to start the whole process over again. If I am seeing nonstop car payments forever, why don’t I just lease and get a new car every couple years… one that is not my liability.

I own.

My car is 12 years old and has 176k miles on it. Still runs like a champ. Sure, I have to put money into it, like new battery, shocks, struts, brake pads, etc. But in the long run, it’s cheaper to fix your car than to buy or lease a new one.

Remember too–I don’t drive vehicles for two or three years. I drive them forever and ever–until they become unsafe or unfixable. If I drive mine another 12 years, I’m fine with that.

I drove a Toyota Corolla for a long time prior to NY. I would have driven it forever. Don’t understand the appeal of upscale cars. Porsches sure if you’re a BSD, but cars in the $30-$50k range just look like vanity purchases.

I would not consider a $30k car to be a vanity purchase.

To me leasing is a convenient way to convince yourself to pay for too much car.

I own a boring Hyundai. Bought it used and 2 years old and I’ve had it for 2.5 years now. As much as I’d like a BMW or Audi I shudder at the operating cost, and I know because I used to drive a Lexus in college as a hand me down from the parents. Everything just costs more: insurance, tires, when something breaks, etc. I’m going to try to keep it another 2-4 years before I get too tired of it.

I’m not very fond of leases because of the restrictions on mileage (or pay a per mile overage fee) because living in Houston isn’t exactly a low mileage city. Plus, when talking to older family members when I was buying my first car the first thing they said was that in general leasing is bad financially. Some states make it even worse of a deal, like my home state. If you lease a car here, the sales tax is charged as if you bought the car at the full value. Most states only tax the payments.

ihihm what whip are you riding in?

Depends on a ton of factors. Saying that leasing is a bad financial decision is listening to advice from when interest rates were in the teens.

Negotiate the price of the car first, regardless of lease vs. buy. When you lease you basically pay the difference between the purchase price and the predetermined residual value plus interest. The purchase price is very negotiable as is the interest rate (money factor) in most cases.

The depreciation for all cars is different. In Texas, if you buy a new truck and sell it 3 years later, your cost of ownership per year will be less than owning that same car for 6 years. In other words the truck depreciates more in years 4-6 than 1-3. In that case you should purchase a new car every 3 years as crazy as it sounds.

Audis and BMWs typically have lease residual values around 60% of MSRP. If you get the last model year 3 series or A4 before a body style change, negotiate the price down to invoice, then lease, you can drive it for 3 years, punt it at lease, then buy the same car probably 50% depreciated.

It all depends on the market for the car, incentives, interest rates, etc.

I think it never really mattered to me. The last time I bought a (new) car, the MSRP was less than 5% of my income for that year.

For all of the high-talking BSDs on this forum, it sounds like y’all drive some shit-ass cars.


We put too much mileage on cars to lease them; my '01 S2000 has 223,000 miles on it.

i understand the math, but I don’t agree with this logic at all.

You do realise that you can drive a car with a book value of zero, right? I’ve been doing it for seven years.

When I lived in a city where a car was necessary I used to drive an Audi A7 S line, before that an Audi Q5 and before that a Nissan 350z, all owned not leased.

The A7 in particular was a fking beauty to drive, the nissan was the head turner though.

Don’t miss having a car and would never have one while living in NYC or London. Feel like I’ve got the fancy car thing out of my system in my twenties and if i went back to living in a city where you need one I’d probably buy a wee run around and put the money to work elsewhere.

Tail end of last year I met a guy through a relative that had a collection of sports cars in his basement garage including a ferrari and a couple of ridiculous Merc sportscars I didn’t even recognise. His “run around” was an Merc AMG GT, dude was driving this thing around town barefoot like a psychopath.

I want to be that guy or bust, not some guy driving around a nice but normal audi.

+1, funny mental image

I dirve too many miles to lease, but leasing is not the horrible financial decision some make it out to be (compared to buying) if you:

  1. Drive less than the annual mileage allotment, and

  2. Get a new car every 2-3 years anyway

If you fall into that bucket (most people don’t), leasing can make sense. As others have noted though, negotiate everything in the lease as ruthlessly as you would negotiate a purchase.

I want to have a Porsche 911 in the driveway next to a restored 1996 Camry (for the wife and kids)

The guy was literally insane. Made his money in “IT” and wouldn’t be drawn beyond that. He had a dog called Henry that goes everywhere with him, he cracked out some ridiculous single malt that was hidden in the back of a jukebox using a key on a comically large key ring, he poured everyone a nip and then swigged from the bottle like it was his last drink. His tongue was also purple and I couldn’t tell if it was from some crazy drug I’ve never heard of or just because he’d spent the morning eating purple sweets, neither would have been surprising.

He had zero social skills but not in an awkward way, he just didn’t even feign an interest in anyone, seemed distracted with his thoughts but communicated them like a small child.

The interaction made me reevaluate my life choices. I’ve spent 7 years in an office career moderating my personality to fit within a corporate environment where we communicate in this stilted fashion that doesn’t work outside of high finance. needless to say I just got back into things without doing anything and now it’s almost half way through another year.

I drive my cars into the ground, so I’m an “own” kind of guy. Buy my wife a new-ish minivan every 6-7 years(so twice now) and I drive whatver I can find. I’m currently 140K miles into a 2002 Crown Victoria that I picked up for free.* I’ve had those before(drove a towncar for a but until someone hit me, took the insurance payout on that and drove a Grand Marquis for a while) and they’re super easy to work on. I’m fairly well versed in auto maintenance, so I do most of my own work, and those things are a dream to work on. We still owe about $6K on a 2015 Town and Country but it’s still only got 35K miles, so in another year when it’s paid off, we’ll be car payment free for 5-6 years.

*- I traded a 16 foot aluminum boat and trailer for the car, but the boat and trailer were also free 20 years ago as they were on a property my dad bought. I dumped a couple hundred into new decking and seats and some lights/bearings/rollers, but that work was done quite a while ago so i’m still calling it “free.”

Thats how I feel. I wanted a typical luxury car for some time but with the way they depreciate and the financing/leasing arrangements, you might have just bought a 100k sedan and some guy might have bought one a few years older, maybe totaled and looks like he spent about the same. Driving my old car into the ground then super car, aiming for brand new, for me. Show-off? Absolutely!