Finance: Buying vs. Leasing


In addition to finding the right vehicle, car shopping also requires you to decide whether buying or leasing is the right option for you. Depending on your financial situation and driving habits, one may be preferable. Buying is favored by many car shoppers who are looking for a long-term investment, as well as those who have enough saved for a down payment. Alternatively, leasing often appeals to those who want a lower down payment and monthly payment. These are just some of the distinctions. Which is right for you?

Benefits of Buying

Buying is great for car shoppers who eventually want to own their vehicle, as each payment represents an investment in the equity of the vehicle. You can add accessories and aftermarket parts without breaking contract (as you might with a lease), and you can sell the car after you’ve paid it off. Plus, there are no mileage restrictions, which is ideal for those who drive more than 12,000 miles per year.

Drawbacks of Buying

While buying will often save you money in the long run (especially if you keep your car after you pay off the financing), it requires a larger down payment and higher monthly payments than leasing. So, before you buy, keep in mind that you’ll need to have about 10 percent of the sticker price as a down payment, and you’ll need to make enough monthly to cover the payments.

Benefits of Leasing

Leasing is great for those who want the lowest monthly payments, and those who want to pay little to nothing down. Recent grads, retirees, and part-time employees may find leasing particularly appealing for these reasons. Additionally, many leases will cover the cost of regular maintenance (such as oil changes and inspections). Leasing also lets you upgrade to a vehicle that would normally be out of your price range, and, when you lease, you have the option to get a new car every few years.

Drawbacks of Leasing

The obvious drawback of leasing is that you don’t get to keep the car once the lease is up, which means it’s often a more expensive form of transportation over several years. Many leases have specific restrictions, such as mileage limits, as well, so be sure to read the details of your lease before signing.

Still can’t decide whether to buy or lease a new car? Visit Mazda of Bedford and ask one of our associates what they recommend based on your needs.



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