Lease or Buy: Which is best for your next car?

For so long I was against leasing a car. That’s because a former employer of mine was always getting dinged on his lease returns. A blemish on his shiny rims, some hail dents or the roof, or extra miles would each take their toll on his wallet. Well, times have changed and leases aren’t as frightening. In fact, in some cases leasing in a good idea, but mind you that is for some cases. Deciding whether to lease or purchase isn’t something you should be hasty about. Each has its pros and cons. For example, if you have little or no money to put down and no trade, a lease will save you upfront costs, but in the long run you may end up paying more than with a loan.

As usual the best advice is to do your homework before you make a decision. To help measure apples to oranges I’m including a worksheet created by the National Endowment for Financial Education.

This three-page worksheet explores the issues surrounding basic decisions about personal transportation. The content focuses on considering the total costs of buying a vehicle with cash, financing it with credit, or leasing it.

Lease, Loan or Cash Worksheet

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