Finding the right vehicle to fit your needs is only part of the equation when you’re choosing a reliable source of transportation. In addition to picking out a car, you’ll also want to decide if you’d rather finance or lease the vehicle. Both options offer advantages and potential drawbacks, depending on your lifestyle and preferences. Working through this series of steps helps you determine which choice will bring you long-term happiness.
Check the Cost of Your Preferred Vehicle
Car dealerships offer a wide range of cars with varying price ranges. Ideally, you’ll be able to make a down payment toward the final cost of your vehicle that keeps your monthly payments affordable. If you have your eye on a pricey luxury vehicle, leasing might be a more affordable option when you don’t have the funds available to put down a large portion of the cost.
Think about Your Lifestyle & Priorities
If you’ve always driven a car long past your final payment, ownership may be a major priority in your life. Owning a car eventually frees you from having to make monthly payments, which you can then use to save extra money toward another major purchase.
Alternatively, you might have a lifestyle that requires having the newest, flashiest version of a vehicle. If you work in a high-visibility position, leasing is an option that keeps a beautiful new car in your parking space at all times.
Consider the Distance You Regularly Drive
Most leasing agreements come with mileage limits. Once you hit that limit, you could face an additional charge per extra mile, which can add up to a substantial amount over the course of your lease. If you drive long distances for work or travel purposes, owning your car could be the best option for having more control over your payments.
Factor in Maintenance Preferences
All cars need maintenance and occasional repairs, but the way you’ll handle them is very different according to whether you purchase a vehicle or lease one. If you don’t mind tinkering on your vehicle or arranging for repairs, owning won’t be an issue. However, leasing tends to be the best option for people who prefer to turn in their cars before they need major repair work. While you’ll still need to bring your leased car in for regular maintenance, it’s less likely to break down when it’s still fairly new.
Get an Insurance Quote
The state requirements regarding the need to carry insurance on a vehicle are similar, whether you’re leasing or financing. However, people who lease cars may have higher requirements for auto insurance coverage than those who finance their cars. Often, these slightly higher rates are offset by the higher monthly payments to the lender that you would need to plan for with a financed vehicle. Read the terms of your agreement carefully before making your decision, and get an insurance quote on the vehicle you prefer to see how both options could impact your premiums.
Drivers who are searching for reliable, affordable auto insurance should reach out to the experienced professionals at Altra Insurance Services. In addition to auto coverage, we offer a variety of insurance products, including motorcycle, homeowners, and commercial insurance. San Diego residents should call one of our friendly agents today at (619) 404-6311 for a free quote.