Ask The Expert

Buy or lease?



Q: Is it better to buy or lease a new car?

A:“It’s always cheaper to buy,” says Jeff Bartlett, deputy online automotive editor for Consumer Reports in Yonkers. “When you purchase a car, once it’s paid off, you own it, and it has equity that you can use to trade in on your next vehicle. As an investment, it becomes more affordable to own with each passing year; if you finance a car for five years, but hold onto it for eight, that’s three years of no car payments. When you’re leasing, you never stop making payments. We did a detailed analysis a couple years ago, and the difference between the cost of owning a vehicle versus leasing a vehicle was thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. The difference is staggering.”

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