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There are very few downsides to leasing. I always hear people say, "I want to own my car!" Is that right? Only 15% of the financed buyers go to full term. Therefore they trade, or sell their car and end up loosing a big portion of money + the interest accumulated under the term of ownership. In most instances the bank owns you car whether you purchase or lease. The only people who should purchase a new car, is someone who can pay cash and pay no interest (no this isn't me either).


My father was a 30 year investment manager, when we went to buy my 1st car (with my three summers of working cash). As we were heading to the dealership, he said, "we will buy this car and from 18 on, you lease all your cars!"


Which I have done, I am now 66 and have leased too many vehicles to even count. I have never been upside down in a trade, never had to meet flaky people who come to 'look' at the car you are selling. I have had two totals and I didn't loose a dime. Why? Leases come with 'Gap Insurance' . That will cover the difference of the total write off and the balance of what the value is of the car the car you leased.


Reasons to lease? You will drive for the rest of your life with full factory warranty (no paying for repairs). Three year leases keep you in a fresh car (with all the improvements in safety and technology. Now, let's say you buy your new 'dream car', after driving it a year you decide this is a great car and you will be keeping this one! One year into your contract, a Ford 350 pickup who's driver just dropped his wallet, then reaches down on the floor. In the process, missing your brake lights and the stopped cars in front of him! It's a major collision, but the damage is only 50% of the car's value. It will be repaired. Your 'dream car' is history and the accident will show on the CarFax (even private buyers these day insist on a CarFax). The value will be terrible at trade in or even selling private party. Nobody wants a car that has been in a serious accident.


If you leased the same damaged car, you will drive to the end of the contract, true. But, when you come in for the next new car lease, you hand them the key and say. "This time I would like a Red one.." And you are back in a new car free & clear. How? The dealer does not care, he returns the leased car back to the 'mother ship' and you drive out with another new car.


Another +. If you say, put $5,000 down for a purchase or $5,000 down for a lease 'Drive Off' (apples to apples). The leased car will be about 20% less payment then the same car if you purchased it.


Finally, there has to be a point where it does not make sense. Well, yes & no... If you are a high mileage driver 20,000 + miles a year. The payment is based on the mileage at the conclusion of the lease (to cover the depreciation of the car). It because of that, it will be a steep payment. Now, if you purchase and complete the contract your payments will be less. But, the end result is, you will lose your pants if you sell or trade it. It will be worth about 25-30% of it's original value. So, there is not any real advantage to either. But, the one you keep driving, because it is worth so little, will start demanding expensive repairs.


One man's opinion after 15 years of selling Mercedes-Benz and their AMG cars.


Yes, I also leased all four of my 'smarts', without a single complaint from my side...
 

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Another upshot to leasing is that it's an excellent way to build credit and it's often easier to lease than finance a new car. So if you want a new car but your credit sucks, get a lease! Your credit will then build and at lease end you'll have more buying power.

MBFS wouldn't sell me a new smart, but they were happy to lease me one. I then drove it two years but modified it and went 20k over on the miles. That was no big deal. MBFS rolled it into a very low interest loan. When all was said and done I paid like $17.5k for a $16.2k car.

You can modify a leased car, just make sure you keep your factory parts and put them back on when it's time for the inspection. If anything, getting new wheels and tires is a neat cheat code to avoiding the wear and tear fee. Just reinstall your probably still new factory equipment!

I'm not sure if things have changed, but gap insurance wasn't required when I leased my smart in 2012. In fact, I dropped to only liability insurance for a short time during my lease and MBFS did not care. Actually, at no point in my lease or financing of my two smarts has MBFS even cared if the cars were even insured. My 453's insurance lapsed when it was in a storage unit for all those months. Nothing happened. Of course, that all changes when you crash... :eek:
 

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Never leased a car and never plan to. My current ICE is a '99 Mercedes. Prior to that one, I had an '83 Mercedes that I bought new. Never a monthly payment and almost no maintenance costs because I always do my own as much as I can. I don't want the latest and greatest technology - I only want to pay for what I want and you basically don't have that option anymore.

Different strokes for different folks I guess.

Len
2014 EV Coupe 18,000 miles
2014 EV Cabriolet 12,500 miles
own both of them & bought them both new
 

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I don't pay in cash, but put a good down payment on the car. I have owned all of my cars, and had at least 2-3 years without car payments before buying the next car. Years ago, I decided I didn't need to spend $50,000 on a luxury car. I buy new, but go for the cheaper priced cars.
 

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Mileage is basically the ONLY deciding factor on whether to lease or buy.

If you don't do a whole lot of driving throughout the year.... by all means, lease.

If you're like me, and the car you have now had for 3 years and nearly 8 months is just shy of 70,000 miles, probably not the best option.

And i will say, that on both my previous car (2013 Dodge Dart), and now my current 2016 ForTwo, I opted for GAP insurance. Kinda stupid not to.
 

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Mileage is basically the ONLY deciding factor on whether to lease or buy.
I'd also say that how long you intend to keep the car is also a big factor. Had my new 240D for 33 years and my current E300D for 18 years. Both Smarts will be with me for a long, long time I hope.

Len
2014 EV Coupe 18,000 miles
2014 EV Cabriolet 12,500 miles
own both of them & bought them both new
 
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