by Catherine Rein
(last updated April 8, 2009)
I was always under the impression that leasing was a poor financial choice versus purchasing. But I've since learned that it depends a great deal on the circumstances and priorities of the decision maker whether leasing or purchasing is the best choice. You need to think about your lifestyle, how much flexibility you require and the priority you place on having a newer vehicle.
Before car shopping, you should review your insurance requirements and the cost of getting gap insurance protection for a lease. Gap insurance is a must for leasing. If you get in an accident with a leased car, you are responsible for replacing it. Gap insurance covers the "gap" between what your auto insurance company pays if your car gets totaled and what you might still owe to the finance company.
Before leasing or purchasing a new car, look at what you might have available for a down payment, check into car insurance and review these key considerations:
The decision to lease or buy ultimately comes down to the priorities of the decision maker. Leasing can be more expensive in the long term since purchasing a car allows the owner to drive for several years (hopefully) without a car payment or excessive maintenance costs, but for the right person, leasing can be an attractive option.
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