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If you don't have a huge budget in which to fit a car payment, you may want to consider new car leasing. A lease is basically a long-term rental. Virtually all manufacturers, including Honda, Chrysler, Ford, and Toyota to name a few, offer lease options in their standard finance product lineup. Your monthly payment includes the depreciation on the car during the term of the lease, a rental fee, and any taxes. This can be a double-edge sword, though.
While the monthly payments on a lease are usually lower—sometimes significantly so—than payments on a purchase loan, you have nothing to show for it at the end of the lease. You return the car to the dealer having nothing to show for your investment. The upside to leasing, however, is that, assuming you negotiate terms that fit your lifestyle, you are in new, reliable car every few years.
*If you're tired of maintaining older cars that seem to break down at every turn, but can't afford a new car loan payment, a lease may be the way to go.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|