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Fall Car Specials - Buy or Lease?

Fall Car Specials Make Now a Great Time for
Buying or Leasing - Which Should You Do?

Fall is prime time for buying or leasing a new car. While shiny new year models are being rolled onto dealership lots, sales people are quickly trying to clear out the previous year's stash of wheels. What does this mean for you? Stellar deals that you won't find at any other time of year.

If you're considering a new vehicle, now is the time to hit the pavement. From cars to trucks to SUVs, the newest rides sport increased fuel efficiency, upgraded guarantees and sleek styling. To get ahold of a new set of keys, you'll have to figure out one thing: buy or lease?

As part of its ongoing mission to empower borrowers, LendingTree has come up with a quick and easy way to determine if you may be better suited for a lease or a loan.

Choose the statements below that best describe you, then consult the key below:

  1. I like to drive newer models and trade up every few years.

  2. Driving 10,000 miles in one year is a lot for me.

  3. My car is spotless, and I have it serviced regularly.

  4. I need to keep my monthly payments as low as possible.

  5. Keeping my monthly installment low matters more to me than how much interest I pay.

  6. I don't have any savings for a down payment.

  7. My car makes an important statement about me.

  8. As long as I like the place I live, I'm happy renting or owning.

  9. A car is just transportation from point A to point B.

  10. I do a lot of highway driving and really rack up the miles.

  11. I take my car into the shop for major problems only.

  12. I could increase my current payments if I had to.

  13. Paying as little interest as possible is a high priority for me.

  14. I plan to make a large down payment on the car.

  15. You get value out of a car by driving it into the ground.

  16. Paying rent is throwing money away: You don't have anything to show for it.


If statement one through eight describes you accurately, you are an ideal candidate for leasing a car. Lease agreements favor people who don't drive many miles and who maintain their cars diligently. If you like to drive new models and feel your car is part of your image, you are well-suited for leasing - it allows you to trade up frequently without taking a big hit on depreciation. Finally, leasing is a good option for people who don't have money for a big down payment and need to keep their monthly payments low.

If statements nine through 16 best describe you and your driving habits, you should consider buying rather than leasing a car. Leasing can be an expensive option for people who drive long and hard and who don't tend promptly to maintenance and repairs. Buying is a better choice if you can make a healthy down payment, want to avoid paying a lot of interest and can afford to make bigger monthly payments to pay your loan off quickly. If you're willing to keep your car for many years, the long-term cost of buying will always work out to be less than that of leasing.

(Source: LendingTree)