People have options when they purchase a vehicle – they can buy or lease. Both have advantages as well as disadvantages.
According to Major Harrison, general manager of Ganley Bedford Imports; Michael Leikin, general manager of Leikin Motor Companies in Willoughby; and Bernie Moreno, president of Bernie Moreno Companies, with locations across Ohio, which option to choose depends on a few reasons.
“The big difference is what your plans are,” Moreno said. “It’s not that leasing is better than buying, it’s more about how the individual client plans to use the car. If someone says they want to buy a car and keep it for many years, you should never think about leasing it. If someone else says they like the idea of getting a new car every two or three years, that is where leasing has a huge advantage.”
Leikin added, “The pros of leasing is that you get a new car every three years. That means you also have the newest in safety, technology and performance every three years. The con is that leasing doesn’t provide the flexibility of ownership. It gets a little difficult to get out of a lease. When owning, you know what you have, what it’s worth and that it’s yours.”
Harrison, who prefers leasing his own cars, said leasing a car also calls for lower maintenance costs.
“You’ll typically avoid new tires and breaks and your initial cash up front is less with leasing,” he explained. “An average person purchases a car for 72 months. By that time, you’ll have bought one or two sets of tires, and definitely new brakes and pads. Within that time, you could’ve had two brand new cars.”
Choosing one route over the other depends on one’s goal for car ownership.
“If you’re buying a toy that you’ll take care of and enjoy for five years or longer, then you should buy it,” Leikin stated. “But if you like something new every three to four years, that is when you’d lease.”
Harrison added, “Lifestyle plays a big part in leasing versus buying. After the kids are out of school and go to college, maybe that is a better time to buy a car. But, if you look at your own life, it’s different now than it was six years ago. That’s why the short-term commitment of leasing works for many people.”
Each car dealership makes this process easier for customers.
“The entire mantra of our company is to make car buying quick, simple and easy,” Moreno said.
Leikin added, “We allow customers to select their new car remotely. Many of our lease customers come to the dealership once every three years and that is to pick up their new Mercedes-Benz or Volvo.”
The salesmen said there are certain customer types that choose leasing over buying, and vice versa.
“If you have young children, people say they want something safe and practical,” Harrison explained. “Then they’re 8 years old with friends and you need third-row seating. When your child is 15, you don’t need the van anymore. You need to know where you are in life.”
Leikin added, “People who are interested in technology prefer a lease as technology is changing every year in these cars. People who are concerned with safety, they want to lease, too.”
On the technology aspect, Moreno noted many dealerships are moving to encourage leasing.
“We’re going through a massive technology boom in cars,” he said. “We don’t get any incentive when someone leases over financing. With all the technology changes, it only makes more sense.”