Is it cheaper to lease or finance a new vehicle?

Lease vs finance is a double edged sword, depending on your perspective and financial situation the answer may differ. Let’s first explore some of the benefits of a lease, typically in a lease contract the manufacture will offer you a competitive interest rate, along with a residual value. A residual value will change from month to month, and from term to term. This magical figure is derived from the manufacture’s prediction of the vehicle’s resale value 36, 48 month down the road. The residual value is based on many factors, such as the current economy, bank’s lending interest rate, and auction reports and so on. A higher residual value will result in a lower payment, and vice versa a lower residual value will bring up your monthly payment considerably. So the question you have to ask yourself is simple, do you want a lower monthly payment or you can afford a higher payment per month just to save on the interest. Let’s use a typical Honda Civic lease for example, if you are currently leasing a Civic for 48 month with a residual value about 45% of the selling price, your monthly payment should be in the $ 300 range. If you finance the identical vehicle for the same 48 month term, your monthly payment may double to about $ 600. Although the payment is higher but if you look at the big picture, after all taxes and payments are made in full, finance will save you from $ 1000-$ 2000 depending on the interest rate.

Long story short, financing payment usually doubles a lease payment; the reason for this is very simple. Since finance deals with the entire cost of the vehicle (or capital cost as the term that is referred to in the industry) you are paying for the entire car (including taxes). Lease on the other hand will only include about 50% of the cost of the vehicle, because of the residual value. You have a choice at the end of your lease to purchase the vehicle or return it to the manufacture. A leased vehicle does have certain stipulations and limits such as allowed km can not exceed certain amount, or you have to keep the vehicle in reasonable shape when you are returning the lease. Another benefit of lease is you can write it off as a business expense if you are using the vehicle for business purposes. But at the end of the day leasing will cost you more, not much more, but about 5% of the selling price. For some one who needs a new car every 3 to 4 years, and don’t have to worry about any repair bills lease maybe the best option. Also if you need a lower payment because you have a cash flow problem, lease is an attractive option.

With a leased vehicle the title will remain in the manufacture’s name, since the vehicle has been paid off or a lien is registered with the vehicle, you can not sell or modify or damage the vehicle as if it is yours. To purchase insurance coverage you must have full coverage as well, since the vehicle is some one else’s investment a full coverage is required. Financing on the other hand will also require full coverage until the vehicle is paid off, but it is easier to break the contract versus lease. Since the lease payment is equal to the vehicle’s depreciation value, you never accumulate any real equity in the car. Don’t kid yourself of thinking you may return the vehicle with lower kms and expect a refund from the dealership. In conclusion if you are looking to finance a vehicle you will have to face higher monthly payment, but some equity in your name. And to lease a vehicle you are simply paying for the depreciation of the vehicle over time, and you will not get any real equity when you are returning the car.

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Thank you for reading this article, it is brought to you by SOS Car Loans, Toronto’s leading bad credit, no credit car loan specialist. To find us online please go to for details.

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