To Lease (租赁) or Not to Lease
Planning to lease a car because you don't think you can afford to buy? Think again. Leasing
can end up being just as expensive as buying.
Most people think about leasing because they believe it will cost them less money. They're
right it is cheaper, but only in the short term. For example, if you were to lease a new Subaru
Forester, you might pay $300 per month for the car. If you were to buy the same car, you would
pay about $400 per month. Over a three-year lease, you would save $3,600 a big savings. But after
your lease is over, you have to give the car back.
Many people want to lease because they can drive a more expensive car than they might
otherwise be able to afford. For example, if you spend $300 monthly on a car, you might be able
to lease a new Ford Explorer. For the same price, you might have to buy a used Explorer, or buy a
new but much less expensive model. A lease, therefore, allows you to drive the latest models of
more expensive cars. However, whatever car you can afford to buy, you get to keep it, and it'will
always have a resell or trade-in (以旧换新) value if you want to upgrade to a new car later.
Furthermore, people who lease cars are often shocked by how much they must pay when the
lease is over. Most leases limit you to a certain number of miles. If you go over that, you must pay
for each mile. As a result, you may end up paying thousands of dollars in mileage(里程) fees. In
addition, when you lease, you have to pay for regular maintenance and repairs to the vehicle.
Since you must return the car finally, you are paying to repair someone else's car.
By now, the benefits of buying over leasing should be clear. Remember: whatever model you
can afford to buy, it is yours after you make the payments. There's no giving back, and that makes
all the difference.