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What’s the Difference Between Buying & Leasing?

If you’re looking at our new vehicle inventory, you may be wondering “Should I buy or lease my next vehicle?” This is a common question many San Marcos drivers ask themselves when they browse our Nissan inventory, especially after they see our new vehicle specials. While neither option is ‘better’ than the other, the option that’s best for you will depend on your budget and your personal preferences. Learn more about the differences between lease vs. buying below to find the right option for your new vehicle purchase.

Leasing vs. Buying: Long and Short-Term Costs

When you lease a vehicle, you’re essentially ‘renting’ it from your lender until the end of your lease term. When you buy a vehicle – also called financing – you’re making payments on the vehicle until you own it in full. The costs for each will vary, read more about the lease vs. buying costs below:

  • Leasing: Take advantage of lower monthly payments upfront. Round Rock drivers will also spend less on taxes and down payments. Starting a new lease every few years will cost about the same each time (depending on the model you choose). However, you won’t have to worry about long-term service or repair costs that come with car ownership.
  • Financing: Buying a vehicle allows you to eventually eliminate your vehicle payment altogether after you pay off the loan. Plus, you have the option to purchase a used Nissan model, whereas only new vehicles are available for leasing. Drivers who pay off their financed vehicle will spend less than a driver who continues to lease over time, but repair costs can grow as a vehicle ages.

The Bottom Line: How long you plan to own your vehicle will be a deciding factor on whether you should buy or lease. If you only need a vehicle for a few years or if you want to trade-in your vehicle for the latest technology, then leasing may be the best option for you. However, if you plan to own your vehicle for four or more years, then financing is the best option for you.

Leasing vs. Buying: Mileage & Restrictions

When you sign a loan with a lender, you’re agreeing to the lender’s terms and conditions while the car is in your possession. These terms could dictate insurance coverage, vehicle customization, or mileage limits. Read more below.

  • Leasing: Drivers who lease their vehicles will have to stay within certain mileage limits and customization limits or they’ll be subject to end-of-lease fees.
  • Financing: Drivers who buy their vehicles with the intent to own won’t have to worry about mileage limits or restrictions. However, they may have to purchase full-coverage auto insurance for the duration of their loan. Read your loan terms carefully before you sign any paperwork.

The Bottom Line: Drivers who commute a short distance and typically use their vehicle to travel around town won’t have an issue with leasing mileage limits. However, if you want to customize your car or drive long distances often, you’ll find financing better fits your needs.

Leasing vs. Buying: Freedom, Options, & Processes

Both financing and leasing come with a contract. However, when you finance a vehicle and pay it off, the contract goes away. When you lease and continue to lease a vehicle, you’ll always have to adhere to a leasing contract.

  • Leasing: Leasing comes with some restrictions, but generally it’s easy to follow the contract without incurring end-of-lease fees. Simply keep the car in good condition and bring it back to your dealership at the end of your lease. You can also buy out your lease if you decide you want to keep the vehicle.
  • Financing: When you finance, you’re locked into a contract until you pay off the vehicle in full. However, you can sell or trade in the vehicle at any time (provided that the vehicle is worth more than you owe). You may also be able to refinance for a lower rate down the line. And of course, the vehicle is yours to keep for as long as you like after you pay off the loan.

The Bottom Line: The simplicity of leasing is a major draw for drivers in Lakeway, but if you’re comfortable maintaining and reselling a vehicle, the money you get for trading in a purchased vehicle could help to offset a future car purchase.

Lease or Finance your Next Nissan at South Austin Nissan

Now that you have a better understanding of the differences between lease vs. buying, browse our vehicle inventory to find the right Nissan for your needs! When you’re ready, you can discuss your financing or leasing options with our finance team or learn more about Gap Insurance protection. Contact us today, we look forward to putting you behind the wheel of a new Nissan!

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