Buying versus Leasing Vehicles

by Lance Knaack, CFP®, Associate Financial Planner | November 9, 2023

Duration: 3:15

Show Notes

Buying versus leasing a vehicle is a common dilemma for many drivers getting a new car. Associate Financial Planner Lance Knaack provides the pros and cons of leasing versus buying a vehicle.

Buying a Vehicle


  • Ownership. You own the vehicle and will build equity with monthly payments (assuming you finance the purchase).
  • There are no mileage limits.
  • You can sell or trade at any time.
  • You can customize or modify your vehicle to your choosing.


  • There are higher upfront costs or higher monthly payments compared to leasing.
  • You are ultimately responsible for maintenance and repairs.
  • Unfortunately, vehicles will likely depreciate over time.

Leasing a Vehicle


  • Lower upfront cost and lower monthly payments compared to buying.
  • You get to enjoy driving a newer vehicle every few years.
  • You do not have to worry about selling or trading in the vehicle at the end of the lease term.
  • Many leases match up with the manufacturer’s 3-year or 36,000 mile factory coverage so you don’t have to worry about mechanical or electrical repairs as they may be covered by the manufacturer.


  • You must abide by the mileage restrictions.
  • There is the possibility of excess wear-and-tear charges.
  • You do not own any equity in the vehicle.
  • You may have to pay fees to terminate a lease early.   
  • You are responsible for any damage and routine car maintenance.

In the end, the decision to lease or buy a vehicle depends on your personal financial situation. You should take into consideration the many pros and cons of each option.

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