The main benefit of buying a vehicle is simple: you own the car when you finish paying it off. You won’t have any mileage restrictions on your driving, and you won’t have to worry about maintaining certain interior and exterior cosmetic requirements.
The biggest drawback of buying a vehicle is that you will likely end up paying more for your vehicle than it is actually worth over time. Since vehicles can lose up to 40% of their value within the first two years of purchasing it, you will end up spending over the value of your car by the time your loan is finished.
When you lease a vehicle, you can simply return it at the end of your lease term and be free to find the next car you’d like. You can find a higher-valued car than the one you were driving, and one that has the most up-to-date technology and features. Lease payments also tend to be significantly more affordable than monthly loan payments.
There are a few significant drawbacks to leasing a vehicle. One is that you will have a mileage restriction placed on your driving. There is a range of mileage restrictions available, with 12,000 miles per year being, in general, the maximum on offer. You also end up paying a significant amount of money on lease payments, especially if you continue to lease vehicle after vehicle, which is money that you are not putting towards owning a vehicle long-term.
If you don’t drive more than 12,000 miles a year, don’t wish to customize your vehicle, and would like to drive a new vehicle every two or three years, leasing is likely the better deal for you. Otherwise, you may want to buy instead.