Leasing vs. Purchasing a Vehicle

Is it Better to Lease or Purchase a Vehicle?

There are a number of factors that go into deciding whether to lease vs. purchase. In the past, it was widely considered that purchasing a vehicle is the more financially savvy move, but that’s not necessarily the case anymore. Today’s leases can offer customers the most flexibility. From lower monthly payments, worry-free maintenance, and multiple termination options at the end of the lease, leasing a vehicle has a ton of benefits. However, every person’s needs and wants for their vehicle differ! With experienced and unbiased auto brokers by your side, like our team here at Centennial Leasing & Sales, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that you made the right decision for your lifestyle, goals, and budget.

Did you know that at the end of your lease you may be able to benefit from the equity in the vehicle? (Most dealers won’t tell you that)

The Flexibility of Leasing vs. Purchasing

Our clients love leasing cars with us. Why? Well, it’s a great way to enjoy lower monthly payments while continually having a new, up to date vehicle with minimal maintenance. Not only that, but at the end of your lease, you can enjoy ultimate flexibility regarding what to do with your car or truck. Here’s what can happen at the end of your lease.

Buy the Car

If you like the car and the price is reasonable enough, you can buy it.

Turn in the Car

If you don’t like the car, want something newer, or the car is worth less than the price to buy it, you can turn it in.

Capture the Value

If the car is worth more than the contracted purchase price, we will help you capture that value to put towards your next vehicle!


Leasing vs Purchasing Side-by-Side Comparison 

Purchasing a Car

Leasing a Car

Requires more money up front. If you have an auto loan, you’ll probably have higher monthly payments, too.

The Cost

Requires less money up front. In addition, you’ll have lower monthly payments than you would if you bought the car.

To enjoy a newer model regularly, you’ll need to sell or trade-in your vehicle. If your vehicle depreciates too fast, you may still owe money.

The Model

Drive a newer model car with the latest safety and performance features at a lower monthly cost.

You have the freedom to keep it, sell it, or trade it whenever. You can also modify the car however you please.

The Commitment

A lease contract can be expensive (and challenging!) to break early without help. However, at the end of the lease, you’ll have flexible options.

You own it, so it’s yours to drive for as long as you’d like.

The Time

Your lease contract will expire every few years so you can always upgrade to a newer model.

Your car’s value depreciates quickly. If you sell early you might find you owe more on the car than it’s worth.

The Catch

If you’re not careful, you could owe fees for car damage or exceeding your yearly mileage limits. Early termination fees might also apply if you want to get out early.

Did you know that you can lease a pre-owned vehicle as well? Talk to one of our auto brokers to learn more.

A Closer Look

The Pros and Cons of Leasing a Car

The Advantages to Leasing

  • The Most Flexibility: Leasing with Centennial Leasing & Sales offers drivers the most flexibility during and after the lease term. A leasing consultant will guide you into the right lease and at the end, help you terminate the lease to your advantage. You can buy the car, turn it in, or capture the equity and put it towards your next vehicle!
  • More Manageable Cost: The main benefit of leasing a car is the monthly payment. When you lease vs purchase, you only pay for the depreciation on the vehicle during your term. This means that your monthly payments will likely be significantly lower than if you were to purchase the same model outright. Additionally, since most leases have mileage limits – usually around 12,000 miles per year – it’s a great option if you don’t drive very often.
  • You Drive a Newer Model More Often: Most leases are only for two or three years, which means that when your term ends, you can trade in your current model for an upgraded one with all the latest safety features and technology. Since technology changes so drastically, leasing a vehicle actually protects you from owning a car that could be worth a lot less at the end of the lease.
  • Pay Only for Routine Maintenance: Your leased vehicle will likely remain under warranty throughout the entire lease period and, therefore, will rarely require anything more than routine maintenance. With a lease, you typically don’t have to worry about any mechanical failures.

The Disadvantages to Leasing

  • Exceeding Your Yearly Mileage Limit Can Be Costly: If you are someone who drives frequently or takes long road trips regularly, then leasing may not be right for you. If you exceed your yearly mileage limit, you’ll have to pay extra fees at the end of your term.
    • A Centennial Leasing & Sales auto broker can help you avoid these fees when possible. For example, buying out the car and then trading it in may save you more than just turning it in.
  • It Can Be Expensive to Break Your Lease: It can be costly to break a lease early, especially if you have a manufacturers lease from the dealership.
    • A dealer wants the equity in your whereas a Centennial Leasing & Sales auto broker will help you terminate a lease to your benefit. Centennial Leasing & Sales chooses to use leases provided by Credit Union Leasing of America (CULA) wherever possible which offer more flexible lease termination options. Reach out to a auto broker for guidance on early lease terminations.
  • No Customizations: If you’re in to customizing your vehicles, leasing might not be the right choice for you. Leased vehicles must be returned in the condition in which they were sold aside from minimal customizations such as basic window tinting.

Watch out for manufacturer or dealer leases that don’t have your best interests in mind. They often have costly fees associated with excess mileage or early termination.

A Closer Look

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Car

The Advantages of Buying a Car

  • You’ll Have Full Ownership of Your Vehicle: When you purchase a vehicle, you’ll have full ownership over it—which means you won’t have to worry about mileage limits or any other restrictions that come with leasing.
  • The Ability to Sell or Customize Your Vehicle: Since your car is yours, you can do whatever you’d like with it. Whether you’d like to keep it, buy it, sell it, or even customize it, the world is your oyster.
  • Wear and Tear is Stress-Free: Unless scratches and dings bother you personally, you won’t have to worry about fixing wear-and-tear if you don’t want to.
  • Keep it as Long as You Want: Since you bought the car, you can keep it as long as you want. Owners that drive cars for more than five years will generally enjoy having no car payment!

The Disadvantages of Buying a Car

  • It’s More Expensive Upfront: Buying a vehicle is more expensive upfront than leasing. While it all depends on your credit score and auto loan terms, more often than not, your monthly payments will be higher when you purchase a vehicle vs. leasing, and you may also need a down payment.
  • Watch Out for Depreciation: The second you drive that new car off the lot it loses value. If you didn’t put down a down payment, you could immediately be “under water” on the car and could remain that way for a while. For example, if you wanted to sell the car in a few years, you might actually owe more money on the vehicle than you got for the trade or sale.
  • Outdated Technology: Technology changes so quickly. Are you confident that your vehicle will still be in demand in a few years? If you’re planning to sell the car in a few years and new technology renders your vehicle archaic, it could sell for far less than you expect. For example, as demand shifts to electric vehicles, gas cars may be worth much less in the future.
  • More Limited Vehicle Options: Since buying and financing a car is more expensive than leasing upfront, you may have more of a limit on the types of vehicles you can realistically afford.
  • You’re Responsible for All Maintenance Costs: When you buy a car, it may be covered under a warranty for a short time. However, unless you extend the warranty, you’ll need to pay for all repairs out-of-pocket once it expires.

The Bottom Line

Without unbiased advice from someone experienced in leasing, it can be challenging to make the decision to buy or lease. Backed by years of experience, our auto brokers will steer you in the direction that makes the most sense for your situation. Not only that, but since we’re independently owned and use CULA partners for financing, our only goal is to keep your best interests in mind—not the other way around. Talk to one of our auto brokers today to discuss leasing vs purchasing a vehicle and which option best fits your lifestyle, goals, and budget.

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Information provided is believed accurate but all specifications, pricing, and availability must be confirmed in writing (directly) with the dealer to be binding. We reserve the right to correct any errors or omissions prior to the final sale of the vehicle. Advertised price includes $250 Documentation Fee. Sales tax, finance charges, cost of emissions test, and other governmental fees or taxes are not included in the quoted price. Transportation costs incurred after the sale to deliver the vehicle to the purchaser at the purchaser’s request are not included in the quoted price. RECALL NOTICE: Some vehicles offered for sale may be subject to unrepaired manufacturer safety recalls. To determine the recall status of a vehicle, visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/ recalls