Car Leasing VS Buying (Pros and Cons)
There are several ways in which you can get to achieve your goal of driving your dream car, whichever way you choose to achieve this goal is down to your personal preference with respect to your budget and income. The two major options popularly known are either you lease or outright purchase.
You can go with the option of leasing a new car and you pay only a fraction of its sticker price, or you go with the option of the traditional method of buying your next vehicle by financing the larger part of the purchase price.
It is all down to your personal preference with regards to your income and how much you are willing to let go in achieving your goal of driving your dream car. Buying or leasing a car is essential as it will enable you to have the ability to be mobile and it gives you a whole lot of convenience and comfort. Whichever way you see it; it is important to have a car of your own.
Car leasing used to be an option that was meant for customers and businesses that desire to buy luxury cars but couldn’t afford it due to one reason or the other. It is common practice in all classes of the market today, from subcompact cars to luxury SUVs and pickups. From experience, it has been established that three out of ten cars that leaves the dealer’s depot are leased.
This writes up provides a guide that will answer some of the most frequently asked questions the majority want to know about buying vs leasing a new car. The truth here is that either way you decide to go, it all depends on what is available at your disposal in terms of financial ability and your budget. A few of the most frequently asked questions are as follows; The CEO of Car Loans Of America explains “My experience tells me that it depends on the financial situation of the client. But the better investment for the client. Is to finance a used car that is from 2 to 4 years old.
So that most of the appreciation has already occurred. When a client is leasing a car after 3 to 5 years. They have no asset. Whereas if they are financing a car. They have an asset at the end of the loan term that they own free and clear”.
To round it up, we will take a look at leasing used vehicles, and also consider a new way to get a car through a method known as the subscription model. The subscription model is not yet common as buying or leasing a car.
What Is Leasing?
Leasing is a kind of car financing where you make part payment of the actual amount the car is meant to be sold. When you lease a new car, what you pay for is the depreciation cost that occurs over the term of the lease, plus interest and some other fees that your dealer will explain to you.
There’s usually an agreed amount you will be required to pay when you decide to sign up for a car lease from your dealer. The remaining balance of the cost will be spread over the duration of the contract in a series of monthly lease payments. Leasing a car involves a whole lot of complexities as it is not as easy as it sounds, it comes with its unique vocabulary and jargons that needs to be understood before you put pen to paper.
Some of the few terms involved in car leasing that needs to be understood are defined in the section below;
A vehicle’s residual value is defined as its expected value at the end of the lease period. It is difficult to negotiable the residual value as it is fixed most times.
The money factor is the rate of interest that you will pay for the purchase of the car. You can convert the money factor to a more familiar annual percentage rate by multiplying it by 2,400. You can use an online money factor converter to do the interest rate conversion calculation for you or you can do the math yourself. The eventual amount you will pay for leasing a vehicle is calculated by subtracting the residual value from the capitalized cost and adding the result with the interest (based on the money factor) and some other fees, which includes vehicle registration costs and lease origination. For instance, if you lease a pickup truck with a capitalized cost of $60,000 and a residual value of $30,000 after three years, you’re responsible for paying $30,000 plus interest and fees.
The capitalized cost is also known as the cap cost; it is essentially the price of the vehicle. You should negotiate the price just as if you are buying the car outrightly and paying for the car in full. Any form of discounts from the capitalized costs, that may include special lease deals from automakers, are referred to as “cap cost reductions.”
What Is Buying and Financing?
When you go to buy a car, you pay the entire negotiated price of the vehicle in cash, the value of your trade-in, financing, or a combination of all three. For example, if you buy a $30,000 SUV, you will have to pay $30,000. Spending such amount usually involves your trade-in, down payment, and an auto loan.
When you purchase and finance a car, the dealer or lender holds the title until you pay off the financing, the car finally becomes your own free and clear only when you pay off the whole agreed amount for the car. The most popular means of acquiring a car in America is through purchase, rather than leasing them.
Financing a vehicle purchase involves getting a car loan from a lender such as a credit union, bank, or finance company. You will have to pay down the amount of the loan (its principal) and the interest in a couple of equal monthly loan payments. The length of an auto loan is referred to as its term, and loan terms usually vary from a few years to seven or eight years.
Benefits of Leasing a Car
Leasing a new car has several advantages over buying or outright purchase of a new vehicle. A few of these advantages are stated below;
- Latest Tech
In order to get the latest connectivity and safety tech, you need to have the newest car you can find around.
The latest models are loaded with advanced driver assistance technology and safety features such as lane keep assist, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and semi-autonomous driving systems.
Advanced connectivity features like 4G LTE data connections and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and are now available in the common lower-priced vehicles.
- Lower Monthly Payments:
Monthly payments when you lease a car is lower compared to when you are buying a car, this is because you are paying for the depreciation that occurs over the term of your lease.
When you plan to lease a car, you have to consider your budget to ensure that the monthly payments fir into your plan. Hence, your decision should not be based on the flexibility of the monthly lease payment terms alone.
If you choose to lease, you stand a good chance of getting a nicer car and you can also afford a few extra options for the same monthly payments that you would have gotten if you were buying.
- You enjoy Warranty Coverage and Maintenance
Except you are driving lots of miles on your new car, your manufacturer’s warranty is expected to cover the entire years captured in your term of the lease, since it is just a few years. You don’t have to worry about the cost of repairing your car during this period, as your dealership’s service department should cater for any problem that occurs during this period.
Some leases include periodic maintenance for part or all of the lease term. That gives you a predictable and low total cost of ownership, with just only a few unexpected expenses that you will need to attend to.
- Ease of Trade-In
At the end of lease, you can drive the car to the dealership and walk away after paying any final fees, and any other additional charges for excess wear or excess mileage.
Most times, many leasing customers will not walk away; they’ll rather drive off with a newly leased car. That’s one advantage with leasing, you don’t have to worry about the hassle of trading or selling your old car, or get worried over its trade-in value.
- Sales Tax
To understand this better, you might need to consult a tax professional who understands your particular circumstances and the specific tax laws of your location. This will make leasing a car a lot less risky for you.
Leasing a car can go a long way in helping you save a whole lot of money in sales tax, depending on where you live. In some jurisdictions, you only need to pay tax on your monthly payments and the amount you put down.
However, in some other places, you have to pay sales tax on the total value of the car, which makes leasing a less attractive proposition. On the other hand, when you buy a car, you are liable for sales tax on the whole purchase price, less the value of your trade-in in most states.
- Smaller Down Payment
Leasing requires a smaller down payment as compared to when you buy. In fact, some leases don’t even require any down payment due at signing.
Many experts advise that you should negotiate the lowest amount possible at signing. This is because, when you pay a huge amount up front and there is any damage to the car on your way home from the dealership, all the money you paid as a down payment is gone. Make a small down payment as a way of minimizing the risk of losing money on your part.
Disadvantages of Leasing a Car?
Surely, leasing a new car isn’t the best option or solution for everyone. There are several disadvantages you should put into consideration and be aware of before you leap into a lease.
- No Ownership
When you lease a car or vehicle, you are not the owner. It’s similar to paying rent for an apartment, it’s not like paying a mortgage for a home.
The vehicle remains the property of the leasing company that allows you to drive it as long as you adhere to the contractual obligations. If the vehicle is stolen or totaled, the leasing company would be paid off for the value of the vehicle or car, and you would need to go finance or lease the new car.
- Controlled or Limited mileage
Leases are associated with strict mileage limits, and they can get costly should you exceed those limits. Depending on the vehicle or car, typical excess mileage charges range from 15 to more than 30 cents per mile. For example, if the excess mileage charge is 25 cents per mile, a 20-mile round trip will cost you an extra $5 per day.
Though lessors tell you most of the time the number of miles you can drive per year, they hardly check each year to be sure that you are under the limit. The total allowed mileage is gotten by multiplying the number of annual miles allowed by the number of years. That will give you the total you can’t exceed over the term of the loan.
The expected number of miles is calculated into the lease. If you have covered less than the mileage cap as at the time you turn the vehicle in, you’re paying a bunch of extra money for miles you didn’t drive.
You can avoid trying as much as possible to avoid this by accurately estimating the number of miles you are likely to drive each year. If you can’t estimate how many miles you are likely to drive each year, then you should not consider the option of going for a car lease.
- You Can’t Customize Your Ride
If you are the type of consumer who likes to personalize your car with unique features that will make it distinct like adding off-road gear, fancy wheels, or other customized features, you’ll need to remove all of the added features before you return the vehicle at the end of the lease.
It is good not to even add all these features because of the stress involved in getting rid of them when you need to return the car. As much as you think these alterations or features enhance the vehicle’s look and value, your lease papers likely say otherwise because it will be stated there that the car must be returned just as it left the showroom, less normal tear and wear.
- No Cash For Your Next Car
Although there are a few in which you can get a bit of cash at the end of your lease, most leaseholders will walk away from the end of their contract without getting any cash back. In fact, if you have excess wear or mileage, you may have to pay some extra cash when you turn the car in.
That means you won’t have any cash or a trade-in to use as a down payment on your new lease. That will not be a problem if you can find a zero-down lease every few years, but if your next lease or purchase requires cash, you’ll have to dip into your bank account to find it.
- Lease-End Costs Can Amaze You
We’ve touched on it earlier but this point can never be overemphasized; It might be difficult to walk away at the end of the lease without paying some additional money. If you exceed your mileage limit, you definitely have to pay. Figuring the costs of excess wear can be difficult to estimate. However, the dealership through some discretion will charge you for and how much you will need to pay.
Most times they use the “credit card test” to determine what body damage is acceptable. If the ding does not exceed the size of a credit card, they won’t charge you. If it is bigger than the size of a credit card, you will be charged a certain amount. Any damage to the glass (including nicks) will cost you extra bucks at the end of the lease.
Your standards for what constitutes a worn or soiled interior may differ from those of your dealer. What you think is perfectly fine sometimes might be an opportunity for the dealer to charge you.
- You need to Buy Gap Insurance
Almost all leasing companies will request that you purchase gap insurance, which covers your leased vehicle if it is totaled or stolen or totaled. Even if the lessor doesn’t request that you get the coverage, it’s important to have it so that you are not out thousands of dollars if something bad happens.
Most dealers won’t tell you that you don’t have to buy the coverage from them. Most auto insurance companies sell it, and there are several financial institutions who offer the coverage – even if you don’t have financing from them. Before you visit the dealer, you should research the cost of the coverage, and have a written offer handy from an outside source that the dealer must beat in order to get your business.
Some lease contracts have inbuilt gap coverage. You’ll need to read the paperwork properly so that you can understand the actual cost of the coverage.
- Restriction on Usage
Many lease agreements come with strict limitations that include what you can drive it for and where you drive your car to. For example, you might need written permission from your leasing company before you can drive the car outside of the country; sometimes, the same restriction applies to financed cars.
If you plan to use a leased car for a ride-hailing company such as Lyft or Uber, there are several things you need to put into consideration. You’ll want to carefully examine your lease agreement in order to be sure that it doesn’t preclude business use outright.
Driving for Lyft or Uber will likely put your car through a whole lot of miles on your car. Hence, you need to make sure you don’t have mileage restrictions that will make the car unsuitable for such use to avoid paying excess charges on mileage. Finally, your car will probably suffer accelerated tear and wear, and that can cost you lots of money at the end of the lease.
Bottom line: If you plan to use a leased vehicle outside of your routine driving, then you need to be sure that such use is allowed by your leasing company.
- It requires an Excellent Credit to qualify for Leasing
Although it is possible to lease a car even with bad credit, it can be much more expensive and complex than if you have excellent credit. In general, leasing companies usually prefer to deal with customers who have good credit. Most automakers raise the bar even higher, by offering their best lease deals to only lessees with top-notch credit scores.
Before you even think of leasing a vehicle, the first thing you should check is your credit score and the credit reports that were used to generate that score. It is then you will have the time to correct any errors on the reports and work on improving any problem areas. Credit reports usually take time to correct, and credit scores as well take time to move. You’ll have to exercise some appreciable level of patience with the process if you want to qualify for the best deals.
- It Is Complex and Complicated
Leasing a new car can be a complicated transaction. It’s easy to be confused by the different terms and languages used in the lease negotiation. Unfortunately, the mix-up and confusion can lead to you getting a lousy deal. Read all information over and over again and if there’s anything you don’t understand, don’t sign the dotted lines in haste, want to slow down and figure it out before you commit yourself.
You might even consider having your accountant or attorney to look over the contract before you agree to sign it. If the finance company or dealership or balks at the delay, you should not be bothered but instead consider it as a potential red flag, walk away if you must.
Benefits of Buying a Car?
Just like leasing, going for an outright purchase of a car also has its advantages and disadvantages. We’ll start off by looking at the advantages of financing, buying, and owning a new vehicle.
- Complete Ownership
When you purchase a new car for cash, you have full ownership of the car and you can do whatever you like with the car because it is your property.
If you finance your purchase, the title will be held by your lender until you fully pay off any auto loan, though you’ll build some kind of equity with each month’s car payment as long as the payments outpace the rate with which the car depreciates. Lease customers do not have equity in their vehicles.
- You Can Customize the Car to Your Satisfaction
You can decide to paint your car with whatever color that pleases you or you can decide to give it a purple wheel. Although you cannot do whatever you like with a leased car.
Keep changing the look of the car? Then you will need to fix it back to its original look at the end of the term and that means you will incur a whole lot of bucks at the end of the lease to return it back to the dealer.
If you own the vehicle, you have the right to customize it to whatever you want it to look like. If your changes add value to the car, then you can enjoy some great returns on your investment when you wish to sell the car.
- Unlimited Mileage
Leases come with mileage restrictions, but when you own a car, you can drive it as much as you want to wherever you want. If you are the type that drives a lot of miles, leasing will not be an ideal option, buying a car of your own will make more financial sense. When you drive across several distances as the owner of the car, you will also pay for the fueling and maintenance of the car, there are no additional charges to driving your car mile after mile.
- Cash For Your Next Car
You can use any equity that you have got in a vehicle toward a down payment on your next ride. If you have a loan, the first thing you will have to do is to pay off the loan before you can know how much equity you have to apply to your next purchase. To maximize the amount, you can get from your trade-in, you may
- Payments Stop when Your Loan Is Paid Off
A major advantage of car ownership is that your monthly payments stop when you pay off your loan. For example, if you have a three-year auto loan and you keep your pickup truck for six years, you will not need to make any monthly payments for three years. In the case of a leased car, you will continue to make payment as long as you still keep the leased car.
The money that you save by not paying each month can cover any maintenance or repair costs, or you can save it to be used as down payment on your next car. A way to keep the extra money you would have been paying monthly as a means to finance the purchase your next car is to save the money in a savings account. This will allow you to be able to easily finance your next vehicle and earn interest along the way.
- It’s Easier to Finance Than to Lease
Leasing is most favorable for consumers with fantastic credit scores, and there are limited leasing options available to customers with lousy credit. Although a car loan is certainly more expensive going for a car lease, a car loan is easier to secure and most appropriate for people with bad credit.
To get the best car financing deal, you’ll want to check with different lenders and have a pre-approved financing deal in place before you try to contact a car dealership. A dealer may be able to find financing that beats your offer, but they won’t do so except they are sure that they have to fight for your business.
- You Can Trade Your Car Whenever You Wish
When you sign a lease contract, you are bonded by terms until the end of your lease, but if you own the car, you can keep it for as long as you want. If you don’t feel like driving the car again due to one reason or the other, you can decide to sell it off. However, you need to find a car that is efficient, perfect, reliable and has a good resale value.
- You Have the Chance of Refinancing Your Loan
You have the chance of refinancing your loan at any time during its term. You’ll get the opportunity of saving money by being able to reduce the size of your monthly payment or adjust the number of months you have to pay and you can as well lower your interest rate. Buyers who previously had bad credit when they took out their auto loan can save an appreciable amount of cash by refinancing a year or two down the road from when they first took out their car loan.
According to credit reporting agency Trans Union, consumers lower their interest rate an average of 2.4 percent when they refinance.
What Are the Drawbacks of Buying a Car?
Despite its many benefits, buying a car also has several drawbacks. We’ll be looking at a few of these drawbacks in this section.
- You May Pay Much More Sales Tax
Depending on where you lease or buy, you can be liable for much more sales tax when you decide to buy compared to when you lease. In most places, you only pay tax on the monthly lease payments and the amount due. When you buy, you have to pay tax on the total cost of the vehicle (less your trade in most states).
It’s good to talk to a tax adviser who understands your specific financial circumstances before you make a car lease-versus-buy decision according to tax consequences.
- It is Expensive in the Short Term
Buying is expensive in the short term because you are paying for the entire car. Except in cases where you make a huge down payment, your car payments will generally be significantly higher. You might be requested to make a substantial down payment as well.
You can manage the size of your monthly loan payments by saving enough money for a large down payment so that you can stretch out the length of the loan to avoid further financial pressure. Be careful not to extend the loan out too far as that can be a costly mistake. As a rule of thumb, if you can’t buy a car with a six-year loan plan, then you can’t afford the car.
- Its Warranty Runs Out After Few Years
With most leases, you’ll have access to full warranty coverage during the entire term of the contract. New-car powertrain and bumper-to-bumper warranties vary in length, but it is almost certain that when you buy a car, your warranty will expire before you decide to sell. This means you will be responsible for the maintenance and repairs of the car as it is no longer under warranty.
You can mitigate this risk by making sure you buy cars that have high predicted reliability ratings and those have long warranties. For example, Volkswagens, Kias, and Hyundais come with long warranties. For example, Hyundai and Kia will give you 10 years or 100,000 miles of coverage on their powertrains while Volkswagen provides basic coverage for six-years or 72,000 miles, while.
- You Pay Interest on the Entire Loan Balance
When you finance a car, you have to pay interest over the total amount of money you borrow. With leasing, you’re only required to pay interest on the difference between the vehicle’s residual value and capitalized cost.
Let’s use a $40,000 SUV as a case study. Our car loan calculator shows that if you borrow all the $40,000 for five years at 5 percent, you’ll pay $5,291 in interest. Lease the same SUV for three years, with a residual value of $25,000 plus a money factor equivalent to 5 percent, and you’ll be essentially financing $15,000 for three years. Using the auto loan calculator, you’ll find that you’re only paying $1,184 in interest (though there will likely also be some fees on the lease).
- Buying Requires a Down Payment
If you want to get the best financing terms when you buy a car, you’ll need to make a reasonable upfront payment. Making a sizeable down payment will go a long way in lowering your loan-to-value ratio and thus your car loan is less risky to a lender or financial institution. If you have good credit, it becomes easier to negotiate a lease with nothing due at signing though it may come with higher monthly payments.
- You Don’t Know What the Car Will Be Worth in Future
There’s no way in which you can accurately know what your car’s resale value will be when you decide to sell it. Although you might have a long-term estimate, economic and market forces can have a significant impact on its value when you decide to sell. For example, if you purchase a car that has a bad reputation for reliability, it can lose its resale value much faster than its competitors. On the other hand, if you buy a car that’s known to be reliable and popular, it could be worth more money than what you envisage when you decide to sell.
How Do You Buy a Car?
There are two important components to put into consideration when you start your quest for a new car; Getting the best financing deal and choosing the right vehicle. Our new car rankings can help you with how to choose the right vehicle by showing you which models outshine their competitors based on the consensus views of America’s top automotive journalists, plus safety, predicted reliability, and quantitative data.
The best route to getting affordable financing is to apply for a pre-approved loan before you commence your car and definitely before you visit a car dealer. Credit unions, banks, and other lenders will check out your credit score and some other factors like your monthly rent (view rent reports like this one to know what you should be paying!) and income. Once you have gotten preapproval for a loan, a dealer can then be able to beat their total cost of financing, but it is difficult for them to compete with an offer you don’t have. When two lenders compete over who gets your business, then you stand a higher chance of getting a lower rate than simply taking whatever the dealership’s financing manager offers you.
Inspect The Car
You should also check to see if there are any incentives on the car that you are looking out to buy. You can easily do that by taking a look at our new car deals page, where we track the best offers different automakers have in stock. By taking advantage of a large cash back offer or a low-interest financing deal, you can save thousands of dollars.
When you visit a dealer, make sure you go for a test drive in the specific vehicle that you wish to buy, not just a similar model. Afterward, your next task will be to negotiate the best price you can for the car. The dealer will want to merge the discussion about your trade-in, the cost of the car, and financing into one conversation. Do not allow that, deal with each as a separate discussion in order to avoid confusion and to keep all of the numbers clear.
When you have a deal in place, make sure you read and understand every piece of paper you are asked to sign. Double check to ensure that all the numbers are accurate, complete and that they correspond with what you have agreed to.
If there are incorrect information or blank spaces, insist that they are corrected and before you sign. Avoid signing a document with inaccurate or incomplete information on it, as it can be very tough to correct a contract with your signature on the dotted line.
How Do You Lease a Car?
Leasing a new car is almost the same as buying a car in many ways. This may include haggling over the price of the vehicle, which is something so many lease customers don’t know they can do. Just like with buying a car, you should keep the discussion of your previous lease return, the price of the new car, and any trade-in, separate.
Make sure you visit our lease deals page to see the best incentives that automakers are offering on leases. Lease deals can go a long way in lowering the amount due at signing, and your monthly payment or both. Don’t make an assumption that an advertised lease is a good deal. We’ll let you into how you can figure out the total cost of a lease in a moment.
Lease documents can be complicated. Hence, it is important to go with a tax professional and an attorney so that you can have a good understanding of all that is contained in the terms before you commit yourself by signing. If the dealer puts you under pressure to sign something you can’t figure out, slow down the processor you just walk out if the pressure persists.
Before you leave the dealership in your newly leased car, be sure to have gap insurance in place; many leases actually require it. It’s also a good idea to liaise with your car insurance agent before you go to the dealership. That way, you will be able to compare their offer to the dealer’s offer so that you can pick the best option.
How to Figure Out The Value of Your Car
The best way to compare car deals is to figure out the total cost of the loan or lease. Fortunately, it’s not so difficult to do both.
The total cost of most leases is determined by multiplying the monthly payment by one less than the number of months in the term of the contract and then add the amount due at signing. You will need to subtract one from the number of months because the first payment is already included in the amount due at signing. However, in some cases it can be different, so always check the terms of the lease with your dealer to be sure. You can also use Kelley Blue Book.
Let’s consider an example. You’ve found a lease on a subcompact SUV, with payments of $200 per month for three years with $2,000 due at signing. Multiply the $200 payment by 35 (36 months minus one) and add $2,000. The total cost of the lease would be $9,000, added to other fees such as taxes.
Figuring Out The Costs
To figure out the total cost of buying a car can be a little complicated because it requires you to use a car payment calculator to determine the monthly payment. To find the total cost, you would have to multiply the monthly payment by the number of months in the lease, then add the amount of your down payment.
For this example, we’ll say that you found a compact SUV and negotiated a price of $30,000. You’d pay $5,000 down and finance the remaining $25,000 at an interest rate of 5 percent for five years. Our auto loan calculator shows that each monthly payment will be $472. The total cost of the loan is $472 multiplied by 60, plus the $5,000 down payment, which equals $33,320.
It is important that you do the math yourself on any car dealership that you are considering. If you leave the calculation to a finance office salesperson, then you will be opening up opportunities that will allow manipulation and you will be pushed into a deal that is not economical for you.
Is it Possible to Lease a Used Car?
Definitely, Yes, it is possible to lease a used car. Used car leasing is a segment of the leasing market that is growing but it is still small in terms of the number of people who explore the opportunities it has to offer. You can lease a used car, but lessor will be having the greater share of the risk, so the terms of leasing a used car are drafted to protect them. It’s not all dealers that engage in leasing used cars. Even the dealers who do, only a few of them understands how to write the terms of leasing.
Since you’re paying for only the depreciation that is expected to occur during the time you have the car, and most of the depreciation would have occurred when the car was newer, used car leasing can be a great deal. The price difference may be big enough that you can search for a luxury car, rather than go for the mainstream model you could afford if you bought new.
Majority of the used cars that you’ll find available for lease are manufacturer certified used cars. They would have undergone a comprehensive inspection at the dealership and will usually come with some warranty coverage.
There’s the latest way of getting a new car on the horizon. Vehicle subscription services will enable you to pay a single monthly fee to get a car, auto insurance, all required repairs, and maintenance. Certain programs will also allow you to swap cars with other models as long as they are from the same brand.
For example, a book by Cadillac doesn’t come cheap, but it allows you to swap cars up to 18 times per year and choose nearly any car in the lineup. Instead of renting an SUV for your family ski trip, you can just swap your Escalade for CTS. You pay a $500 enrollment fee and then $1,800 per month for the privilege, though.
Whichever option you choose in getting your next vehicle depends on your personal financial budget, the way you wish to use your car, and how long you plan to drive the vehicle. In as much as there is no one-size-fits-all answer, assessing what you need and want from your car, plus what makes the best financial sense for you will enable you to make the right choice.