Here’s a common questions I’m asked…is it better to lease or buy a car, and which one is a financially better move? I’ve done both, and these are my thoughts as to which one is better - enjoy! Add me on Snapchat/Instagram: GPStephan
The short answer is that it really depends on your situation and how long you plan to keep the car, but I’ll describe the pros and cons of each and what might work best with you.
Lets start with owning and buying a car. First of all, you can buy pretty much whatever car you want, unlike leasing where it’s almost always a new or newer car. Generally, unless you just buy your car outright in cash, you’ll end up financing the car. This is when you take the cost of the car, minus your down payment, and get a loan which you’ll pay off over a specific period of time - the most common being 48-72 months. And then you’ll also pay whatever state sales tax is on top of your purchase. Factor all that in…and then once you pay off your loan, congratulations - you own the car free and clear. And then when you go to sell it, you’ll get whatever price the car is worth - minus whatever you might still owe on the car.
However, a few drawbacks of this - unless under warranty, you’ll generally be responsible for maintenance and wear and tear items during your ownership, especially on an older car, and this can add to the cost…you’ll also need to pay sales tax on the purchase price upfront…and totally separate from that, your monthly payments tend to be higher with owning than with leasing.
Leasing generally works best if you’re the type of person who always wants to have a newer car every few years. If you plan to get one car and drive it forever to the ground… don’t lease your car. But depending on how long you plan to keep the car, leasing could actually save you money. With leasing, you’ll generally be leasing a brand new or newer car. You’ll usually have a down payment and then generally you’ll have a 24-36 month term where you have a fixed monthly payment, along with a set number of miles you can drive each year. You’ll need to return the car with your set amount of miles or less or risk paying fees and penalties.
Now when you lease a car, you’re not paying the full amount of sales tax upfront - which can save you a TON of money. The lease price is determined but the depreciation the car is going to see during ownership, plus some finance charges. You’re basically just paying a monthly amount of the depreciation, rather than the entire cost of the car. Therefore, with leases, you’ll generally pay LESS per month to drive the car because your financing only the deprecation…not the entire thing like when owning a car. With a lot of leases, too, maintenance is often covered…so you can pretty much just pay a set monthly price and not have to worry about normal wear and tear/maintenance costs that come up. And when the lease is done, you don’t have the hassle of needing to sell it…you just turn it back and you’re done.
So here’s my thoughts. Both leasing and owning have their own advantages and disadvantages, and what makes one better than the other is dependent on your situation. If you plan to keep your car more than 5 years or so…it’s almost always better to buy the car. Whether you buy a brand new car or an old used one, the longer you plan to keep the car, the more it starts making sense to buy it.
But if you’re like me and you want the privilege of owning a new car every few years… it’s cheaper just to lease it - it means I pay less per month since I’m only paying for the depreciation, I don’t need to pay sales tax on the entire cost of the car - only on my monthly payment, and I can simply swap it out when the lease is done to get a new one.
Ideally, for most people out there who just need a car to get from A to B…the BEST option is to buy a car that’s 3-5 years old and has already hit most of its depreciation. After about 5 years, most cars depreciate at a much, much slower pace - so buying a car like this and keeping it forever would be the most financially “sane” thing to do. Then just finance it at a low interest rate, re-invest whatever money you would’ve spent on the car, and hold it. Then when the car falls apart and you can’t drive it anymore, do it again.
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I had a coworker who used to be a mechanic...he used to lease vehicles and rig the odometer cable so it didn't count his miles. He would put on 15,000 miles a month and make it look like it was 1,500 a month 😂😂
+Graham Stephan bro, get in the game! There is an LA Uber driver that leaves out like 26 vehicles to Uber and Lyft drivers for like $600/mo each!
I was thinking about it. Might do it later down the road
I have a friend that’s well off and drives a 2006 Honda Accord mid size sedan. I was always thinking why does this dude have this car when he’s worth millions, one day he showed me his garage and inside the side garage was a smaller personal garage (his crib is pretty big) anyways the personal garage had a brand new 2017 lambo all decked out with black rims and tinted windows. I was like waow. Lol 😂 so moral of the story have a beater car (lease or purchase) for work then go out and get a nice decent weekend car for fun. What are the sales tax in Cali just curious.
One big thing most people forget is Lease is actually great if you have habit of getting into accidents. Accidents greatly depreciates your car value which you don't have to worry about with leases as you simply return the car with the bad accident history.
PEOPLE: Until you have enough money that your money makes enough money on its own for you to live the life you want to live off of. Always buy a car at least 4-5 years old, in cash, and if you absolutely have to finance do not accept a finance rate above what you can't pay yourself.
ie.. if you can't pay yourself $200/month, you can't buy a $200/month finance.
Never, ever.... lease.
Every Automobile Lease manager I know in the business PURCHASES their own cars.
In the book the millionaire next door they said something like less than 5% of prodigious accumulators of wealth actually lease a car for pleasure driving.
5:55 , bro, when the dealership gives you a lower residual value than the car is worth, yes you will be able to buy it for cheaper, but your lease payment would be higher. To have a low monthly lease, you want to have your car's residual value higher! That means the cost of depreciation is minimal and you would be paying less
couple points. 1. dealers don't set the residual, the leasing companies do. 2. You're correct that as the residual is higher the payment is lower but the reality is you want a realistic residual not an inflated one. leasing a car with an inflated residual will all be remove your options at the end and you'll be stuck dropping it off. Ideally you want to have the options of buying, selling or trading the car not just getting stuck with dumping it off.
If u intend to keep the car for a long time/ don’t enjoy swapping cars every 2-3 yrs then yes ‘purchasing’ makes sense. However if you’re the opposite then I’d recommend leasing. And even IF u own the car, let’s assume something came up and u needed to free up some money- you would have lost a lot of money/ depreciation had u purchased
An example is a friend of mine who paid 32k cash for a Golf R. After 10 months of ownership he had to free up money for a property, so he sold the car for 26k. That’s 6k he lost in under a yr. now in contrast, current Golf R leasing deals are £319 pcm. So that’s around £3,820 per yr (had he leased it) vs (6k) purchase
Great points. One more thing I would add for leasing...it show's up on your credit report as a loan for the entire value of the car. This affects your borrowing capacity if you go on to look for a mortgage or line of credit.
+Graham Stephan You are correct it show's the balance of your lease portion as well as the total amount leased rather than entire value of vehicle. It is still worth noting. Also monthly lease payments negatively affects your ability to secure a mortgage as banks will look at your monthly expenses and your cash flow. Pretty important to know for those considering purchasing real estate.
I'll always buy at least one car because I LOVE tinkering on it. I kept my first car, a 2002 saturn, running for 9 years. It's not a great car, but I had so many memories that it hurt when I had to part with it last year when the engine spun a bearing due to an oil leak that got too large because I didn't find it in time.
One day, if I'm blessed enough to get there, I want to own a 1969 Nissan Skyline KPGC10. Skylines have always been my favorite, I'd love to drive the R32, but if I had to pick only one to own it would be the 1969 KPGC10.
Long comment, but bear with me here,
Some people are saying leasing is bad because it is basically paying for the first couple years of depreciation of a car and not owning it in the end, it is cheaper to just buy a used car.
Non-car people should really stop being a cheap and recognize the intrinsic value of changing a new car every two or three years.
First off, it reinforces a good image, say if you do business with some wealthy client, they will probably immediately look down on you and doubt your success and capabilities if you show up with a 10 year old Toyota.
Secondly, new cars are better equipped with new safety tech and are generally more reliable, and with full factory warranty, you are not likely to have to pay any maintenance costs.
Thirdly, for people like me, who would likes cool new cars, driving a new car simply makes me happier.
By keeping an old car, one spontaneously foregoes the above.
Moreover, leasing a car is likely to be cheaper for many people than financing the car, or even straight up buying it.
Primarily, monthly cost for leasing is almost always less than the monthly financing payment, and leasing only asks you to pay for the depreciation amount, not the full car's sticker price.
Second off, you get a tax write off as the monthly payment can be claimed as expense easily, if you are in the top tax bracket like me, this effectively cuts off almost 1/3 of that monthly payment. And you pay less vehicle tax, much less.
Lastly, this one is mostly against straight up buying a car, money has time value, the more you can delay the payment, the less the payment is relative to you. The risk free rate (the rate at which your investment will grow without nearly any risk at all) now in the us is about 3%, my personal portfolio did about 11% last year.
In my case, I’ll make a simple model, let’s say that I used $100 to buy a car in cash 3 years ago, I wouldn’t have any of that $100 right now, but if I leased that car, and I pay $2 a month and have a $10 down payment and put all available money in investment at all time (total payment 2*36+10=82, 82% of the full car's price, way more than in real life, ~65% ish irl), I would actually still have slightly more than $40 at hand after the lease is over if I maintain my annual 11% (0.9% monthly) and balance is calculated monthly, (do remember that interest in real life is calculated daily, and in that I would have even more interest money, but this is a simple model), the car will likely depreciate about 60%~70% in three years. If I bought the car, I will have to sell the car to get that money back, it’s a whole lot of hassle and I’ll probably have to sell it at a lower price to sell it quick, remember money has time value so I need that cash quick. That makes buying the car a loss for me.
Some might say, “well I don’t sell the car I don’t see the problem here”, but the car you have worths less than the cash I have, and my cash will only grow in value as I invest, your car on the other hand will depreciate, albeit slowly after 3 years, but depreciates nonetheless. Plus by driving an old car, you lost the intrinsic value of a new car as I mentioned in the beginning.
My “dream car” is about 40,000. I’m not close to being able to buy it now, but when I can, I’ll jus buy it with cash. That way I can play with it, and add stuff to it. (Sorry, I’m not that well endowed in cars) BUT I think that made sense XD
You are responsible for the maintenance on your lease.... I just paid a $500 oil change to Mercedes. I will not lease again. This video is okay... but I cannot agree with you on leasing. Millennials love it though - you just rent a car the rest of your life because you always need something new and can't commit to one vehicle. Buying a 3 year old vehicle is the smartest way to go and then you take your rent money (lease) and invest it instead of throwing it away every month. Dave Ramsey and most smart investors do not lease....
Insurance is based on car value. But if you keep leasing cars it means you end up with newer costs which cost more. And if they cost more the insurance is higher. So if you want cheap insurance go buy a used car that's worth less.
Thanks for the video, I went to the dealer today to lease a car 36 months/10k miles per day for an invoice price of $28,506 with 60% RV + MF 0.0001. Trade in my car for $10,500 in finance status (Pay off $9,200 left) leaves me with $1,300 to use as a down payment. Taxes and fees came up to $22050. Monthly payment $298.61. Im not sure if this is a good deal or the dealer is trying to rip me off and I hate that. Please advice, much appreciated.
I leased my 328i for 4 years and then at the end of the lease I bought it out (yes I took the payments as expenses as part of my business) and I lost about 15k$ compared to if I had just bought the car in cash in lump sum in the beginning. But looking back, it would not really have been realistic option for me to let go of my capital reserve and to risk paying hefty amount of money on maintenance of the car (which I needed a lot throughout the years).
+Graham Stephan actually there's not as much difference in leasing vs buying if done right. The only time it starts to lean more in favor of a buy is if the buyer keeps the car 8-10yrs or longer. Then however it's not so much that it's better as it is a trade off of saving money and living with all that comes with owning an 8-10yr old car vs the benefits of having 4 brand new cars in that same time frame for which the added "costs" are often well worth that perk. That will of course depend on what the buyer/lessee sees as the value.
The key to leasing is to go in with a dollar amount budget for a buy and lease for less.
If you don't like California taxes then move. Don't hate on people who live in states with better taxes because you choose to live in a high tax state. That's like says I hate you for being in great shape while you stuff your face with cake.
Good video but you failed to mention the insurance issue you hit many of the points you need to hit minus insurance which should be calculated into the overall payment for budget. I am under the impression that insurance is higher for lease vs buy. So the cash flow could be offset by that expense.
I got denied for a lease, but was approved for a loan. I’m 20, at the time I had a FICO of 701. Now I’m $7K in negative equity. 🤦♂️ Luckily I have $10K in the bank to get rid of it. 😏👍 My next purchase will definitely be a lease, or I’m buying cash.
Congrats on 133k! I've been following you since 13k, It's really cool how much your channel has grown. I got my first Lease listing live on the MLS as of yesterday and I had a Listing appointment today. I believe I will get it, They are ready to move to Florida to be with their Grandson. I got the referral from working part time at a kickboxing gym and giving it my all. I just want to thank you for giving me motivation and not give up from your videos. I aspire to reach what you have accomplished and eventually be able to become a Landlord like yourself. Thank you for the videos Stephan I really appreciate them. Keep on killing it! Cheers!
In California you need to pay tax just because you've sold something?
WTF is that? Penalty for sales?
And I'm guessing that the salesman also has to pay income tax (with is penalty for working)...
That is RETARDED! :-P
AND I'm guessing in CA you will get money from goverment "to help you" if you're unemployed (with is prize for being lazy and not working)...
Socjalist Republic of California that is :-P
All your points taken Graham however, considering the cost of continued leases vs having a car paid off in full and owning it out right, you can take that additional lease amount and invested into real estate. Which in the long run will earn you a far bigger return than any savings you'll get by leasing. In addition, the firm leasing you the car will also have to make a profit in addition to the depreciation!!!
No free lunch Graham.
Buy a car, keep it for a long time and have your money work for you than the other way around.
Graham Stephan will try eBay craiglist im a little scared of the craiglist killer 😆 or get robbed 😆 idk how I'm gonna meet the person b like 5 cars length away from me at all times I'll stay in my car so if they try to rob my 5k beanie baby 😆 "5k" other eBay seller I'll sell for half or even 1k asap
13,500,000 GRAM Plan to sell.
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