While it may seem like maintenance is a bigger issue for drivers who intend to keep their car for years, the truth is car maintenance is necessary for any car owner whether you buy or lease.
"Since most leases last for three years, your car will always be under warranty, so you won't face major repair bills," says Michalek. "On the other hand, if you own your car, you can scratch it, dent it and rip up the interior without worrying about it. If you lease a car, you must return it in excellent condition. Otherwise, you'll have to pay a penalty."
Michalek says a car lease may not be a great choice for a family with young children or pets because of the increased likelihood of damage to the car.
Whether you lease or own, you need to keep good records of your routine car maintenance to make sure your warranties stay valid.
"Leasing is best for fastidious people because you'll pay a penalty for every stain and ding when you return it," Yochim says.