Love that new-car smell?
If you prefer to drive a new car every few years, a lease may make sense as long as you are not in danger of going above the mileage limitations, D'Arruda says.
Yochim says the best option for a consumer's long-term finances is to buy a used car that's in good shape and drive it until it no longer moves. "By buying it used, you avoid that instant depreciation of a new car. That said, it's harder right now to find a decent used car at a fair price because a lot of people have been choosing to drive their cars longer in recent years," she said.
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With leasing, Michalek says most of the advantages of leasing are personal.
"If you want to drive a new car as often as possible and don't want to think about having a car that's not under warranty, then leasing is definitely convenient," he says. "Financially though, 9 out of 10 times you're better off purchasing a car and keeping it for five years or longer."