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.
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."