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Buying vs. Leasing

Jumping into the process of shopping for a new vehicle is a daunting task, and buyers often aren't sure what options are available to them, or what goes into those options. A good decision to make early on in the car-buying process is whether to actually buy or simply to lease. Some may not even be sure what goes into leasing and are turned off by their lack of knowledge alone. Whether or not you should buy or lease is entirely dependent on your individual needs and lifestyle.

Buying and leasing a car are both viable options for drivers who have different financial situations. Drivers who can’t afford a large down payment, for example, might be better off leasing while those who enjoy owning a vehicle might choose to buy one instead. There are benefits and drawbacks to both options, which means one choice may be better than the other for some drivers.

BUYING

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Buying a vehicle is exactly what it seems like. Drivers buy the vehicle outright, paying the full sticker price. Most times there is a loan involved, in which the buyer pays a fraction of the sticker price up front and takes out a loan to cover the rest of the vehicle's cost. The buyer then pays back that loan on a month-to-month basis. Once that loan is paid off, however, the car is yours to keep forever – or until it falls apart.
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There are no limits on how much you can drive, what modifications you can make, and there aren’t any extra fees for damages. You’re also free to resell the vehicle whenever you want.

On the downside, buying a vehicle means that all repairs come out of your pocket once the warranty is up. Buying a vehicle usually requires a larger down payment as well and the monthly payments tend to be higher.

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*Estimated price does not include Tax, Title, & License

LEASING


Leasing a vehicle has some differences and similarities when compared to buying a car. Many aspects of the process mirror that of buying, such as making a down payment up front and then paying the remainder of the cost through monthly payments. However, leasing usually doesn’t require a hefty down payment and the monthly payments are cheaper as well.

When leasing, you aren't paying off the full cost of the vehicle, but only the difference between the car's original cost and the cost it is predicted to be at the end of the lease term. For example, if you have a three-year contract, then the dealer will predict how much the leased car costs at the end of that three year term and only charge you the difference between the two prices.
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If you are the type to want the latest features available on the market, or if you simply like to sample a variety of vehicles, leasing may be up your alley. If you change cars often, leasing will be cheaper in the long run, and you won't have to worry about things like​ resale value. However, if you're looking for your forever-car and you are good about staying on top of regular preventative maintenance, buying may be more your style.



Drawbacks to leasing include a limit on how much you can drive, what modifications you can make, and extra fees for breaking the contract. You also can’t sell the vehicle, since the dealership still owns it.
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