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Getting A Car(REALLY, This Time)-leasing Pitfalls?

Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:38 am

So, I have posted once or twice before here on about my carlessness and about entering into car ownership/lesseeship. I have posted always with complete disorientation on the subject - and the present post is no exception.

Wuzgunna save up $3-4,000 for a nice used Japanese (read: reliable) flivver, like an old Celica or sump'm. Then I saw an ad (uh-oh...) in the St. Paul Sunday Pioneer Press for rather attractive leasing options for a shiny new (or newish) Corolla, $199 month (ZERO down!! I've been bracing (and am still prepared, if necessary) to plop $1,500 down)

I like the idea of getting myself something no-frills (gimme manual transmission and air conditioning and I'm set) yet new and shiny and at the same time affordable: $200/month is more breathing room than dropping $4K right now (and the newer buggy is liable to get much better mpg). Yes, I will be 40 very very soon but I can survive that birthday without the Audi TT roadster (I'll get that at 41  ). What I kinda can't survive is the 5-mile walk to the grocery store and back (my heels are starting to hurt, see).

Now... I have this problem wherein my brain gets too easily locked in on a notion. For the past two weeks, I've been sashaying around saying, "Well, I'll have car REAL soon; for you see, Maplewood Toyota has this $200/month 42-month leasing deal on a new Corolla; so after next payday I'll just swing over to Maplewood and..."

See, I now believe there's a hole in my plan - aren't you supposed to shop around for a bit when you're getting yourself... y'know... a CAR?!!?

And yet, I'm confused about how much shopping around there is to do: I want wheels; that's all. Steady, reliable, Japanese-built, fuel-efficient, air-conditioned, manual-transmission-equipped wheelage. And it can't be a Honda - as great as I know Hondae are - because both of my parents are Honda folks, and I am my own man. I've always liked Toyotas (especially the ones that accelerate for no reason), and the current low-end Mazdas are not pleasing to my eye.

Well - where am I at, here? What's my next move? What are the pitfalls of leasing, what sort of stuff should I be wary of when I am in yon dealership looking over the fine printage?

I'd like to have me some wheels before June is out.

(Someone is keeping their pickup truck in my assigned parking space at my apartment building, only I feel kinda petty complaining about it when it isn't like mega-impacting me... I think perhaps having justification to complain about this parking squatter is the real reason I want to get a car.
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RE: Getting A Car(REALLY, This Time)-leasing Pitfalls?

Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:40 am

Leasing a car in my opinion is a very big waste of money if you are interested in driving a car for a long time. You see, it's basically a long-term rental and you pay money for something you don't own and at the end of the lease you have to give it back (or buy it out). You'd be better off financing a 2-3 year old car which will be yours 100%. That way someone has taken the hit on depreciation and you can get a better car (more options) for the same or slightly more than your lease.
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RE: Getting A Car(REALLY, This Time)-leasing Pitfalls?

Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:47 pm

If you only want to keep the car for 5 years or less a lease is an option.
However you will only be paying off about half the value of the car after 5 years and if you want to keep it you will be loosing money much of the time vs buying the exact same car off a used lot.

Financing is a better option if you want an investment or a car for a long term. It will cost more month to month but you will own the car at the end.

You mentioned a downpayment and regardless of lease or finance a downpayment while not needed would be highly recommended and can affect what the dealership's offer will be considerably.
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RE: Getting A Car(REALLY, This Time)-leasing Pitfalls?

Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:38 am

You can make a very solid argument for leasing a cheap new car vs buying a crappy used car. If you buy a $4k used car what do really have in 3 years? A worthless car that hopefully keeps running. But what happens when it doesn't? What if it needs a major repair when you own it? I'd rather pay $200 x 36 to drive a newer car than $4k + 2k in maintenance and repairs to drive a POS for the same period of time.
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RE: Getting A Car(REALLY, This Time)-leasing Pitfalls?

Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:41 pm

I looked at leasing last year and in the end went with financing a used car. A year later, I have put over 17,000 miles on it, so I'm glad I didn't lease  
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RE: Getting A Car(REALLY, This Time)-leasing Pitfalls?

Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:29 pm

Mileage limitations can kill you financially at the end if you go over your allotted amount. The only people who should lease are those who want a new car every two to three years and drive less then 12,000 miles a year. If you want to keep it longer buy it. Also don't let that notion that the only reliable car is a japanease car. In the last six years many manufacturers have met or exceeded the reliability of toyota.

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