Someone in a car group I’m in posted asking about the benefits of leasing. The thread is now hundreds of comments long, and naturally there’s a lunatic ranting at everyone about how leasing is the better fiscal decision. He responded to a comment of mine, and I clapped back with a sack of math. Haven’t gotten a response yet but here’s what I hit him with:
I bought my car for $2,500. Since then, I’ve spent about $800/yr on it between insurance and maintenance. I’ve had this car for six years so I’m in it for $7,300.
Let’s say someone has a modest lease, maybe an a$300/mo with insurance and maintenance included. Over six years they’ve spent $21,600 for the privilege of driving.
I’m so far ahead of the leaser that my car could break tomorrow, and I could go finance and eventually pay off a relatively new CPO car and still have spent less money than someone who has been leasing for the same six year period.
My take on leasing is, the only people who do it either have enough money that they can burn it like that and have a new car every few years, or people who are so broke that they can’t buy a car. Leasing can get you into a car with little to no down payment. Someone who could otherwise never scrape together a few grand at once to buy/finance might still be able to swing a couple hundred a month for a lease. So, they get trapped in a vicious cycle and long term they’ve spent wayyyy more money than they should have.
EDIT: Okay some of y’all are saying comparing my $2.5k beater to a new car is unfair, and I get that, so here’s some more math:
Let’s say I finance a new Accord. I pay 6k down, then $300/mo for 60 months. This puts me at slightly more than the Accord’s starting price. Google says the average interest on that loan is 4.21%, so I’ve spent about $24.5k on this car in five years.
The CHEAPEST lease on an Accord is $1,500 at signing and $250/mo for 36 months. The leaser has to get a new lease, so in the time it took me to pay off my Accord they’ve spent about $18k on leases.
So over a five year period the leaser comes out ahead, BUT I now own my car and within two years after paying it off, the other person who is now on their third lease has spent more money.