The current craze for vehicle lease deals has been heralded as something that brings greater freedom of choice to motorists and makes it possible for them to drive the sort of car that they could not dream of owning.On the face of it, the argument is compelling. Range Rover Sport lease opportunities are out there in the sub £600 per month bracket. Sure, it is still a lot of money, but that is for the SD4 3.0 litre V6, which is more than £65,000 worth of motor car.
Put that way, leasing sounds like a compelling choice, but it is the right decision for you? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.
A typically lease deal can be almost half what you would be paying on the equivalent car loan, so it certainly opens up far more options when it comes to selecting what is in your price range.
You also have the “no hassle” factor. The car will be protected by a warranty for the entire period you have it, so if something does go pop, all you have to do is phone them up and tell them to either fix it or give you another one.
When the lease deal ends, you have the excitement of a brand new car to replace it, without having the aggravation of selling or trading in your old one.
In the long term, the lease will cost you more, as you are not getting any tangible asset back for your money. You are also a little more restricted with a lease car. There will be small print telling you how many miles you are allowed to do and what terrible things will happen to you if you forget to take it in for a service when it is due.
It is always nice to spend money and in so doing own something of value. This sounds obvious but is the benefit of ownership over leasing, just the same as when you buy a house instead of renting.
Also, if the car is yours, you can do with it as you wish. Neglect to service it, drive it to the moon and back, paint it in purple and green stripes if you want to. And you can keep it as long or as short as you like – you are not tied in to that three year deal, so if you decide to sell it after a year, that’s up to you, and similarly, if you want to keep it forever and run it into the ground, that’s fine, too.
For some people, their car is their baby. For others, it just feels that way, when it makes demands on their time and finances with unexpected costs and other problems.
You also have to go through the rigmarole of the selling process when the time comes to say goodbye to it, and whether you do so privately or approach a dealer for a trade-in, you will have some hard bargaining to do to avoid being ripped off.