“Son, don’t ever lease a car. It’s never a smart decision. You’ll lose money, and you’ll never be able to break the cycle once you start. You’ll have a car payment forever.”
That was my dad’s advice to me ever since he started giving me car advice. That and, “Never buy a Chrysler. Unless you want the engine to blow up.”
Fast-forward a couple decades, and I find out my parents got a new car, a 2012 Subaru Legacy. Then the kicker: “We got a really low lease payment on it,” my dad said.
I just about blew some perfectly good rum and Coke right out my nose.
As it turns out, my brother had found a great lease deal on the same car just a week before. My parents loved the car, loved the payment, and called the same salesman. Within a couple days, they had signed the same deal on the exact same car.
I pressed my dad on what changed in his thinking to finally be open to a lease. His response was interesting. He said, “I loved the car, the price was right, and I’ve been paying monthly payments on used cars all my life. Why not finally get into something new instead?”
Good enough for me. As long as I can remember, my dad bought used cars from private parties. He liked being able to get them cheap compared with dealer prices, customize them, drive without mileage constraints and sell whenever he got the urge to find another used car. It worked for many years, but I guess the lure of that new-car smell and the comfort of being under a manufacturer’s warranty finally won him over.
The conversation ended, as you might assume, when I asked how long before he gets a Chrysler.
“Oh, I’ll never buy another Chrysler,” he said.
Maybe not, Dad, maybe not. But I’ll bet you might lease one.
Which do you prefer: buy new, buy used, or lease?