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Wednesday

Which is better - leasing or buying your next car?

Experts in Kentucky and everywhere generally agree that leasing a vehicle is almost never the right decision for a consumer, but very often it can be the right decision for a business. Still, car dealers are leasing so many used cars nowadays that it even includes used cars being leased too.

So what makes it attractive for Bluegrass residents? And what should you look out for? Here's some advice.

First read 11 Easy Steps to Your Best Leasing Deal a free online guide that can save you thousands of dollars. That alone can give you tips on what to look for - and what to watch out for too.

Before you sign a new car lease, or a used car lease, here are some things to think through.

How long will you keep the vehicle? The longer you plan on keeping your car, the more likely it is that buying will be a better deal for you.

Car dealers and leasing companies and leasing banks don't treat everyone the same. They each have their own lease contract forms and that means different terms, so read it all very carefully. Your dealer most likely can pick from half a dozen lease companies if they want to - and each company gives the dealer a "bonus" for signing you up with them instead of someone else. So make sure you pick the best deal for you and not the most profitable deal for the car dealer. As an example of things to look out for, check to see if they are charging you a "disposition fee" at the end of the lease. That's a charge of anywhere from a hundred dollars to a thousand dollars just to take back the car. And that charge is on top of any excess mileage or damage charges that may also exist.

How much is your monthly payment? The advantage of a lease is most often the size of the monthly payment. It will be less for a lease than for a regular finance contract when you buy the same vehicle. That's because at the end of the lease, you own nothing. At the end of a finance contract, you own the car and you have something that is worth something.

Most important of all, don't get cheated. Be careful about the numbers. Car dealers have a  thousand ways to cheat you and getting you to sign a lease that drains your wallet or purse is just one of them. So-called "negative equity" (a term car dealers invented), is another example. Using the more expensive "money factor" is another. And there's lots more.

There's a ton of other things to think about when you are trying to decide between leasing or buying your next car. More about that is explained on a free online guide Buying vs Leasing - the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (click here).

The more you learn, the better you will be at making the best financial decision for yourself and your family, so you don't waste your money. Leasing can be tricky and car dealers can trick you right out of your money.

Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers protect themselves, everyday.