Buying vs. Leasing

Buying a car is certainly an exciting experience, but it can be daunting at times. At Tipton Ford Brownsville, our highly trained staff are dedicated to making the process as hassle-free as possible, but it can help to prepare yourself ahead of time. When it comes to financing, deciding on a lease or loan is almost as important as selecting a vehicle that best fits your needs, tastes, and styles. Here are some key differences between the two options.

  • Vehicle Ownership: With a loan, you own the vehicle. It is yours to keep as long as you like, and you can do with it as you please. If you lease a vehicle, however, you are essentially renting and you do not own the vehicle. Instead, you are paying for its use over a period of time.
  • Monthly Payments: Monthly loan payments are generally higher because you are making payments towards the total purchase price. If you opt for a lease, your monthly payments will almost always be lower. This is because you are not paying into equity and instead are simply paying for the vehicle's depreciation over the course of the contract.
  • Vehicle Return: With a loan, you own the vehicle and it is on you to determine what to do with it when you no longer want it. At the end of a lease contract, if you no longer want the vehicle you just need to pay any end-of-lease costs and you can walk away free and clear.
  • Depreciation: When leasing, you are not paying into equity, so you don't need to worry about depreciation. With a loan, you are more affected by depreciation, but its cash value is yours.
  • Mileage Limits: When you lease a vehicle, you will incur a penalty if you go over a predetermined mileage limit. There are no mileage limits with a loan.

Leasing Tips

  • Don't end a lease early: When leasing, it is important to consider that you are signing a contract and the terms of the contract must be fulfilled. If you terminate a lease early, the remainder of the lease value becomes due and you may even incur a penalty.
  • Don't lease for too long: Car leases range from two to four years, with some going longer. However, considering the previous point, leasing for too long could be against your best interest. A good rule of thumb is to not lease past the warranty.
  • Don't underestimate your expected mileage: As stated above, lease contracts have mileage limits. Often, you will have a choice between 10,000 and 15,000 miles per year. Higher mileage limits carry increased costs, but exceeding your contract mileage could have you paying a lot more.
  • Take care of the vehicle:: Damage beyond "normal wear and tear" could cost you at lease end. While you can usually purchase extra damage insurance, properly maintaining the vehicle is best practice.

Buying Tips

  • Budget wisely: Before you buy a car, you should set a budget and stick to it. While you may have your heart set on a specific model or trim level, purchasing a vehicle out of your price range could lead to big problems down the road. A common suggestion is to not spend more than 25 percent of your monthly income on all vehicle-related costs.
  • Narrow the scope of your search: Car shopping can be time-consuming and stressful, especially if you have too many vehicles to consider. Before you head out to the dealerships, try making a list of 3 to 5 models ahead. This way, you'll have more time to carefully consider your options.
  • Pick a style: Building on that last point, understanding the type of vehicle you need can be extremely helpful. Take some time to consider your day to day needs, then decide if you would be better served by a car, SUV, truck, minivan, etc.
  • Take the test drive seriously: A vehicle is a big investment, and one that will be with you for at least a few years. It is important to select one that you love. Take your time with the test drive, fiddle with all the controls, sit in all the seats, etc.

We hope you found these tips helpful. If you have any questions about the car buying process, or any of the vehicles in our inventory of new Ford models, feel free to contact us at your convenience, or come visit us in person. Whether you are looking to lease or buy, our friendly and experienced team members are here to help every step of the way. We are conveniently located to serve Brownsville, Harlingen, San Benito, Los Fresnos, and South Padre Island, and we are looking forward to serving you.