Last night I received yet another speed camera ticket. Ever since I bought my new car last October, it’s been one speed camera ticket after another. When I have my “soccer mom” crossover SUV, I never had these issues. But put me in a red muscle car and all concepts of obeying the speed limit are thrown right out the window.

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend in regards to buying a new vehicle and the costs and responsibilities involved with it. I know plenty of people who prefer leasing as opposed to financing, and a few that believe in cash and carry. They prefer not to have a monthly payment at all and only pay for their vehicles in cash, but not everyone can go that route.

With financing and leasing a car, as with renting or buying a home, there are the typical pro vs cons. According to Michael Testa, with Second City Leasing, “With leasing a car comes lower monthly payments, you also have the excitement of driving a new car every couple of years. It takes away the hassle of selling and trading a car in.” Also, with leasing, the warranty plays a huge role. No one wants to be responsible for a huge car repair bill and leasing alleviates those worries. But the downfall of leasing is that you need to conserve your mileage and keep somewhat of a predictable lifestyle. Because leases are based on your yearly mileage, it may not be feasible if you’re a heavy commuter. A few times I was almost enticed by leasing a vehicle, but then realized a commute from Howard County to my previous job in Northern Virginia wasn’t going to work. Testa recommended paying attention to the fine print of a lease because minor things like putting on a lot of mileage or not maintaining the car can cost you extra once your lease is up.

With financing a car, the lease hassles don’t come into play. You can drive as much as you want, you’re free to add any type of customizations. Testa stated that, “Purchasing a car versus the lease works well for people who have long-term plans for a car. Although you risk the possibility of having higher payments, that doesn’t stop you from paying off your loan early. A major issue with financing a car is the warranty. When it runs out, you’re stuck with paying for repairs out-of-pocket. Although there are plenty of extended warranties, so may prove not worth it, so it’s buyer beware.”

Whether leasing or financing a vehicle, don’t forget to add in the costs of insurance and registration. Depending on the state you live in, insurance and registration fees vary. I’m not even going to mention gas prices. The necessary evil which makes me hate to even move my car from the parking space at times.

Have you leased or financed a car? Which do you prefer?

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