Leasing typically costs you more than an equivalent loan, in part because of higher finance charges.
Once you’re in the leasing habit, monthly payments go on forever. In contrast, the longer you keep a vehicle after a loan is paid off, the more value you get out of it.
You have a limited number of miles in your lease contract, typically 12,000 to 15,000 miles a year. If you drive more than that, you’ll have to pay an excess mileage penalty of 10 cents to as much as 25 cents for every additional mile. On the other hand, if you drive too little, you don’t get credit for the unused miles.
You must maintain the vehicle in good condition, or you’ll have to pay excess wear-and-tear charges when you turn it in. So, if your kids are apt to turn the interior into a finger-painting studio or your car’s a magnet for parking lot dents and dings, be prepared to pay extra.