It can be tough to decide whether to buy or lease a new car. But once you know the basics, the decision isn’t quite as scary as it sounds.

If you don’t know what leasing is, think of it as a long-term car rental. You’ll sign a contract for a new car, you’ll make monthly payments on that car as usual, and you’ll bring the car back to the dealership once the contract is up. The great thing about leasing is that you can actually opt to buy the car after the lease is over, and you’ll just have to make payments on the remainder of the vehicle that you didn’t cover with your lease payments.

Customers love leasing vehicles because it’s a fast and affordable way to get behind the wheel of a new car. Leasing is great for me too, because a vehicle returned after a lease turns into an excellent used car on the lot. Because of this, I’ll be able to offer you especially stellar payment plans to sweeten the pot of your prospective contract. It’s a win-win for both of us!

As great as leasing is, there are a few things you should know before signing on any dotted lines. First of all, because dealerships want leased cars to return in tip-top shape, you’ll only be permitted to drive a certain amount of total miles. This is usually around 10,000 to 12,000 miles per year, but it varies depending on the vehicle. If you need a car for long commutes or plan a lot of road trips, you may prefer to make payments to buy a new car instead.

Second, it should go without saying that you don’t fully own a car while you’re leasing it. If for some reason you want to get rid of the car before the lease agreement is up, you’ll have to pay a cancellation fee. You’ll have a little bit more freedom if you’re buying your car, since you can sell the car to recoup your remaining payments or transfer the loan entirely. This might be a niche example to some of you, but one well worth considering before leasing.

On one hand, even if you lease two different cars for three years each, you’ll still pay a lot less than you would on a new car with a six year payment plan. On the other hand, you could try to sell that car after the six years of payments and make back some of your cash. There’s no right or wrong answer, it just depends on who you are and what your needs are.

Leases are great for casual drivers who want to drive a car in its prime, which means minimal visits to the shop for repairs and all the latest features in safety and fuel efficiency. But for those who want total control of their vehicle (or have the money in savings to outright buy the vehicle), buying might be the more attractive option.

Whatever option you’re leaning towards, I want to help walk you through it. Give me a call and I’ll give you a personalized recommendation based on your income and your driving habits. No matter what contract you sign, I guarantee you’ll be happy with the results.