To Buy a Car, or Not to Buy: Which Should You Choose for Your Family?

To Buy a Car, or Not to Buy: Which Should You Choose for Your Family?

You’ve been plugging along just fine in your decade-old vehicle until you see Miss Jones pull up to the school in her shiny new SUV. Hmm, is it time for a new car? What would you choose? Would you buy or lease?

We’ve all been in that position before. And it’s a huge decision, especially if your current vehicle is in good working order. Let’s explore the pros and cons together.

Is it time for a new vehicle?

There are many variables to consider when you’re thinking about getting a new car. It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin. Try focusing on one thing at a time until you feel like you’re ready to make the right decision.

a. Financial burden – If you don’t have a car payment now and would have one with a new car, this is a huge consideration. Are you ready to take on another few hundred dollars each month? If you have a car payment already, the financial decision is a bit easier. Decide what’s most important to you: Monthly payments or duration of the loan. Even with a new car, there’s a chance you can lower your monthly payment, but the duration of your loan would be longer. If you’re lucky, you might find a dealership that offers incentives, but those are sometimes rare.

b. Safety issues – If your car is a decade old or older, you may want to upgrade to take advantage of newer standard in safety features like side-curtain airbags, electronic stability control and rear-view cameras.

c. New car smell – Sometimes, we just want something new. The strength of your desire to get a new car does factor into the decision. If you want it badly enough, you may be willing to pay a bit extra per month.

Should you lease or buy a vehicle?

Once you’ve decided to get a new car, you have the decision of whether to buy or lease. For some, the decision is clear. For others, this is more of a grey area. Here are a few things to consider when making this decision:

a. Mileage – Although there are some high-mileage leases, most people who put a lot of miles on their cars end up financing over leasing. This is because most lease agreements set a limit on the number of miles you can drive each year without penalty. If you have a long commute or like to take a lot of road trips, financing is probably the more economical option.

b. Pride of ownership – If you’re ultimately looking to own your vehicle, financing is almost always the way to go. When you finance, you’re making payments towards a loan to the bank. Once that loan is paid off (typically within three to five years) you will be awarded the title and will own your car outright. Leases don’t quite work that way. Leasing a car is more like renting it long-term. You’ll have some incentives to buy at the end of your term, but you may end up paying more overall.

c. Decisiveness – If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like to be tied down to one major purchase, leasing may be perfect for you. You can lease for a short time and then trade the vehicle I for something new. And if you decide you love your car, you can always purchase it at the end of your term.

d. Monthly payments – If you’re only concerned with monthly payments for the moment, leasing may be a better option. You will have to shop around, but you can usually find leasing options with lower monthly payments than with financing. This also means that you may be able to afford a nicer vehicle for your money with a lease. If this is important to you, then you should probably shop around for lease deals.

e. Credit score – Leasing is a good option for people who want to save on monthly payments, but it can be difficult to qualify with poor credit. If your credit score is below 620, you may want to consider shopping around for a good rate on financing. Also, if you’re on the fence about getting a new car now, maybe it would be best to wait and work on your credit score first. If you’re financing, the offer you get today will stay with you for the next three to five years, so you’ll want to get the best deal you can. Try places like Space Coast Credit Union for options.

If you do buy a car and you realize it was the wrong choice you can always sell it to a company like Junk That Car. They purchase cars in any condition even ones that are damaged, check them out for yourself.


  1. Lauralee Hensley says

    All excellent points in this article. Yes, my husband and I have been going on these factors. Our vehicle is getting old and the repairs to keep it going are now making us figure it is time for a new vehicle. We have narrowed down the vehicle we want, but still working on what financing options we are going to go for. I don’t want to lease, but my husband is still considering such. So until we have down what we think will work best for our family, we are checking on deals various dealerships in our state have going on regarding the vehicle we want.

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