Berglund Chevrolet Buick Blog

Buying a Car vs. Leasing a Car: Which is Right for You?


Humans aren’t defined by their material possessions, but the car you choose, and the music you blare over its speakers, have a hand in defining your personal style and the way other people perceive you.

That’s why there is this unique excitement that comes over you when you’re looking for your next car. Sure, there are many important decisions to be made, and everyone gets a little anxious when considering making such a substantial financial commitment, but searching for the perfect car for you is somewhat similar to searching for your spirit animal.


Sure, you could choose to see it as simply a machine that takes you from point A to point B, but we here at Berglund Chevrolet Buick, your hometown Chevy dealer in Roanoke, Virginia, know that your car is so much more than that.

Make a Choice That Fits Your Lifestyle & Drive Style

This is the car that your coworkers, friends, and family will recognize you by for years. It will be the car that catches the eye of your future wife, the car that you take on the most exciting vacation of your life, and the car that you laugh, cry, and make valued memories in.

For a decision of this magnitude, you want to make sure everything is perfect, from the size and style of your vehicle to your monthly payments, and everything in between. Chances are, you have a pretty good idea of whether you would prefer a sedan or SUV, what color you’re looking for, and what technology and other features are must-haves.

What you may not be sure of is whether it is best to buy or lease the vehicle of your dreams, but that is where your friends at Berglund Chevrolet Buick come in. We are here to answer any questions you have, and provide a quick overview of the types of things you will need to consider in order to make an educated decision.

Buying a Car: Basic Overview

Buying a vehicle is a pretty straight forward process. Whether you buy new or buy used, the first decision you will need to make is whether you will pay the cost of the vehicle upfront, or if you will finance your car.

Buying upfront will reduce the total cost of your vehicle by cutting out any interest payments that are associated with financing. However, most people don’t have an extra $15,000+ lying around to pay in one lump sum. If you can afford to pay upfront, it is by far the most buyer-friendly option available.

You will completely own your vehicle the moment you drive it off the lot, and the only payments you will need to worry about will be insurance, car service, and gas costs. You can customize your vehicle as you like, drive it as much as your heart desires, and sell it whenever you please.

Auto financing works a little bit differently. Financing a vehicle requires the buyer to make a relatively small down payment on the vehicle, and the rest of the cost is covered by a bank, finance company, or credit union.

These companies will loan you the rest of the money needed to purchase the vehicle and will require you to make reasonable monthly payments over a longer term (normally for 50-72 months but this number is adjustable) until the balance is paid off.

Since the loan comes with an annual percentage rate (APR), you will end up paying more for your vehicle than the original cost of the car, and if you neglect to make your monthly payments for an extended amount of time, they have the right to reclaim your vehicle.

You still own the car; you can drive it as much as you’d like, throw a custom paint job on it, put in a better sound system, etc., but if you sell or total it before it is paid off you will still owe the credit union the remaining balance of your loan. Once your balance is paid off you will be payment-free and will only need to cover the costs of insurance, service, and gas.


Leasing a Car: Basic Overview

Leasing is one of the more under-utilized vehicle options available, and it is a shame because for a lot of people it may be the option that makes the most financial sense. It helps to think of leasing a vehicle as similar to renting a home or apartment. Just like renting a home, you will make monthly payments, but you aren’t increasing your equity in the vehicle, rather you are simply paying to use it temporarily.

For this reason, lease payments are often significantly lower than finance payments, and the upfront costs are normally more manageable as well. Unfortunately, these lower monthly payments also mean you have more restrictions. For example, since you will return your vehicle to the dealership at the end of your lease, they put limits on the amount of miles you are allowed to drive per year.

Most leases will cap your mileage at 12,000-15,000 per year, with any overages resulting in penalty fees. Additionally, you won’t have the freedom to customize your vehicle since the dealership will want it in like-new condition so they can sell it at the end of your term.

This means that you will be responsible for covering the cost of any damages and excessive wear-and-tear as well. With all of these opportunities for extra charges and fees, it is understandable why people shy away from this option.

However, if you take good care of your vehicle, like to stay up to date with the newest models, and don’t drive excessive amounts of miles per year, leasing could be a great money-saving option that also allows you to drive the newest vehicles on the market every 2-4 years.

Buy or Lease Your Perfect Vehicle at Berglund Chevrolet Buick

The decision to buy a car is a highly personal one. There is no universal “best option,” every decision involved has to do with your personal preferences, lifestyle needs and financial flexibility. We here at your neighborhood Used car dealership near Salem, Berglund Chevrolet Buick, are here to lay out your options and help you make an educated decision that works for you.

If you are interested in buying or leasing a new car, stop by our showroom located at 1824 Williamson Rd, Roanoke, VA 24012. We take our business personally, and would love to help you in your vehicle search.

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