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Buy Or Lease Your Next Automobile?

Leasing a luxury car imposes lower costs, generally comparable to the interest rate of financing a loan. However, if you terminate a lease early or default on a monthly lease payment, you can face major financial penalties and ruin your credit rating. The decision of whether to buy or lease a vehicle also depends on your unique lifestyle. If you drive many miles each year and don’t mind paying repair bills, you probably should purchase your car. If, on the other hand, you exc...

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Leasing a luxury car imposes lower costs, generally comparable to the interest rate of financing a loan. However, if you terminate a lease early or default on a monthly lease payment, you can face major financial penalties and ruin your credit rating. The decision of whether to buy or lease a vehicle also depends on your unique lifestyle. If you drive many miles each year and don’t mind paying repair bills, you probably should purchase your car. If, on the other hand, you exceed the mileage limitation or if the car shows considerable wear and tear at the end of the lease, you may find yourself paying large end-of-lease costs.

When you are thinking about getting a new car, one question always comes up: is it better to buy or lease? There is, of course, no one single answer. Each choice has benefits and disadvantages, so the choice depends on your own particular personal and financial circumstances.

A key issue is affordability. Is your job situation stable? Are you in overall good financial shape? The short-term monthly expense associated with leasing a car is much lower than the monthly payments required when purchasing a vehicle. With leasing, you pay only for the part of the vehicle’s cost used during the period of time you drive it. If you have the cash on hand, and you can pay the down payment and sales taxes – either in cash or via a loan – as well as the interest rate buying a car gives you that feeling of ownership and may be the best financial option.

If you want to get your hands on a luxury car, but you can’t afford the initial costs associated with buying one, leasing is your best option. Leasing a luxury car imposes lower costs, generally comparable to the interest rate of financing a loan. However, if you terminate a lease early or default on a monthly lease payment, you could face major financial penalties and this could ruin your credit rating. Before you decide to lease, make sure you adjust your budget for the monthly lease payment for the duration of the contract.

The decision of whether to buy or lease a vehicle also depends on your unique lifestyle. What does it mean to you to own a car? Do you bond with your car, or do you like having something new? If you plan to drive a vehicle for more than five years, buying it – through careful negotiations – is probably your best bet. On the other hand, if you would rather drive a new car every two or three years, leasing is for you.

You should also consider your actual transportation needs. Think about how many miles per year you drive and how you handle car maintenance. If you drive many miles each year and don’t mind paying repair bills, you probably should purchase your car. With leasing, contracts are made with assumptions of limited mileage, typically between 12,000 to 15,000 miles driven per year, as well as considerations of wear-and-tear on the vehicle. If you can stay within the stated mileage limits and keep the automobile in good condition throughout the duration of your lease, leasing is a reasonable option. However, if you exceed the mileage limitation or if the car shows considerable wear and tear at the end of the lease, you may find yourself paying large end-of-lease costs.

 

Deciding Whether To Buy Or Lease Your Next Automobile

Buying a car is a huge purchase, usually second only to buying a house. With most new cars and trucks costing $20,000 to $30,000, before you shop, you should definitely do a little homework. One of the most frequently asked questions by those interested in buying a new car is whether to buy or lease, here are some tips.

What is Leasing?
Before you decide whether or not to lease a new car, it is important to understand what the term “lease” means. Leasing is when one re...

Buying a car is a huge purchase, usually second only to buying a house. With most new cars and trucks costing $20,000 to $30,000, before you shop, you should definitely do a little homework. One of the most frequently asked questions by those interested in buying a new car is whether to buy or lease, here are some tips.

What is Leasing?
Before you decide whether or not to lease a new car, it is important to understand what the term “lease” means. Leasing is when one rents a new car (or sometimes a used car) for a long period of time. Most leases are offered for periods of 2 to 4 years. It should also be noted that in some cases (e.g. luxury vehicles) a six month lease can be available. Instead of buying a car, you in effect rent the vehicle, which at the end of the lease must be returned or in many instances you can purchase the vehicle at a special price from the dealer.

The Advantages of Leasing a Car
The biggest advantage of leasing a car is that in most cases your monthly payment for the vehicle will be less than buying it. When you buy a vehicle, your bank loan reflects the entire purchase price, plus tax. When you lease a vehicle, your monthly payments only reflect the amount or value of the vehicle that you use. For instance, if you lease a $20,000 car for three years, the dealership will charge you the value of the vehicle for those three years. Since most vehicles lose about 50% of their worth in the first three years, your monthly payments over three years will usually only reflect that $10,000 that you used of the vehicle, making your payments substantially lower than if you purchased the car with a three year loan- your payments for those three years would be twice as much.

Another advantage to leasing is that in many cases, your lease payments can be fully or partially tax deductible. For instance, if you use the vehicle for business you should be able to deduct some of the costs of owning the car each year when you file your taxes. It is important to note that you should talk to an accountant before leasing to see exactly what your tax deductions can be (if any).

Disadvantages to Leasing a Car
While leasing might sound like a great idea, it is definitely not for everyone. One of the biggest reasons most customers do not lease their car is that at the end of the lease, they do not own it. Leasing a car is temporary, after the leasing period is over, you will need to give back your vehicle. For many customers, paying large car payments month after month and having nothing to show for it at the end of the lease agreement is definitely not a good deal. If you are the type of person that likes to drive a new car every couple of years, then leasing might be attractive, but for those that want their own car for five years or more, forget about the leasing option.

Another disadvantage to leasing a car is that there can be many hidden fees involved with leasing, for instance, most leases have a small mileage allowance. For instance, if you lease a car, expect an allowance of about 12,000 miles per year, anything more and you will have to pay a penalty. If you drive 15,000 or 20,000 miles a year, you may have to pay $.10, $.15 or even $.25 extra per mile. In addition, when you return your vehicle, you may also have to pay fees for wear and tear, dents, any accessories such as radios you have installed in the vehicle, etc.

While leasing can be attractive for many car shoppers, it is not for everyone, make sure you do your homework to determine whether or not leasing is for you.

 

Automobile Tax Expenses

If you use a vehicle for conducting business, you can deduct certain automobile tax expenses from your tax bill. This is true even if you use the vehicle for personal and business needs.

automobile tax expenses

If you use a vehicle for conducting business, you can deduct certain automobile tax expenses from your tax bill. This is true even if you use the vehicle for personal and business needs.

Automobile Tax Expenses

The powers that be have historically written sections into the tax code promoting business activities. One of the traditional write-offs has always been the expenses associated with using a vehicle for business purposes.

The simplest automobile tax expense situation is one in which a vehicle is used entirely for business. For example, if you have a van used for a delivery service and nothing personal, all expenses associated with the van can be written off. This is known as the exclusive use situation. For many small businesses, however, a vehicle will be used for both personal and business reasons.

Where you use a vehicle for both personal and business reasons, you can only deduct the automobile expenses associated with the business use. Keep in mind that driving to and from work is not considered business mileage, while driving from an office to meet a client is considered business mileage.

There are two methods for determining deductible automobile tax expenses. The first is a simple calculation known as the standard mileage deduction. The second is the actual expenses method. You can choose whichever deduction provides you with the biggest deduction unless you lease the car. With a lease, you must use the standard mileage deduction.

The standard mileage rate deduction is a calculation wherein you multiply your total business mileage for the year by a figure provided by the IRS. For the first eight months of 2005, the figure provided by the IRS is 40.5 cents per mile. For the last four months of 2005, the figure has been bumped up to 48.5 cents to reflect high gas prices.

The actual cost expense option is exactly what it sounds like. It is the actual cost associated with using the vehicle for tax purposes for a particular tax year. Automobile tax expenses will include gas, tires, repairs, oil changes, registration costs, licensing, insurance and so on. In many cases, the actual expense deduction will end up being larger than the standard mileage deduction.

Regardless of the method you choose, you must document the automobile tax expenses. This means keeping a mileage book and receipts of anything you intend to deduct.




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