Buy vs Lease

Once you’ve decided it’s time to get your next vehicle, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. One key decision that must be made is whether you’re going to buy your car or lease it. This back and forth battle is something drivers in Stratham, Portsmouth, and Exeter have been debating for years. So, our team at BMW of Stratham decided to create a buy vs. lease comparison.

What you’ll find if you continue reading is a list of benefits on both sides, and how those benefits fit into different situations.


Buy vs Lease Comparison

Buying a Car

Leasing a Car

Upfront Cost

 Sizeable down payment Less money upfront

Monthly Payments

Higher monthly payment Lower monthly payment


Trade-in value applied to next car No trade-in available


Negative equity if you sell your car before it’s paid off No potential for negative equity


After warranty expires,

owner is responsible for maintenance

Maintenance is usually covered under warranty


No limit on mileage Limited mileage according to leasing terms

Learn more about BMW Leases.

Why Buy a Car?

The traditional method of purchasing a car is to buy it. The main benefit to buying is that you own the car outright. After buying, you can customize your vehicle if you like. Really, you can do whatever you want with the car, because it is yours.

As the miles rack up, you’ll be solely responsible for the maintenance and routine service inspections, which you can organize and schedule however you’d like.

Also, buying has long-term advantages. If you get a dependable BMW, for instance, that vehicle can run in excess of ten years. If you’re ready for another car after that point, you can either pass your BMW on to a loved one or friend, sell it, or trade it in at a dealership.

Benefits of Buying a Car:

  • No payments after your loan
  • No mileage restrictions
  • No wear fees
  • Credit doesn’t have to be excellent to own

Downsides of Buying a Car: 

  • More expensive than leasing
  • Long-term loans can be expensive
  • Could need a down payment
  • Car depreciation rate

Why Lease a Car?

Leasing, as opposed to buying, means you’re essentially renting the vehicle for the duration of the lease, which typically runs between two and three years. This method of payment comes with a bevy of advantages.

First, your payments will likely be lower than if you had bought the vehicle outright. Plus, leased vehicles are almost always covered under the dealership warranty, which means service and repair comes much cheaper as well.

Another big benefit is short-term flexibility. Since your lease only runs for about three years, you will constantly have the chance to update to the newest model. This keeps you on the cutting-edge of the automotive industry.

Finally, if you want to end your lease early and get a different model, you can do so by trading in your lease.

Benefits of Leasing a Car: 

  • Lower monthly car payment
  • Avoid the stress of selling your car
  • Car covered under warranty
  • Small down payment
  • Have the latest car, features, technology

Downsides of Leasing a Car: 

  • Limited to mileage restrictions
  • Wear fees
  • No equity on your car
  • Need excellent credit
  • No ride sharing
  • May need GAP insurance

Age-Old Question: Buying vs Leasing?

used carsSo, should you lease? Or, should you buy?

Well, this depends on your priorities. Each driver is different, and you have to decide what matters most to you. If the idea of continuously driving a brand-new model every few years appeals to you, then leasing may be the way to go.

However, perhaps you’ve really fallen for a particular BMW model, and after you finish the payments, you want to retain the vehicle either for yourself, or for someone else down the line. If that’s the case, then buying is definitely for you.

Buy or Lease

If you know whether you want to buy or lease, great! You’re ready to test drive your favorite BMW. If you aren’t sure which decision is best for you just yet, no problem! You can sit down with our team of experts at BMW of Stratham and discuss this topic more.

Either way, our dealership is here to help you find the right car, and finance that car before driving off the lot and into Stratham, Portsmouth, and Exeter.