I'm actually a finance manager in the auto industry. Been with BMW, Lexus, and Toyota for the last twenty years.
There are MANY advantages to leasing that some are not aware of. Even cash buyers should look at the pros and con's.
Sales tax. If you purchase you pay 100% of the tax up front. With a lease you only pay tax on your monthly payment and any down payment. (I'm in Ca. Sure it's different in other states )
Guaranteed future value. This is HUGE! The finance company is giving you a fixed value quote up front. If it's worth less at lease end. Give it back and walk away. If your car is worth more then your residual value...... Keep it, sell it, trade it in and use your equity.
***here's the big perk with leasing. ..... Say you BUY your new car cash or retail financing. At some point the car gets damaged in some manner. IE traffic accident. That car now has a diminished value forever. When it comes time to sell or trade in, the Carfax report will show this accident and your car will be worth MUCH less. On a lease, you are not subject to this financial concern. You were given a guaranteed future value at the time of sale. This is where you can give the keys to the dealer and walk away. I've personally seen this many times over the years. Accidents do happen.
Or simply say the market on this vehicle changes.........?? Who knows what the future will hold.
Cash flow advantage. Your basically paying on 40% of the car over the 36mo term. This will provide a smaller more manageable monthly payment.
JUST BE CAREFUL****** everything is disclosed on a retail installment contract. Price, fees, interest rate, finance charge, total of payments.
On a lease, you will see the cap cost with is the sales price, MSRP, and the bank fee/ acquisition fee. You will NOT see the cost of money/ money factor. This is pretty big! The dealer can and will mark this cost up for a profit. Profit is not a bad thing, and your dealer does deserve to make a profit. Just make sure it's reasonable.
CASH BUYERS may want to look into a 1 pay or pre paid lease. Again instead of buying 100% of the car, you pay for say 40% of it on a 36 month term (apx) tax advantages and the biggest advantage is the decreased financial liability if a accident occurs.
You can tell..... I'm a leasing fan