« on: September 12, 2012, 09:06 AM »
I'm in the camp of if you are going to spend money on something big, spend it on something you will own. I can understand how it works better for some people to lease though.
Since I got out of college in 2001, I've owned three cars. The first I purchased after I got my first paycheck and totaled it in a wreck about four months later. The second (F150 4x4) I bought at the start of 2002 and drove it until August of 2011. I then purchased the Jeep Wrangler I drive now. I prefer to buy slightly used to give me some room to negotiate a deal and to avoid the depreciation hit in the first year. (However, if you buy new and drive for a long time, that's almost inconsequential). My wife drove her first car until the wheels were literally about to fall off. We traded that in in 2004 and she's been driving her Santa Fe since then. Once I only have a year or less to pay on the Jeep, we'll get her a new car and the cycle will continue again.
I grew up working on cars, so I can do some of the general repair or maintenance on my own if I need to, although I also prefer to have a professional do the work. However, for some, maintenance is a PITA and they'd rather have somebody do it for them and not have to worry about dealing with it. I don't feel the need to "keep up with the Joneses" and have the new vehicle. I can buy new parts and continually "upgrade" what I have now...it's also becoming a bit of a hobby.
There is some good advice here on car buying vs leasing. Again, I fall into the camp of why put money towards something big if you will never own it? To me, that's just tossing money away. But again, like some have said, you have to go with what works for your budget and needs.