Should you lease or buy your new car?

Don't let that new car smell cloud your judgment when it comes to deciding whether to buy or lease your wheels. There are pros and cons to both. Leasing can mean lower monthly payments, the freedom to switch up your car to keep up to date with the latest models, and less upfront cash. Watch out if you drive long distances, though — lease agreements often have strict mileage limits that cost you if you go over, as well as charges for scratches and dents. If you're looking to get a luxury car or an electric vehicle, leasing might be the way to go, given the depreciation on lux cars (which is typically 15% to 20%) and the quickly evolving tech on EVs. On the flip side, buying means higher monthly payments upfront, but those payments stop once you've paid off the car, which typically takes three to five years. This works well for owners who don’t want or need the flexibility to change cars and plan to keep the vehicle for a long time. Plus, you've got no restrictions on mileage or customizations. If you're eyeing an economy car, like your trusty four-door sedan, buying outright is often the more wallet-friendly choice.