Purchase or Lease a Vehicle

Does it make better sense to buy or lease a new vehicle? That depends on some factors, such as the residual value of the car you intend to purchase, the amount of money you pay up front as a capitalized cost reduction and the cost of financing. A lease will usually be a more attractive option when compared to a vehicle purchase when measured over a comparable term. Keep in mind that with a lease, you will have to return the vehicle at the end of the lease term, whereas if you buy, you will own the vehicle and will be able to continue driving it after the term expires.

Gas Mileage Savings with a Fuel Efficient Vehicle

As the price of gasoline continues to rise, the question often arises as to whether it makes financial sense to trade-in a 'gas guzzler' for a more fuel-efficient vehicle. Several factors will impact that decision, including the cost of the new vehicle, the number of miles you drive and the cost of fuel. You can calculate your monthly fuel savings based on your current miles per gallon, miles driven per month and cost of fuel. Then you can estimate how much you will save by purchasing a more fuel efficient vehicle and when you will breakeven on the fuel efficient vehicle purchase.

Compare Monthly Payment by Term

The term of your vehicle loan can make a big difference in your monthly payment. It can also have a significant impact on the amount of interest you will pay over the course of the loan. You pay interest each month on the outstanding balance of the vehicle loan, so the longer the term of the loan the more interest that you will pay until the loan is paid off.

Low Rate or Cash Back?

Vehicle manufacturers or dealers will often offer incentives to purchase a particular vehicle in the form of a low rate loan or a cash back incentive. While a low rate loan sounds attractive, you might be better off taking the cash back, using it to add to your down payment and reducing the loan amount for the vehicle. Evaluate which option is best. A lower loan amount will mean a lower monthly payment, and you might find that the interest savings you will gain by the low rate loan is less than the cash back amount.

Calculate a Vehicle Payment

Your monthly payment is based on the net purchase price of the vehicle, the loan term and the interest rate for the loan. The loan amount is based on the net purchase price of the vehicle (plus sales tax) or the vehicle price less any cash rebate, trade-in or down payment. If you have an outstanding balance on the vehicle you trade-in, that amount is added to the price of the vehicle you are purchasing.