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Leasing vs. Buying a Car in Stamford, CT

It’s no surprise that you see yourself in the driver’s seat of a new Kia, whether that be the sleek and sporty K5 or the spacious and versatile Sorento. So, the next question is: should you buy or lease your next vehicle? Our team at Kia of Stamford put together the following guide to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of buying versus leasing a new vehicle. Keep reading to learn more. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at (203) 883-8888 or send us a text.

Browse through our inventory to find your desired Kia, then pair it with one of our lease and finance offers. You can also apply for financing directly from our website.

Car Leasing

One popular option is leasing a vehicle. What is leasing? Leasing is when you have a vehicle for a fixed period of time at an agreed-upon price. Keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of leasing.

Pros of Leasing a Car


Leasing a car is typically more affordable than buying a car, due to lower monthly payments and little to no down payments. When you lease a car, you agree on a set lease period and only pay for the months you’ll be leasing. The monthly payment depends on expected depreciation, lease residual value, and other taxes and fees. Plus, you’ll never be upside down on a loan payment, meaning you owe more than the car is worth — this is also known as negative equity.

Always in a New Vehicle

When you lease a new vehicle, you get the latest and greatest that the automotive industry has to offer. With how fast the market changes and new technologies are introduced, leasing is a desirable option, as you can always have the newest features and latest updates.

Fewer Repair Costs

Lease terms vary, with the average lease term being 24 to 36 months. Cars experience wear and tear over the years, and need to have routine maintenance in order to keep them in good condition. In most cases, more expensive repairs and maintenance usually occur after a few years, meaning you likely won’t have to deal with the upkeep, repairs, and replacements before your lease ends.

Ease of Trade-In

What happens at the end of your lease? You have two options: you can buy out your car for the remaining cost, or you can give it back to the dealership. From there, you can easily lease a new car and get behind the wheel of a new Kia. You won’t have the hassle of selling your vehicle, which can be a lengthy process depending on the method.

Cons of Leasing a Car

Mileage Restrictions

When you lease a vehicle, you typically have a mileage limit — usually between 10,000 and 15,000 miles per year, but this can be negotiated. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Americans drive an average of just under 14,000 miles per year. If you exceed your annual limit, you will be required to pay per-mile fees that have the potential to skyrocket if not carefully monitored.

Wear & Tear Costs

Normal wear and tear is expected with vehicles, and “normal” wear can be defined differently by each manufacturer. Normal wear typically includes scratches, stains, scuffs, cracks, and minor nicks. Excessive wear will cost you extra.

You Do Not Own the Vehicle

Depending on your situation, it may or may not be a negative factor that you do not own the vehicle. However, once the lease end is up, you are required to give the vehicle back, unless you decide to buy it out.

Car Buying

The other option is to buy a car. When you buy, you pay the cost of the car over time until you own it. The pros and cons of buying a car are listed below.

Pros of Buying a Car


Once you’re done paying off your car, you own it. Owning is less expensive in the long run, since your loan payments directly go toward equity. Plus, when you have positive equity on a vehicle, you may be able to refinance your auto loan after a year or two at a better interest rate.

No Mileage Restrictions

Sometimes adventure calls and you want to take a trip that may put a significant amount of miles on your car. When you own your car, or are financing to own, you don’t have any mileage restrictions — that means you’re free to drive wherever your heart desires.

No Appearance Restrictions

A fun way to make your car feel like your own is to customize it, whether that be with bumper stickers, OEM aftermarket accessories, or additional packages. When you lease a vehicle, it’s best to avoid customization, as it reduces the car’s value due to having a smaller pool of potential buyers in the future.

Vehicle Trade-In Value

Trading in a vehicle that you own is just as easy as trading in a leased vehicle. You can use your trade-in value towards a new vehicle, which in some cases can shave off a good amount of money.

Cons of Buying a Car


Depreciation hits the moment you drive your vehicle off the lot, and you’ll typically see vehicles lose up to 30 percent of their value within the first 12 months. Within two to six years, depreciation can range from 15 to 18 percent per year. A general rule of thumb is that most cars lose about 60 percent of their initial value by the fifth year. The longer you keep your car, the more depreciation it will face. When you go to sell your car, you won’t get as much money for it.

Higher Payments

Buying a car also typically requires a higher down payment or higher monthly payments, or sometimes both. Because you’re paying to own, you pay the agreed-upon price over the course of your loan, which can get more expensive depending on the make and model you want.

Length of Time to Financially Benefit

When it comes to buying a car, think of it as a marathon — not a sprint. You likely won’t financially benefit until you’re further down the line into your payments, usually when you acquire positive equity. If you buy a car, and then need to sell it early for whatever reason, you could be upside down and end up owing money.

Added Repair Costs

As mentioned above, cars need to be regularly kept up with after a few years to make sure they’re in good, working condition. This can become pricey with older vehicles that need more repairs, and the cost to repair can sometimes outweigh the value of the car. Plus, since your car’s warranty will eventually expire, you will be responsible for paying for all future maintenance fees.

Which Option Is Right for Me?

So, which option is right for you? That’s up to you. If you like the idea of upgrading to a new vehicle every few years and experiencing the latest innovations, then leasing may be a great option for you. If you enjoy customizing your vehicle and having the freedom to roam, then buying is your best bet. Aren’t exactly sure yet? A Kia of Stamford team member will be happy to weigh out the pros and cons with you in a no-pressure environment.

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Let’s Get Started!

Ready to get behind the wheel of your dream Kia? Start by finding your desired Kia in our inventory, then peruse our lease and finance offers to find one that fits your budget. If you decide to go the financing route, you can easily and securely apply for financing via our online form. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at (203) 883-8888 or send us a text.

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