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I am most likely in a minority here - but I do not think there is any reason for any person to lease a car, unless that person is too lazy to sell a car - keep in mind a trade is also a way to get rid of a car.

Leasing is burrowing money and last time I checked burrowing money generally involved interest. The tax code does make it advantageous for businesses in some situations to lease instead of own.

People my age (71) generally don't like the idea of not owning (or leasing) a car if they have had one most of their life - I think it is a freedom or perceived freedom issue. But from a purely economic view point I would be better off by use taxis for local trips and rent for vacations instead of buying a new car every 5 years my recent history. I drive about 8,500 miles a year.

There are a lot of costs with a car. Insurance, depreciation, maintenance, washing, parking lots, deductibles when accidents or hail damage happens, etc.

The idea of buying a 12 or 24 month old car will certainly save a lot of money. Just titling a car and driving it off the lot decreases its value in the range of 15% of sticker.

Cars are a great deal more reliable today then just 20 years ago. But they are more complex. Lots of "computers" and sensors - some of which are cheap and some are expensive.

If you are looking at a used car, do take it to a mechanic and have it gone over - that will cost a couple of hundred - but you need to know about brakes - maybe the person road the brakes and replacement is soon. Maybe the oil was never changed an some damage has been done. Maybe the car was in an accident. When you buy a new car you get a warranty. When you buy a used car, you need information.

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