The great car debate: To buy or to lease?

Expert says both options have pros, cons

Published On: Dec 27 2011 04:01:40 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 20 2014 02:53:54 PM CST

As the economy continues to rebound, more Americans find themselves strolling the lot of their local car dealership and facing a difficult decision -- whether to buy or lease a new vehicle.

"Both options have their pros and cons," said Joe Wiesenfelder, senior editor at Cars.com. "It really depends on your personal driving habits, the amount of money you're willing to spend and how often you like driving a new car."

Wiesenfelder offers these tips for car shoppers:

Benefits Of Leasing

Benefits Of Buying

For many people, the decision to buy or lease comes down to price, Wiesenfelder said.

"We encourage people to use our automatic Loan vs. Lease calculator at Cars.com," Wiesenfelder said. "By entering in the monthly payment you can afford, you'll get an idea of which car you could afford to own, or if leasing is a better option for you."