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Buy or lease?

I leased a 2011 Corolla (worth about 18k) and the 3 year lease expires in 2013. I am paying $225 a month (also paid $1,100 fee in 2011). I can buy it for about 11k. It will have about 30,000 miles on it when the lease is expired. I really like this car. Should I buy it for 11k (probably will need tires, brakes, etc) or lease another one??

You can research the value of the '11 Corolla on the Edmunds.com web site. You need to see how the $11K buyout price compares to the value of car.

Without more numbers, my guess would be that buying your current car makes financial sense compared to starting a new lease on a new one. An '11 Corolla with 30K miles has many good years of service without major repair bills. Tires, brakes, etc. are just normal replacement items that come with the miles driven.

I’ve NEVER EVER liked leasing. It makes no sense financially. You have nothing but never ending payments. As @uncleturbo said…Do some price searching and see if the $11k is a good deal. It sounds OK…but I’m not an expert on Corolla’s pricing. If the price is within range of other similar Corolla’s…and since you like the car and know it’s repair/maintenance history then I’d buy out the lease. Then keep the vehicle for 10+ years.

Leasing is only a reasonable alternative compared to buying a new car every 2 years. Both options maximize you car ownership costs. Buying and holding for 5-10 years (for me, 10-15 years) is a much cheaper way to go. You have a great, reliable car, I’d buy it and keep it a long time.

Great value is hidden in the fact that you really like the vehicle, you know the vehicle, you know its history, and it’s a vehicle with an excellent reliability reputation. To me that makes it a great buy, even if the price is on the high end of the KBB estimate.

You may have chosen an expensive way to go about getting and becoming familiar with the vehicle (leasing) but your best decision now is to go ahead and buy it.

Sincere best.

There are some unique situation where leasing makes sense. My broth-in-law is business manager for two radio station. He is not very mechanically inclined. The boss says he needs to drive a new car every 4 years, and gives him enough money to cover the lease of a full size car.

After the lease is up he buys the car at the residual value (good deal) and gives it to his wife or one of the kids.

With the leasing tax break he does OK.

As mentioned by other @MikeInNH , leasing almost never makes economic sense.

If I could buy a 2011 Corolla with 30k miles for $11000 I would do so in a heartbeat. At that price you would be a fool not to. This car will likely go 300000 miles if you maintain it according to the owner’s manual.

A new lease is ok only if you can afford the payments and WANT to be driving a new car every few years. Almost never makes economic sense except for small business tax purposes.

I would guess you would be best off buying it. That is the usual situation is a little different. So I don’t have any source to the information I would need to give you a good answer.

If it were my car, I would buy it and never lease a car again.

Good Luck

“If I could buy a 2011 Corolla with 30k miles for $11000…”

Maybe it’s different around you, but even a base 2011 Corolla with no options and a manual transmission goes for about $12,300 near me - even with high mileage.

edmunds tells me the TMV for a base '11 Corola in my area starts at $13,500(before options and mileage are taken into account). Brand new base model is $16k

So would you pay $11,000 for one with 30K and warranty expiring or just get a new one for $16,000. Kind of a toss up but you’ll need to trade again a little sooner if you do buy it than if you go for a new one now. If you aren’t flush, then buy it and keep it for a while but I’d lay off the leases unless you are in business.

You should have purchased it to begin with…But if you like the car and have kept up the maintenance, it might make sense to buy it…Corollas are selling at a big premium on the used car market so your lease company may ask more than you think…