Is It Better To Lease or Purchase New Cars?

Car salesman now ask routinely: "How much can you spend per month?".

One salesman did that to me. I told him it’s none of his business…he didn’t like that answer and then got very snippy with me. I walked…and bought the same vehicle I was looking at, but at a different dealer.


If a salesman asks me either…“How much can you spend per month?”…
“What would it take to put you in this car today?”…
my usual response is either…
I only discuss my finances with family members…
Less pressure from you, for starters…


The reason car sales personnel push the monthly payment thing is simply because many surveys have found that is the main criteria most people have when car shopping.

The majority will wade into a car loan if the monthly payment is acceptable even if the MSRP is bumped way up or the interest rate is obscene.
As long as the monthly payment is what they’re looking for they have no objection to being raped on any other facet of the deal…


Price Of Vehicle = How Much One Can Afford Per Month (W/Financing)
X Number Of Payments In Loan Period (Maximum Number Possible).



Sixty months of payments sounds so much better than half a decade!


One salesman said loudly so everyone in his showroom could hear “I can save you thousands of dollars if you’ll trade your car in today”. I responded loudly so everyone could hear “I can save myself thousands more… by not buying a car at all!!”. He didn’t like that response. But I had fun.


A typical pitch is: “You should trade your car while it’s still worth something.”. My response is that’s why I want to keep it longer.

In the past some cars like Cadillacs in the 50s, Mustangs in the sixties, were so in demand that you got top dollar for 2-3 year old one and trading that often made sense since your trade was about 2 years away from starting to rust out.

These days are long gone with cars lasting much longer and depreciating faster.

My sister has a 2000 Toyota Camry in near perfect condition, and the way she drives it will go another 10 years. She spends her spare cash on travel.


The cars of the 50’s and 70’s looked way sexier then today’s cars…


I had colleagues with doctorates in math or computer science who, when buying a car, were only interested in the monthly payment. This never made sense to me.


“The cars of the 50’s and 70’s looked way sexier then today’s cars…”

That is not a fact, but an opinion


Triedaq: I know you are a “bit” older than me but I was a very late/surprise baby born in 1952. My Father worked, saved, and purchased his first automobile. A new 1926 Ford model T roadster. $304 FOB Denver, CO. My parents were married in Rifle, CO June 24 1927 . My 2 Brothers were born in 1929 and 1931. I also learned from my parents to save and pay cash. In 1939 they purchased a house on 3/4 acre for $1,700. Both of them worked building Liberty cargo ships through WW2 at incredible wages of about $2.50 per hour which they saved a good portion of. In 1947 they sold that house for $3,000. They then purchased 1/2 acre and built a brand new house for $5,000. That is where I grew up. Speaking of Chevrolet Corvairs. A friend who had a service station told me about a moron who pulled his brand new 1960 Corvair in for gas. He asked the 15 or 16 year old gas pumper to check the radiator water level while he went inside to BS with the station owner. Ha! Ha! Very funny! The kid found the only thing resembling a radiator cap (oil filler cap) and could not see any water so he topped it off! Of course the station owner had to perform a free oil and filter change. He did not blame the kid.


When the salesperson asks me what payment I am looking for I reply “I want the lowest price on the car and the highest value on my trade. Once we settle on price and trade-in then we will talk about financing”. They hate that.


@sgtrock21 Our parents,learned to postpone pleasures and save for bigger goals. I got caught up in the younger generation’s “satisfy your present wants and forget about the future,syndrome” much to my dismay. When I was working, Mrs. Triedaq_would give me $2.50 a week so I could go on coffee break with my friends. Coffee was 50¢ on,campus. One,of my friends found that, with our senior citizens’ discount, we could get coffee for 25¢ at McDonald’s. Instead of saving that 25¢ each day, at the end of the week I would blow $1.25 on a cinnamon roll. Now, in retirement, I have to go to the Mission for a,cup of coffee. Some of the younger generation today do the same thing–when they get a few dollars ahead, they blow it on leasing a fancy car just as I blew my coins I saved on McDonald’s coffee on the end of the week cinnamon roll believing I “deserved it”.


I know at least one of the regulars has spent time as a car salesman . . .

Do they view cash buyers as a PITA . . . ?

I suppose there would be some reasons why this may be the case

And what about tough customers such as myself who don’t want any of the add-on BS, such as extended warranty, detailing, lo-jak, etc.

Are they viewed as cheapskates . . . “can’t make any money off of this guy” . . . ?

I’m asking, because that stuff has an INCREDIBLY high profit margin. Much higher than the car itself. Kind of like movie theaters . . . they make far more profit off of concessions. Last time I checked, anyways :wink:

But on the other hand, a cash buyer who declines the add-on BS may just be out of there quicker, versus your typical guy who can’t even make up his mind what he wants, and maybe his credit is spotty

A quick sale, and then ready for the next guy . . . ?


I am recent purchase of a CPO Tucson, the salesperson was telling me I would get more of a discount if I financed, which I passed. Then at the last moment they wanted to add extra fees for the CPO part which I walked out. They came after me and the monkeying stopped. Paying cash might make your time at the dealership a bit more painful, but I always leave some room for myself. Have walked out many times and my attitude is “if it is meant to happen, it will”. I haven’t fallen in love with any cars I have been shopping for, so it is easy to walk out.


They don’t like cash because they get commission on the financing. Want to save time and money? Let them finance you and then go home and pay off the loan with cash in 30 days or less. Since there is no penalty for early payment on most loans this will yield the same result as paying cash while getting you the lowest price AND better treatment at the dealer. The only reason to insist on paying cash at the dealership is pride (“I don’t want to go into debt”) or principle and neither is worth the headache.


Bing: Of course. My parent’s 1/2 acre had room for a normal back yard plus a 6 tree orchard and large garden. My Mother still canned vegetables and fruits for the winter. From the ripe old age of 8 years I had the “pleasure” of weeding the orchard after April. A neighbor with a tractor tilled them in early March then it was up to me to try and keep up with the weeding. Thankfully my Mother handled the watering. I also mowed the lawn for my allowance of $1 per week. Around this time I also caught the bus at O’dark thirty to pick strawberries for maybe $1 per day. Our neighbors opened a $10 savings account for me when I was born. I added to it whenever I earned money.


When a salesman asks me a stupid question like “how much can you afford” or “how much do you want to pay” I generally respond with “ten dollars” and a big grin.


@mountainbike I was asked that question once as well and answered: “Any car on the showroom floor and I can pay cash for it. But that’s not why I’m here”. I then told him what car I wanted with which options and what would be his best price. He resented to having to do some work.

With respect to “deadbeats”, my daughter took a money management course. She learned that those credit card holders who pay off the balance each month and avoid interest are called “deadbeats” because the company can’t make much of a profit on them. She’s proud to be a “deadbeat” now.

"those credit card holders who pay off the balance each month and avoid interest are called "deadbeats" because the company can't make much of a profit on them."

I’m proud to be one of those “deadbeats” also.
Related to that issue, I can recall getting a phone call offering to “lower the very high interest rate that you are paying on your credit cards”. I was in a somewhat perverse mood that day, so I thought that I would waste some of their time, just because they bothered me with their nuisance call.

So, I agreed to hold on in order to talk to a “debt specialist”, or something of that sort. I told this guy that I wanted to know specifically how much he could save me each month on my credit card interest payments, and I asked him to hold on so that I could find all of my latest credit card bills. I purposely took a very long time to “find” them, and I periodically returned to the phone to say, “please hold on…I’m still looking”.

After almost 15 minutes, I returned to the phone and said, “Now, let’s see how much I owe each of the credit card companies. Please hold a while longer while I add them up.”

Finally, I said, “Hmmmm…It looks like the total balance that I owe Chase is zero dollars, the total balance that I owe Citibank is zero, and the total balance that I owe Amex is zero. How much can you save me each month?”

The guy replied, “How can I save you any money if you don’t carry a balance?”, and my reply was, “Precisely! Now stop calling me!”