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Lease a new car or keep my paid-off car?

Hello everyone!

So i moved to Rhode Island from California last July, and despite what I’ve read online (numerous blogs and forums), my 4x2 Jeep Liberty (didn’t buy a 4x4 model 7 years ago) survived my first New England winter.

Now that Spring is coming, I was wondering what everyone’s opinion is on what I’m thinking about doing…trading in my PAID-OFF Jeep and lease a FWD car.

Is it a wise decision to have a 3-year long lease payments or keep my Jeep and make no payments.

The only reason why I’m even thinking about is that a RWD Jeep is not ideal in snow, and a FWD is definitely better.

Should I keep my car and just get winter tires or should I lease a new car?


It’s a tough question to answer, b/c it depends on what you want and how much you are willing to pay for it. A new FWD econobox-style car will do better in snow probably, will likely have fewer repair bills, less down-time; but there’s a monthly bill you’ll have to pay to get those benefits.

I drove 2 WD cars and trucks when I lived in Colorado-- in a ski resort area! — and never had a problem. I used studded snow tires though. Without studded snow tires I’d have probably got stuck a few times, or slid off into a ditch.

Pocketbook-wise, keeping your Jeep for a couple more years is probably best. Convenience-wise, trading it in on a new FWD car is best.

I would keep the Jeep and purchase winter tires. Our postal carrier uses a 2 wheel drive vehicle and managed to get the mail delivered even though we have had a record snow fall here in east central Indiana. You made it through the winter and you know what it is like. Leasing a vehicle is expensive and you will have nothing at the end of the lease. Put aside the money you would spend on a lease, let it gain interest, and you will be well on the way to a new vehicle. After all, a lot of people in Rhode Island drove through winters with rear wheel drive vehicles thirty years ago.

I would keep the Jeep (get a set of winter tires and wheels if you want), save the lease payment amount for 3 years, and use it as a down payment to buy your next car. I’m not a leasing fan.

Get winter tires. You’ll be pleased with the snowy weather improvement.

And never, ever lease. Just think, if you’d have leased the jeep you’d have absolutely zero equity in it right now and wouldn’t even be able to consider trading it. And when the lease ran out, they’d come take your jeep and you’d have NOTHING! NADA. ZERO. ZIP. ZILTCH. They’d have all your money and you’d have NOTHING.

Leasing is a very bad idea for the average working man. .

For years and years we got along with rear wheel drive and snow tires in the midwest. Yes FWD is an improvement and AWD even better, but you can still survive (and maybe keep a set of chains on hand). In the end though do what you want. You’re going to have to buy something sooner or later and the Liberty would not be my idea of a long term keeper. Not having a car payment for ten years just makes the shock of adding one that much worse.

One of the bigger impacts is miles per year and miles allowed under the lease agreement.

I’m with the majority. Keep the Jeep at least until next winter and put winter tires on it then. Save money in the meantime for your next car. Buy your next car instead of leasing.

I’m gonna go against the grain here and recommend you start looking for a new vehicle now, just don’t commit to one yet. If you go in looking to buy a car that day, you’re likely to get pushed into buying something you might not want to deal with after the papers are signed.

Liberties aren’t the best vehicles out there, and a 7 year old one isn’t something I’d recommend someone buy if they were in the market for a used vehicle.

Start looking, but, unless you can write off the payments, don’t lease anything.

You just kept a car for seven years. Why would the word ‘‘lease’’ even be uttered ? Leases are only for those who have some strange reason to change vehicles every three years and have some odd desire to just keep on and on making never ending payments.

If your Liberty is in good condition, keep it. If it’s time for something else and you’ve every intention on keeping this one for eight or more years…buy again

TIRES are your key to winter driveability in every vehicle.
I grew up in Ohio 1955 - 1972 and dad never had , nor ever had need for, anything 4x4. Just the right tires and driving practices.

( I have an 06, 08 and…a…1979 )

Is this even a serious question?

Keep your Jeep. I survived for several years in Northern Maine and Alaska with RWD vehicles and winter tires. You can too.

I’ve been driving for 45+ years in New Hampshire and North Dakota, most of it in RWD vehicles, none of it in 4WD or AWD, without problems. Good tires, good technique, and good sense are all you need. I’ll add to that clean windows, clean lights (for others to see you), but in a storm all you can do is your best with the “clean” stuff.

What do u want? R u bored with jeep? Want a sedan that sits lower, rides better? Drives ok in snow with good winter tires? U can’t change time. Ur jeep is old. Any new car is more reliable than any old car. Stats prove it.

From a financial point of view…Leasing is NEVER a good option (unless you own a company and can right it off - even with that it’s questionable). You own a vehicle and don’t have any payments…and now you’re considering leasing something.

Keep your money and save up to buy another vehicle in 5 years.

The only reason why I'm even thinking about is that a RWD Jeep is not ideal in snow,

Is it RWD only…or also 4wd? For 2wd vehicles…FWD is better in snow…but as MB said…good snow tires (all 4) will make a huge difference. When I learned how to drive…you either had 4wd or RWD and put a couple hundred lb bags of sand in the back with good snow tires.

I’m going to go with the minority and agree with @bscar2‌

Sell the Jeep

I’m going to be blunt here . . . The Liberty was considered to be a horrendous POS vehicle

You apparently did good so far

Ditch it before it turns into a bottomless money pit

Buy another car . . . but not a Jeep

Whatever you buy, keep it in tip top shape and get a set of winter tires mounted on a second set of rims. Follow the severe service maintenance schedule. Most cars fall under that category nowadays

Leasing just doesn’t seem to make sense . . . at the end of the lease period, you’ve got nothing to show for it. Plus you’ve just paid 3 years of expensive comprehensive insurance

If you buy a car outright, you at least have a choice if you want comprehensive or not

With leasing or financing, you have no choice

Economically, find out what a lease will cost you, both the down payment and the monthly payments and if you can afford them, then put that money in a separate bank account and keep the Jeep. You can withdraw money to make necessary repairs and buy winter tires, but keep making the payments after the three years is up. Eventually you will have enough money to buy a new vehicle.

My daughter did this with her 03 Corolla CE (cheap edition). After 5 years of payments, she kept putting the money in the bank. She just paid cash for a 2014 Camry XLE, fully loaded. And the cycle begins anew, except this time, all the payments are to herself.

I’m with Dagosa on this one. Now nothing wrong at all with paying cash but, with zero or 1% interest rates, why would you not keep the money invested (not in the bank), and take the cheap finance?

As far as no car payments, yes I have gone long periods with no payments but my conclusion is it all averages out in the end. So having no payments really doesn’t mean much except the money just goes for something else-or if you want into a car account but most people don’t do that.

So what’s the difference if you pay $500 a month for three years, then no payments for three years, then $500 a month for three years, or $300 a month for the entire nine years? You’ve paid the same but maybe avoided the boom bust cycle. Just say’n, just because you don’t physically make a payment, doesn’t mean their isn’t a cost accruing on the ole car account over the long haul.

@Bing…I would think that, especially on a fourm dedicated to DIY wrenching, it would be patent that “monthly maintenance and repair” << “monthly car payment.”

You pay a BIG permium to drive a new(er) car.

And I don’t get the argument that “if you don’t have a car payment, you’ll just blow it on something else.” That’s kinda the point, isn’t it? Frees up money for something else, whatever that might be.

Just sayn’ consider the alternative realistically. For every month that I don’t trade my paid up car, I am losing trade in value that I will eventually have to make up when I do trade. That’s a real cost on the books whether a check is being written or not. Whether the money is saved or spent is a separate matter. Now once a car is ten or so years old and is fully depreciated, doesn’t really matter. You also have to consider that it is not unusual to go 100,000 miles with very few repairs on a new car so the premium that you would pay would not be that big. Whether DIY or not, its a whole different game out there now with high used car prices, stagnant new car prices, low interest rates, long warrantees, stiff competition, obsolescense, and other factors. Just to consider is all. Everyone needs to come to their own priorities and I’ll have to admit it is quite different now that I’m not driving 50,000 miles a year.