Leasing vs Buying a Car: Things to Consider

Leasing vs Buying a Car: Things to Consider

Lease or buy; which one is right for you? This age-old debate has been a topic of discussion for years. While buying a car gives you complete ownership, it does come with a range of liabilities. 

On the other hand, leasing is a more cost effective, short-term option that doesn’t give you complete ownership. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and the right choice largely depends on your circumstances. 

So how do you know which is the right option? Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s take a look at the differences between leasing and buying. 

What's the Difference?

Difference Between Leasing and Buying a car
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Leasing is a lot like renting but for an extended period. The average lease time is 2-3 years and you have the choice to extend or buy the car at the end of your term. 

Leasing will also give you extra perks and benefits like regular maintenance, service, roadside assistance, insurance and many more. 

On top of that, you get to avoid the financial burdens of car ownership such as down payments, COE costs and maintenance fees. 


Buying is a straightforward purchase that gives you ownership of a car. You either pay for it in full or finance it through a loan. Once your payments are complete, the car is yours to keep and you can choose to sell it whenever you want. 

Pros and Cons

Salesman Waving at Customer and his family
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Both leasing and buying have their pros and cons so it’s important to evaluate your options. Consider these factors before making your decision:

Leasing Pros

No Down Payments: Leasing typically involves no down payments. Yes, you heard that right! The absence of a down payment makes leasing an appealing option for those who don’t have a lump sum of cash readily available.  Even if you do, that doest exempt you from asset depreciation or COE costs. 

No Depreciation or COE Worries: On top of depreciating values, Singaporeans have to worry about the rising cost of COE (Certificate of Entitlement) prices

This can really put a dent in your bank account especially if you have other commitments. With leasing, you don’t have to worry about COE costs or depreciation because you have to return the car at the end of your lease. 

Drive the Latest Cars: Leasing will allow you to stay up to date with the latest vehicles. You can choose the latest car off the bat or you can switch to a newer one once your lease is up. 

It’s an excellent choice if you want to enjoy a fresh driving experience without breaking the bank! 

Maintenance: Ensuring your car’s maintenance can be a hassle but not when it’s leased. That’s because you have everything planned out by the leasing company including the schedule and costs. All you have to do is sit back and relax!

Leasing Cons

You Don’t Own the Car: Leasing will give you the luxury of owning a car by not actually “owning” it. Once your lease is up, you’ll have to return the car and you won’t have any equity in the vehicle. 

This lack of ownership can be a significant drawback especially if you plan to pass the car down. With KINTO however, you benefit from a transparent and straightforward leasing experience. 

That means no hidden fees, no surprise charges and most importantly, no depreciation concerns! 

Monthly Commitments: While leasing is more cost effective in the long run, you’re still required to make monthly payments through the lease term. Remember to factor in these commitments when assessing your budget. 

These regular payments are fixed costs and failure to meet them may result in penalties or even termination. If lengthy leases are too much of a commitment, we always have short term options for you to consider. 

Disposition Fees: The disposition fee is charged when you return the car. It covers the cost of any wear and tear on the vehicle. It’s an expense you should be aware of so you consciously drive safer all the time. 

If you do find yourself stranded due to unforeseen circumstances, remember to give us a call. KINTO offers 24/7 roadside assistance for all long term leases! 

Buying Pros

Ownership: Buying a car will give you full ownership of the vehicle. It’s your asset and you can keep it for as long as you want. This means you can do practically anything with it which takes us to the nex point. 

Freedom to Customise: Most petrolheads (car lovers) are passionate about personalising their vehicles. When you buy a car, you have the freedom to customise it as you please. 

No Special Fees: There are no disposition fees when you own a car aside from unexpected repairs. You won’t be penalised for wear and tear on the vehicle and you can maintain it according to your schedule and budget.

Buying Cons

Higher Upfront Costs: Whether you’re paying a lump sum or taking a loan, buying requires a substantial amount of upfront payment. This can be a hurdle for individuals with limited savings. 

Depreciation and COE Worries: New cars depreciate quickly and with COE prices looming large, buying a car can be a challenging financial commitment. 

You not only face the immediate cost of purchase but also depreciation concerns and soaring COE prices. These ongoing costs can be a major blow to your budget.

Maintenance and Repair Costs: Car owners are responsible for all maintenance and repair costs. This includes planning and scheduling your regular maintenance.  These costs can add up over time and should be factored into your budget. 

Long Term Commitment: Paying for occasional repairs and monthly payments is one thing, but the long term implications can really take a toll on your budget. 

Think about it, you’ll be paying for your car’s  upkeep for as long as you own it. And that’s not even factoring in its monthly payments (for those who loan)! These commitments may limit your flexibility to do other things with your money.

Lease or Buy?

With all that out of the way, you should have a better understanding of leasing and buying. Now the big question remains; lease or buy? At the end of the day, it all comes down to you and your personal preferences. 

If you want to avoid long-term commitments while driving the latest cars, then leasing is definitely for you. If you prefer ownership and the freedom to customise, consider buying instead. 

Just remember to make a decision that aligns with your financial goals and lifestyle.

Check out KINTO’s car leasing solutions and cost-effective options here. We also have Exclusive Memberships for car owners who want to experience the perks of leasing with KINTO. 

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