As of this December, the lease on my second car will be up. After eight years of leasing cars and enjoying two new vehicles in a row, I have taken it upon myself to figure out what will be better financially for my next set of wheels. To lease or to buy? That is the question!
When I got my first car at the age of 23, I was so excited. I remember picking up my brand new car, which was a trendy hatchback model in dark blue, and driving off the lot with a big smile on my face. I admit it though – my parents were amazing and covered the costs of this car to allow me more financial breathing room. However, I knew this would not last forever.
With my second car, I leased again and was fully financially responsible this time. The idea of trading in a well-used car of four years for a brand new one also excited me. With only one more month to go, and being more financially conservative than ever, I wonder, would it be a better investment to finance to buy? And how would I make purchasing a car a reality?
When you are going to purchase or finance to buy a car directly through a dealership, they have their own agenda. They invite you in, give you a tour around the showroom, take you out for several test drives and butter you up until you are sitting in their finance office, signing on the dotted line. Don’t get me wrong, I love my dealership and the brand of car that I have been loyal to for eight years. However, as a young professional, I am starting to wonder if leasing is financially smart at this point or not.
This is a situation where a credit union can be a great alternative financial partner in obtaining ownership of a vehicle.
When I began discussions with my credit union representative about the idea of purchasing over leasing a car, my rep said that credit unions believe in helping their members set up a financing program in advance of visiting a dealership. This means that the credit union member is in a better position to negotiate with the dealership since financing is already secured.
Aside from the advantage of having a finance program already in place before selecting a new car, credit unions offer even more benefits when financing through them. These include various payment options for members, from direct deposits to in-branch and online banking. In terms of the monthly payments, the amounts are fixed and predictable, avoiding any surprises in your account. There is also flexibility provided to members, offering options from 1 to 5 year payment periods.
And the cherry on top of all these benefits, you may ask? Credit unions are known to have the ability to offer competitive rates. In comparison to what car dealerships credit unions have the ability to evaluate each member individually and work diligently to find competitive rates and to make sure that members understand the true cost of all financing options.
I am still debating about owning over leasing my next car, but it is great to know that I have options!
Looking to purchase a car? Wanting to weigh vehicle finance options? You can visit cooperativebanking.ca to find your closest credit union. For those who live outside of Ontario, find your closest credit union at locator.cucentral.com