Leasing vs Financing: Making the Right Choice

Until recently, the Indian car market did most of its business on an outright ownership model. Now, a buyer can even opt for a non-ownership plan like leasing or subscription.

By Manas Arora, Alt Mobility calendar 19 Jun 2023 Views icon1507 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Leasing vs Financing: Making the Right Choice

Owning a vehicle can be an exciting experience but before heading to a dealership, you should know the major choices of finance if you are planning to borrow money to purchase a vehicle. Leasing and financing companies are offering various schemes and both are popular ways to acquire a new vehicle. However, leasing emerges as a growth accelerator in the present automotive industry, especially in EV adoption.

As EVs are becoming synonymous with the future of mobility, industry stakeholders are spending heavily on new business and financing models. To help the industry gain traction, stakeholders put greater emphasis on leasing options that involve lower monthly payments and let you drive so you get into the cycle which makes monthly payments easier and affordable. Apart from this, a multitude of reasons justify why leasing may be better than financing for certain situations.

Lower Monthly Payment
On the surface, lease rentals can be more appealing as they are generally lower than EMIs. Simply put, you only pay for the portion of the vehicle's value that you use during the lease term, rather than the entire value of the vehicle. Additionally, you are not paying back any principal amount which makes leasing a more affordable option for those who need to keep their monthly operating expenses low.

Leasing can take the financial burden of monthly EMIs that contributes to employment generation opportunities in the taxi business. This helps the lessee in rolling out his monthly cash flow while keeping expenses significantly lower in the beginning.

Lower Upfront Costs
In most cases, the upfront costs for leasing a vehicle are lower than the down payment required for financing. Typically, you have to put down a lesser amount as a security deposit and the first month's payment is significantly lower than in the case of financing. Further, in leasing the discounting of the Residual Value is attained on day zero, hence the overall monthly obligations in the form of lease rental also become very lower.

Many financial advisors also point out that making an upfront payment of the highest possible amount is necessary when buying a new vehicle to have reduced monthly payments and principal amounts, while leasing a vehicle can be started with the lowest possible down payment and a fixed monthly payment.

Insurance, maintenance and repair
Many leases come with insurance, maintenance, and repair coverage, (including battery replacement which is almost 50 percent of the vehicle cost). It can potentially save the lessee from unforeseen expenses. Lease arrangements can also save money on routine maintenance and repairs as most of the repairs are covered in this. Unlike financing, the lessee does not have to bear all expenses including insurance, routine maintenance, and repair costs, which can add up over time. Similarly, it also reduces the stress of depreciating car value and the hassle of selling it at the right price.

Leasing allows you to drive a new vehicle every few years. You will always be driving the latest model at a lower monthly cost which can be appealing to those who like to keep up with the latest technology and features. Unlike leasing, you don’t typically have to be committed to the vehicle for the entire loan term and enter into new leasing terms for a vehicle from a different owner.

A lessee can purchase the same vehicle if they love driving it at a relatively lesser price than the market value of a brand-new model. Leasing always includes an option to purchase the vehicle at the end of the lease and gives the lessee the flexibility to own the same vehicle.

The government has shown significant interest in making the leasing of EV vehicles financially viable in the market. A lower GST of five percent and a high depreciation rate of 40 percent has made the leasing market more lucrative.

Ultimately, the decision between leasing and financing depends on individual needs. If one wants to start making a cash flow with a lower down payment, they can go for leasing while those who want to enjoy customisations, mileage, and full control of the vehicle can opt for financing.

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