On the road of life, there are countless decisions to make when buying a car. SUV or sedan? New, certified or used? More horsepower, more miles per gallon or maybe even both? One of the many decisions, and financially speaking the most important one, is: lease or loan? Get a quick answer to that question by reading the 5 Signs You Might Love a Lease.

1. You don't have a long-distance relationship with your car.

If road trips aren't your idea of fun and your commute is short, a lease could work for you. If you drive 12,000-to-15,000 miles a year or less, you won't need to worry about going over the mileage agreement with the leasing company. You can often buy additional miles at the start of the lease to avoid a per mile charge at the end. If you think you'll drive a lot more than 15,000 miles each year, however, consider a loan.

2. New and hot is cool with you.

Do you drive a car until it's considered "classic," or is new more your style? If you like getting a new car every two-to-three years and enjoy staying in touch with cutting-edge technology, think about a lease. If you're perfectly content to drive the same car for years and years, explore loan options.

3. Simple maintenance is simply all you want.

One of the benefits of new car leases is that the length of the lease usually falls within the timeframe of the new car warranty. If you don't want a serious relationship with a mechanic and prefer to keep your definition of maintenance simple, think about a lease. Instead of worrying about major repairs or long-term performance, you can enjoy the first, best years of your car and the comfort of a full manufacturer warranty.

4. Ownership is a state of mind.

If having the latest model on the road is more important to you than the possession of a car title, think lease. You won't be able to modify the car with spoilers or other accessories, but you'll have far less commitment. If owning a car is on your lifetime to-do list, check out loans.

5. Your credit history is strong.

The general rule is that the stronger the credit history, the easier it is to get a lease. Proud of your credit score? Try leasing. Still recovering from some financial bumps and bruises in the past? Think about a loan.

Did any of these signs strike a note with you? If not, check out 5 Signs You Might Love a Loan. To learn more about how leasing can meet your financial needs, use our Purchase vs. Lease Calculator. You'll get an instant look at the cost differences between the two options. For a high-level introduction to car financing, read Leasing Basics and Loan Basics.


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