After being ripped off by a sleazy car salesman in Houston with a balloon payment many years ago, I was very vigilant when we chose to lease a Toyota Camry. We decided to lease because everybody knows that when you purchase a car, it loses 20% of its value when you drive it off the dealer’s lot.
We managed to negotiate for a 200 dollar a month payment with $2300 payment due at lease signing. We have the option to purchase the LE Camry at the expiration of the 36 month lease.
There is another charge, called the Disposition Fee, due at lease expiration if we choose not purchase the Camry. In our case, the disposition fee is only $350 which is fair as the Toyota dealership would have to get the car ready either to sale, release, or rent if we elect not to purchase the 2012 Camry. The only gripe I have is that the Toyota Finance representative did not mention the Disposition fee when we were closing on the car….very much like the lowlife Sterling McCall Salesman in Houston who never uttered a word about the balloon payment he nailed me with! At least the Disposition Fee was only a $350 surprise compared to the $6000 balloon payment the scummy Sterling McCall rep failed to mention!
Our total cost of purchasing versus leasing is roughly the same. The advantage of leasing is that you do not have to come up with a large down payment and your monthly payments are much smaller. Also you can lease another brand new car at lease expiration. I just do not see the advantage of car ownership.
One disadvantage of leasing is that if you do not bring the car back in good condition, you will be billed for damages or missing items.