Buying vs. Leasing

Signing a Car Lease

What is the difference between leasing and buying a car? This is a common question that many Elizabethtown-area car buyers ask when they visit us at Oxmoor Toyota. If you’re in the market for a new Toyota vehicle, you may often wonder about the difference between leasing and financing and financing a car. It’s an important question to ask because you want to make sure you’re making the best financial decision. So, if you’re wondering, “should I buy or lease?”, the team at Oxmoor Toyota is here to help with our guide on the difference between leasing and financing a car.



What You Need to Know


Who Owns It


Whether you pay for the car with cash, or finance it and make monthly payments, either way it’s yours. Of course, if you’re financing it, you’ll have to meet the obligations the lender requires, like a certain down payment amount and timely monthly payments. If you don’t, they have the right to repossess it.


You do not own the car when you lease. You’re paying for the use of the vehicle, but the finance institution that you leased it through actually owns it. This is usually why you pay less per month in a lease than if you were to buy the car.

Up Front Costs


If you’re financing it, the bank will probably request a down payment. You can also trade-in another vehicle and use any equity towards your down payment. The amount of the down payment is usually based on the lender’s requirements and your credit score.


Leases often do not require any type of a down payment. All you usually have to pay is the first month’s payment, a security deposit, the acquisition fee and other fees and taxes. But, as with a purchase, if you want to lower your monthly payments you can always pay more upfront.

Future Value


Your vehicle will be worth whatever you can sell it for in the future and that depends on how well you maintain it. (Be smart and protect your investment with regular scheduled maintenance by a factory-authorized facility!)


In most leases you don’t end up owning it so you don’t end up selling it. That’s the financial institution’s job. Although you may have mileage limits and wear and tear guidelines that, if you exceed them, could cost you extra money when you turn your vehicle back in.

End of Payments


Once you’ve paid off what you owe on your contract, that’s it. Your vehicle is 100% yours. The lending institution will send you a Lien Release as proof that the vehicle is completely paid off and all yours.


Most people return the vehicle at the end of the lease term. But some like to purchase it during their lease or at the end. Others like to trade it in before their lease is over. Just ask us about these different options before signing any paperwork and we’ll make sure you have your lease set up the way you want it.

Best Cars to Lease




The best cars to lease are those with the best book value after the term of the lease. Since they depreciate less, you pay less. Review the lease ratings to see which cars retain their value.

Explore Leasing and Financing Options at Oxmoor Toyota

Are you still wondering, “what is the difference between lease and finance?” Our finance experts in the finance department are here and ready to answer all of your financial questions – including how to get a lower interest rate on a car loan. When it comes to getting a lease vs. buying, it’s all about what’s best for you. Check out our vehicle inventory, view our Internet Fast Pass benefits, and explore our current leasing and financing deals before stopping by Oxmoor Toyota. Contact us today with any questions you have – like how to trade in a financed car or what a Certified Pre-Owned car is!

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Oxmoor Toyota 38.2503496, -85.6054255.