Whether you're a first time buyer or a veteran pro at car shopping -- you should know the difference between leasing and financing a vehicle.

There are a lot of factors in your decision -- your two most important ones being your budget and your lifestyle. Will you drive it often? Is this more for business or pleasure? Are you planning on upgrading often? Ask yourselves these questions before making your final decision in your next step in the car buying process.

When you lease a car, you don't own it. This means that at the end of the lease, you can choose to return it or buy it. The dealership will want to keep it in good selling condition, so it's important that you don't make any customer add-ons or permanent modifications to the vehicle. Any damages or wear and tear considered "not normal" to the dealership's policy has to be fixed before you return it.

When leasing a car, up-front costs typically includes the first month's payment, a refundable security deposit, down payment, taxes, registration fees and other fees specified by the dealership.

Compare the monthly payment for a lease with financing -- you will still get the exact same car for less money by choosing lease because lease payments are typically lower than loan payments. Alternatively, setting aside a specific amount of money in your monthly budget may actually allow you to drive a more expensive vehicle when you lease a car instead of financing it.

Monthly payments factor in the car's depreciation during the lease term, rent/interest charges, taxes and fees. If you want to end your lease early, there's an early termination charge -- which can be just as costly as sticking with a contract. In the long-term when you lease, the car's future value won't affect you financially but you won't get any equity on your vehicle. Because of this, you'll either have to finance the purchase of the car or lease or buy another.
  • Lease terms are shorter than most finance terms which allows you to drive a new car more often
  • No obligations with trade-ins
  • You can drive a better model or get more features than if you financed
  • You pay taxes only on your monthly payments
  • You're only paying for the portion of the vehicle's value that you intend to use
  • How many kilometers do you drive a year? Would you consider it an average amount?
  • Do you enjoy having the latest vehicle conveniences, safety features and a few -- if any -- out of warrant repairs?
  • Do you want an overall lower maintenance cost for the 3-4 years of the vehicle operation?
  • Do you enjoy driving a new vehicle every 3-4 years?
  • Do you want LOWER monthly payments on your next vehicle?
  • Do you like the challenge of trading in or selling your older vehicle?

When you finance a car, you become its sole owner and you can keep it for as long as you want it once you pay it off. This means that you can modify or customize it how you choose and the dealership won't charge you for any of the damages. But like leasing, any damages or wear and tear to the vehicle must be repaired by you out of your own pocket.

Upfront costs for financing a car include a registration fee, other fees specified by the dealership, down payment and taxes. When you buy the car, the loan payments are a bit higher than lease payments because you're paying off the purchase price of the vehicle, interest charges, finance charges, taxes and fees. Because you own the car, you can sell or trade in your vehicle at any time. Many car buyers use money from a sale to pay off any outstanding loan balances.
  • You can drive your vehicle for more than just a few years
  • You don't have to worry about the penalties of a lease (IE: excess wear or mileage charges)
  • You can make modifications or changes to the vehicle
  • Once the contract term is done, you own the vehicle
  • You have the ability to sell or trade in your vehicle at any time during the contract term
  • Because the payments can be spread over a longer period of time, there are times when your loan payment is lower than what is might be with a shorter term lease
  • Do you want to hold on to your vehicle for many years before you trade it in, sell it or give it to a family member?
  • Do you have any possible lifestyle or job changes in the near future?
  • Do you drive more than the average driver or the lease's allotted amount?
  • Are you okay with purchasing additional warranty for your vehicle in order to not worry about repairs?
  • Do you mind the cost and possible inconvenience of expected repairs once the warranty expires?
  • Are you able to pay cash for your next vehicle?
  • Do you want long-term financing to get an affordable payment?
  • Is it important to have the feeling of being debt-free after the last payment?
  • Do you mind having HIGHER monthly payments?
  • Do you want to own the vehicle once the loan has been paid off?
The choice will ultimately come down to your personal preference and financial situation. Whether you choose to lease or finance your next vehicle, Erin Mills Acura is here to provide you complete customer satisfaction. Come and see us today!


Knowing the high standards and expectations of Acura drivers, Acura Plus Extended Warranty was designed to enhance the experience of ownership.

That's why it comes with the assurance that no matter what happens to your vehicle while driving in Canada and the continental USA, it will be serviced by highly-trained Acura technicians using only genuine Acura parts.

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