There is no right or wrong choice when it comes to leasing vs. buying and it comes down to your personal preference. If you decide to buy a car outright, then you will have full control over the configuration, trim and style of the car. You also won’t have to worry about restrictions on annual mileage. However, financing a new or used car, rather than buying it outright will usually come with some mileage restrictions.
Cars tend to depreciate quickly in value, at varying rates depending on the manufacturer. This means that it will be worth much less by the time you want to sell it. Leasing can be a great way to mitigate this because you simply hand the car back once the lease period is over. Leasing can also be a good option for drivers who prefer to drive a new car and exchange it every few years for a new one. And because brand new cars don’t need an annual MOT for the first three years, and because road tax is often included in the deal, leasing can actually work out cheaper per month than buying a car in cash or through financing.
PCH means that you will never legally own the car. Once your leasing period is over the vehicle has to be handed back. PCP gives you the option to buy the car outright at the end of your contract. Some people refer to this as the ‘balloon payment’ and the final lump sum will be significantly larger than your previous monthly payments.
You will need to speak to the lease company to explore whether they offer test drives. If they do not offer this option, then you can usually arrange a test drive through the manufacturer’s website or local dealership.