Suze Orman: Don't ever lease a car


Exactly, people seem to think that BMW etc builds Carplay - no they just buy a unit from an OEM and put it in their car.


Maybe suze should learn how to lease $20 cruze and $50 trax. :wink:


You’re the 2nd person to point that out, but that was just a side-note and not the point I was trying to make. Plus, it’s pretty far from a sure thing that your car will be compatible “Needless to say, this will work only in vehicles that have room for it.”


that’s exactly right, and for those types of people even making payments on time is hard so she’s not entirely wrong as it relates to her audience.


It is stupid when people say that cars are a utility. Guess what, you can say that about anything. Oh why do you need an iphone? Just get the cheapest android burner you can. Oh you have a flat screen? Should have kept that old CRT TV instead. Why buy new clothes? Just keep washing what you have even if it is faded and baggy.


I fully agree - people with debt / bad credit SHOULD buy a $99 phone so that they spend less time texting and more time working / bettering themselves / saving.

There are a lot of “must haves” today that my parents (born in the 40s) couldn’t have dreamed of. And then people wonder why my parents are financially set and they are not, even though my dad was a machinist and my mom a part-time secretary…


Tell people that ($200/month), and they’ll come back to you all proud of their $199 lease with $7.5K down…


Ha, you’re completely right!


Not like someone is making an argument that a new $1000 iphone is a “must have”, except of course the fan boyz. Everything is utilitarian, other than food, air and water.


If you only knew how many times I’ve tried to explain this to people…I’ll be the first to admit that I am in debt, because I have three degrees, all progressively higher than the last, and I’m never paying them off, because of the interest rates (all federal loans too). But aside from that, I drive to work, and I’ve had an older car before.

I’ve also worked my break-even point, and it never ever works out to be worth it for me to keep a car for 5 years, 10 years, or anything, gamble with what will happen post-warranty, have to deal with selling it, what I will get for it, or anything, even if it is at a time when the loan is paid off.

I’d much rather just spend less each month up-front, have a car that is constantly under warranty, chuck it, and get another car. I don’t care what car you have, whether it be a Camry, Accord, or some other highly-rated cars, there are lemons out there. I had a lemon Fusion, for instance.


In my experience purchasing the downhill slide is slightly after the warranty is up. In the past leasing was never an option because of my commute. Don’t have that anymore so leasing makes perfect sense. That and my extremely short attention span with cars :rofl:


There are 3 legit options IMO.

  1. Pay only depreciation.
  2. Buy a cash car (reliable brands only) already 90% depreciated.
  3. Buy a car and keep it 10+ years.

The biggest mistake is buying a used Audi with a recently expired warranty and trading it in the day after you pay it off.


Buying an old Audi is a mistake period. I got tired of dropping 1K every time I walked into the dealership. I did the math and figured that for the cost of maintenance + depreciation on my 4 year old Audi A4 I could lease a new GS 350. I did just that and I don’t regret it one bit. Oh and I invested the money I got from selling my Audi and the profits covered most of my GS 350 lease.


I recall seeing somewhere that her reason for saying this was an $800 or so per month lease that she had for a 7-Series back in the 80s or 90s. Obviously, that is the complete opposite of a leasehack and what we are used to on this forum. Likewise, $800 in 1990, adjusted for inflation today, would equal around $1,600/month, which is purely absurd for a 7. Add this onto the fact that the options lists were nowhere where they are today, and it’s evident that she had a poor experience with leasing because her deal was the epitome of poor lease deals to begin with.


Yeah I didn’t give up on sex just because the first time I was terrible :grin:


Yeah but - how many bad leases have we seen? I think the point is - there’s many more ways a lease can go wrong (if the person doesn’t know what they’re doing) than a purchase. Like people not knowing they can negotiate a lease - everyone who thinks they have to pay MSRP (I thought that until I joined here) is already 9/10 of the way to a bad lease. On the other hand, pretty much every one knows you can negotiate the sales price for a purchase, and don’t pay MSRP. Now, many probably still think below invoice is a “steal”, but if you buy right around invoice, vs. leasing at MSRP - which one’s the worse deal?


I don’t understand this. What assumptions are you using?


You may not have but I heard the poor girl became a nun …


What’s so hard to understand? No matter what car it is, whether it’s the most highly-rated, most reliable car, you can always end up with a lemon, it can always become a money pit post-warranty.

If I can get a lease for $300 - $400 a month for 3 years, let’s say it’s $350 (and that’s including tax rolled in, which is around $30-$35 in NY) - that’s $12,600 over 36 months. If I buy a $35,000 car and have a 48-month loan, the payment is $729 a month, excluding tax and at 0% interest (I could never afford this, so this option is moot). Over 60 months, it’s $583, and at 72 months, it’s $486.

More than likely, I’m going to be in a car that is at least $40,000, especially since I need AWD where I live and because of my commute, but I’m going cheaper just to show math.

Even with the least expensive payment over 72 months, my out-of-pocket is already $4,900 ahead over 3 years, and I didn’t even account for tax or something like a 0.9% interest rate on the loan!

I am using a 3-year-old version of my car, an S60, as an example. Trade-in value is about $19,000; private party is about $23,000.

On the 72-month loan, after 3 years, I’ve paid off only 50% of the car, $17,500. On the 60-month loan, I still owe $14,012. Most people don’t sell cars after 3 years, and I don’t get anything back on the car at this point. I will arguably have to put at least brakes into the car by this time, windshield wipers, and some other minor things. This can end up running $500 - $1,000.

Between then and 5 years, the car’s warranty runs out. I will pay an additional $8,400 for 2 more years of leasing, but I didn’t pay for brakes or anything else, either. On the loans, I’ve paid $11,664 or $14,000 over an additional 2 years. After 5 years, the 60-month is paid off, but I still owe at least $6,000 on the 72-month loan.

The value at 5 years is $13,000 - $16,000. I could have a slew of repairs or none, if I’m lucky. My alternator could go. My water pump could go. I could need a battery. I could need a/c service. If I want to keep up with the 10,000 mile service intervals, that’s about $1,000 a pop.

So at 5 years, I’ve put in at least $8,500 more in payments than I would leasing, not factoring in sales tax (at least $2,000 more than leasing - $33 a month over 60 months) or interest (probably negligible if it’s 0.9%, but those offers are few and far between these days, too).

What this means is that if I still owe at least $6,000 on the 72-month option, and I sell the car after 6 years for $14,500, I get $8,500, and maybe it’s a wash, but once the car is out of warranty, it’s a gamble. I’ve also had to lay out that money up-front, haven’t had the money when I may have needed it, couldn’t earn interest on it, and who knows what other expenses could come up with the car during that time once the car is out of warranty? Plus, to have to negotiate with a dealer on selling a car or put a car for sale privately and wasting my time is not something I want to deal with – and these numbers are all for a car that is less than what I would pay anyway!

Also, my insurance company has shown me via quotes that it’s cheaper to insure a new car than an older car, so that saves me money too.

I’ll stick to leasing.


I wouldn’t blame her!
I agree with other posters that any lease under $150, maybe even $200, is worth it at minimum to keep miles and wear and tear off your vehicle you own and want to keep indefinitely.