Suze Orman: Don't ever lease a car


In reference to the YouTube clip
This guy is insufferable. “Why not dip into your $15k savings to fix your transmission?” Well, dumbass, maybe because the car is 10+ years old and a poor investment to dump money into to keep fixing. Sheesh.
/end rant


Not sure if it changed but Toyota only covered scheduled maintenance for 2 years, so basically two oil changes.

Sounds like you’re being taken advantage of by the mechanic. 4.5 yr old car shouldn’t need rotors. Your daughter’s rear brake pads shouldn’t cost $500.


That’s debatable…maybe he (or the previous guy) warped them. Maybe he (or the previous guy) drives in constant stop-go traffic. I’ve seen it happen. That said, 1,000 is a good raping for brakes/rotors on all 4s.


In 2014 I leased a Dodge Dart for $108 a month with $0 down including taxes for 24 months. That’s less than most people cell phone bill.

It killls me how these experts talk about “wasting” money on leasing but always mention having a huge emergency fund for unexpected things like car repairs…

With leasing, unexpected car repairs are one less thing I’ll have to use my emergency savings for. Not to mention the time savings of never visiting a tire shop or mechanic.


Then he might have the same problem leasing a car, and Toyota won’t cover it.


I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt since it was used, and we have no clue how the last guy drove it. That said, 4.5 years is longer than most lease contracts, even if he got suckered into a 4 year term. But yes, you’re right…if, by chance, he’d eat pads/rotors, he’d be stuck. One thing’s for sure…he needs to shop his mechanic. 500 for rears, and 1,000 for all 4s is crazy. I’m lucky I can do that myself for under 200 for all 4s, but that’s one helluva markup going where he’s going.


Yeah but you leased a Dodge dart. How many people here are looking for a Dart versus something luxury. Seems like everyone needs leather and a pano moonroof. No one should argue that you have absolutely minimized car costs with your 108 bucks a month for an under warranty car. Same doesn’t hold true for someone who “needs” a luxury car.

Ones handiness level is an under thought out line of reasoning in lease vs buy. You are very handy and know what you are doing, that should save you hundreds or thousands a year on maintenance.
But even for someone who is a little handy, it makes a big difference. I change my own cabin and engine air filters, add my own washer fluid, replace break lights/turn signals and battery etc… This is the easy stuff but also the stuff mechanics rip you off on. With my older Civic it easily saves me 400+ bucks a year. Just last month my oil change place wanted to charge me 65 bucks to change a brake light. I paid three bucks for the bulb on Amazon and the work took two minutes. For someone who can’t do the easy things, maintenance gets much more expensive. They are also more likely to be ripped off since they probably don’t know much about cars.


don’t forget the must have CarPlay/Android Auto. What did we do 20 years ago without it or nav? :joy:


10 years ago I guess my wife would not be driving at all since without Nav she can’t find a place she has already gone 20 times via same path. So for her Nav is a must. Luckily Google has gotten so good than she relented and said she’ll use it instead of Built in Nav on the next car.

With that said - my first quote for pads/rotors/labor was over $1k at Honda Dealership. Don’t remember exact number but it was a eye opener. Luckily AdvanceAutoParts had items in a stock and local mechanic begudigly installed them in total for a fraction of the Honda’s official cost. Begrudgingly because he could not upsell whatever he wanted to push with his own markup to pad his pocket.


What are brake pads and rotors? My leases have never needed those.


Printing out Mapquest and shuffling papers while driving was fun. :grin:

Some people I know still do it, while owning a smart phone.


You forgot about this little gem from AAA…


I like your mentality, I came from a purchase only point of view to opening up to leasing.

Had a 2005 Toyota Matrix before, after all is said and done I probably spent only a few hundred in maintenance on it in a few years of ownership. Reason was I had to hunt hard for that car and also it retained much of it’s value, nothing major ever broke on it, and when I finally had to sell it during a move I sold it for a few hundred shy of what I paid about 4 years later. But that meant needing to hunt hard for a deal, and doing most of my own maintenance. I figure most people leasing don’t want to do those type of things for their car. I did my own oil changes, tire rotations, brake pads and rotors.

Now life has changed, I have kids, I need a safer car than something similar to what I was driving before, I opted to lease after my friend explained how it really worked, I had lots of false ideas of what a lease was, I always came from the whole “that car isn’t mine if I lease it mentality.” Owning my own car meant I had to answer to no one about the condition it was in, I didn’t need to stress about the dings. To me the payment is right for the next 3 years I own my current lease, I can deal with not being able to upgrade my systems etc, I didn’t go too high on the luxury scale away from what we could comfortably afford. In exchange I get to spend less time changing brakes and more time taking my family out for fun, and knowing that they’re in something with safer technology and engineering.

I am not sure it’ll be a forever thing, rates do change, I missed out on buying a few property homes because the market ran off from under me where I was living, and I’m sure automobiles aren’t immune to price hikes, in one sense, I think buying a car is like locking in a good rate on a mortgage before things start to rise, but right now the economy is looking good.

Rent vs Own, Finance vs Cash vs Lease, I mean it’s all a matter of timing, no blanket statement could contain it all.


In my experience 3 options make sense.

  1. Lease
  2. Buy a car that is already depreciated fully.
  3. Buy new or lightly used and keep it 10+ years. Preferably 0 interest.

Suze oversimplifies things as an attention grab.


I like all 3 options and based on car and circumstance abide by those rules.