Thanks for your take on the issue of leasing. Obviously, there is a huge market for leasing cars. And in some circumstances, leasing does make sense — especially if you can deduct a portion of the lease payment as a business expense.
But please go back to the video on my website to hear my response. This question came from an adult son, who was advising his MOTHER! While I acknowledged that young people might want to lease because they can get “more car” (read, a more impressive, expensive vehicle) for less money since they are only “renting” the car for three years, this was NOT a strategy designed for a presumably middle-aged woman! The best financial strategy for her was to pay off the car fully and then drive it for another few years (perhaps even paying to extend the warranty).
And, in my experience, the pre-agreed lease/purchase price is almost always as high, or higher, than you could purchase a used car. Of course, if you buy your own car off lease, you have the satisfaction of knowing its maintenance history– and the fact that is was carefully driven by a “little old lady”!
Meanwhile, enjoy your car lease, and the thrill of a new car every three years. And put that $12,000 down payment you didn’t need into a Roth IRA so you will at least have something worthwhile at the end of your leasing cycle!