So you’re ready for a new ride, but can’t make up your mind as to whether buying or leasing is better. While there are pros and cons to both options, we’ve collected some tips to help make the decision a bit easier.

Before we kick things off, it’s best to preface this blog post by letting you know that Consumer Protection BC does not regulate BC’s motor vehicle sales industry. If you have an issue with a car or a car dealership, you may want to contact the Vehicle Sales Authority of BC (which oversees the retail sales of personal use vehicles and licenses car dealerships and salespeople) or the Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan (a program designed to resolve disputes with car manufacturers about defects in your vehicle’s assembly or materials, or with regard to how the manufacturer is applying or administering its new vehicle warranty). OK, now here we go!

1. Calculate the costs

The Office of Consumer Affairs has created a Vehicle Lease or Buy Calculator to help you compare the costs to finance, lease or lease/buyout over time. Give it a try by clicking here!

2. Understand what a lease is

The Vehicle Sales Authority of BC offers information around leasing to help you decide whether or not it’s a good option for you. A leasing agreement is a legally binding contract, so make sure you are aware of all the terms and conditions before you sign. Tip: the Motor Dealer Act Regulation provides for a one day cooling-off period when leasing a car. After you enter into a lease agreement, you may cancel without penalty within that one day.

3. Think about what’s right for you

Carefully weigh your options: is having a new car every two or three years important to you, or are you more interested in having a car for the long run? Are you OK being limited to a certain number of kilometers, or do you want flexibility? Do you think you’ll worry about the wear and tear on your car and how that may affect your lease agreement?

Have you ever purchased or leased a car? Tell us about your experiences in a comment below!


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