The History of Car Buying and Leasing

The process of purchasing a vehicle has evolved greatly in the last two decades, when leasing hit its peak in 1999. Suddenly, you could purchase the vehicle of your dreams for a fraction of the cost of a traditional loan. 

Regardless of whether you are leasing or buying a new or used car, auto insurance is crucial. This coverage helps protect your finances and the cost of repairs for your vehicle. It can also cover the cost of repairs to another driver’s vehicle if it’s involved in an accident. 

We will discuss the history of car leasing, its popularity, and why it may be declining.

What does it mean to lease a car? 

When leasing a car, you are essentially renting the car for a specified time period. You are using the car for a certain amount of miles in a specific time period. For example, you might lease a car for two years and 30,000 miles. 

You should also recognize that when leasing a car, you must have full coverage insurance if the company requires it. If there is an accident, you are responsible for the repair of that vehicle. It’s important to compare auto insurance rates online to find the most affordable coverage. 

When leasing a car, you will never own the vehicle outright. You return the vehicle to the dealership at the end of the lease period. You can either lease another vehicle, buy the leased vehicle, buy a different vehicle, or find other transportation options. 

The History of Car Leasing

Car leasing as we know it started in the U.S. in the 1940s and 1950s when some of the first leasing options were offered to businesses, but not to the general public. The big boom of the leasing industry happened in the 1950s and 1960s. 

Manufacturers like Chrysler, General Motors, and Ford started offering leasing options in the 1960s. Interest in car leases continued to grow through the late 1900s and into the 2000s. 

As cars became more expensive, leasing became more popular. In the early 2000s, leasing numbers were booming. Before the recession in 2008, leasing was still popular, but the industry has seen its share of ups and downs. 

In general, leasing popularity has taken a recent dip and leasing sales were lower than in the previous 15 years. However, the popularity and ease of leasing luxury cars have increased interest in recent years. 

Why lease a car?

There are benefits and drawbacks to leasing a car. If you like to switch cars every few years for a newer model or completely different brand, leasing might be a good option for you. When you choose to lease a car, you are never tied to a vehicle for more than a few years. 

You might also be able to afford a nicer car with your monthly budget when leasing. You are only paying the depreciation of the car for the time you are leasing the car. This is cheaper than paying for the full purchase price of the car. 

Many individuals can’t afford to buy a luxury car but can afford to lease one. It’s also a way to get a car with the newest features and technology available. 

You also don’t have to worry about selling a car. You just return the car to the dealership when the lease expires. You can negotiate the lease price, just like you would when purchasing a car. 

Leases also make sense if you don’t drive a lot. The annual mileage limits for leased vehicles range from 10,000 to 15,000 a year. If you exceed this amount at the end of the lease term, you will be charged an additional fee per mile. 

The History of Car Buying

Car buying started in the late 1800s. Back then, cars were sold directly from the factory that made them. The first car dealerships began selling cars around 1898. 

The world wars in the 1900s affected car sales. After World War II, auto sales took off. The car boom continued into the 1960s. 

Cars became more expensive to make in the 1970s because of the oil crisis. This also helped increase the availability of cars that got better gas mileage and were more economically priced.

Currently, online car dealerships are becoming more popular. Tesla is a well-known automobile manufacturer that sells its cars straight from the factory with no local dealerships. 

The increase in purchasing items on the internet has also affected car shopping. Popular options like Carvana, Vroom, and DriveTime make it easy for you to view available cars online and purchase them without going to a dealership. The car can either then be picked up or delivered to your home. 

Many people still prefer to purchase a car in person at a dealership. They like the idea of seeing a vehicle, doing a test drive, and talking with a salesperson face-to-face. Many dealerships are offering both options for purchasing vehicles to meet the demand for all their customers. 

Why buy a car over leasing a car? 

Whether you are looking for a fancy sports car or a reliable family van, buying a car is a solid option for many auto owners.

If you like the idea of owning a car after making payments for a few years, then buying a car might be a better option for you. After the car is paid off, you own the car and don’t have to make any more payments. This isn’t possible with a lease. 

Purchasing a car also makes more sense if you drive a lot or have a long commute to work. Leases only allow for a certain amount of miles and if you go over this amount, it can be costly. 

If you have the cash available to purchase a car with no need to make the monthly payments, buying a car would be a better option for you as well. You may also have enough cash to afford a large down payment, which makes buying a car the better option. 

The Truth About Car Leasing and Buying

Car leasing has had its ups and downs, but it is making a comeback for a number of reasons. Ultimately, it comes down to your personal situation and preferences on if leasing is a good option for you. Auto insurance is a must, regardless of whether you are buying or leasing a new car. 

Melissa Morris writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, AutoInsurance.org. She is a university professor and enjoys researching and learning about cars in her spare time.

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