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On Physicians and Automobile Leases

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Advantages, Disadvantages and Types

[By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™]

Dr. Marcinko 1972 VetteThe Rites of Spring!

As a former licensed state insurance agent, and financial advisor, I know that leasing a car may have advantages to a physician – and others – such as convenient maintenance, low down and monthly payments, no resale responsibility, and tax savings since you pay sales tax on the lease portion rather than the purchase price of the car.

It might also be worthwhile if the after tax borrowing cost of a home equity loan is less than the lease financing rate.

***

Spring 2011 - NIH

[First Days of Spring 2017]

May Day Weekend 2011 [Dr. David E. Marcinko MBA]

***

Types of Leases

There are two major types of leases: open and closed ended. In the former type, if the car is worth more than the set price upon expiration of the lease, you are responsible for the underage or coverage. In the more advantages later type, the responsibility of the value of the car is shifted to the leasing company. Other tips on care leasing include:

  • Inform the lessor how you want the auto equipped; do not accept unwanted options.
  • Obtain all delivery, and other, charges in advance, including down payment, security.
  • Deposit, registration fees, interest rates, residual value, rebates and all taxes (sales, personal property, use and gross receipt).
  • Know the capitalized cost (selling price) of the car
  • Know annual mileage limits, usually 15-18,000 miles, and all excess use charges.
  • Avoid maintenance and service contracts, and arrange for your own insurance.
  • Understand that terms, such as money factor, or interest factor, may be used instead of the term interest rate. In this case, simply multiple the rate by 24 for an estimate of the true interest rate involved.
  • Read the contract and understand all penalties, especially for premature or late termination, purchase or return terms, and consequences of theft.
  • Check the lease terms through an independent company, such as First National Lease Systems.

Rough Rules of Thumb

A rough rule of thumb to determine whether to buy or lease involves multiplying all the payments required by the number of months you will have to pay, and add the down payment to yield the total amount of the purchase. Then, multiply the lease payment by the number of months, and add required up-front costs, as well as residual value (end of lease buyout cost), to determine the total amount to lease. Compare the two figures to determine the most economical deal.

Typically, a cash deal is less expensive in the long run, providing a higher after tax rate of return is not available, as an alternate investment, for the funds.

***

Jaguar Touring sedan XJ-V8-LWB***

Dis-Advantages

But, there are dis-advantages to auto leasing, too!

Perhaps the worse reason to lease a car is to drive one that you could not otherwise afford to drive. This is because most low monthly payments are only composed of two portions: interest on the note and the prorated cost of auto depreciation. No money is applied to ownership of the vehicle.

Assessment

Finally, beware Spring-Fever and do not likely buy “gap” insurance to cover the difference between what your auto insurer would pay if your car was totaled, and what you would owe the leasing firm. It’s usually too expensive and the risk is minimal.

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