Car buying tips - to rent or buy?

Driver’s dilemma – to rent or buy?

Both offer advantages but it all boils down to one’s situation

This is something most, if not all, licensed drivers have asked at one point or another. Buy your ride or rent it? Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, but it all boils down to one’s situation.

Buying a car can give you a sense of accomplishment, but it comes at a price. Acquiring a car loan at a debilitating interest rate, paying for insurance which depends on the value of the car (the more expensive the car, the higher the insurance), doling out money for registration and other administrative fees, down payment on the vehicle, etc., can result in a substantial dent in the pocket. And let’s not forget maintenance, which has to be budgeted into your monthly expenses. Monthly installments are also on the higher side when purchasing a car. But the upside to owning a car is in the specifications. Any car lover knows what a difference a personalized interior and exterior can mean.

So what does the other option, renting, entail? What most people who have been down this road would testify is that the biggest upside is the absence of liability, resulting from the absence of ownership. For those on short-term job contracts, leasing is the only option. Monthly rental rates are also markedly lower than monthly installments paid when buying a car. Although many would argue that renting a car is more expensive than buying in the long run, the decision to buy can be made when circumstances become more favorable, thereby negating that argument altogether.

But whatever you do, whether you buy or rent, buckle up and drive safely.

Handy Hints
• Buying a car requires substantial money upfront
• Renting becomes more expensive in the long run
• Rental companies take care of maintenance, etc.

Source: Bushra Hamed-Sharif, Special to Classifieds, The writer is a freelancer