It's fun settling on a Subaru, choosing a trim, and picking the options to create your ideal ride. Deciding on how to pay for it, however, may still form a question mark for you. The following can help you decide whether to choose buying or leasing.


You're probably most familiar with buying a car and may have done it several times in the past. You put in a down payment and, for the remainder of the vehicle price, you take out a long that averages five years in length. (Car loans typically range from 24 to 84 months.) Your monthly payments vary according to the length of the loan and the interest rate, which can be close to zero percent at our dealership.

Leasing a vehicle may be more unfamiliar to you. You're not paying to own the car but rather for the use of it. You typically pay a down payment, the first month's payment, an acquisition fee, and a refundable security deposit.

Monthly lease payments are typically lower than loan payments because you're only paying for the depreciation of the car during the term of the lease and interest charges. Leases typically last 24 to 36 months, although shorter and longer terms are available.

Whether you're buying or leasing, you'll have to shell out money for taxes, registration, and other fees. Any payment terms often depend on your credit score with the best options going to those with a 760 rating or better.


When you buy a car, you can customize it to your heart's content, although some modifications may void the warranty. You don't have to worry about wear or tear, or actual damage. But keep in mind, more mileage and more wear on your vehicle will lower its trade-in or resale value.

You can also drive your purchase for as many miles as you want, and take your vehicle out of state or out of the country.

Leases are stricter about what you can do with your car. You'll be charged extra for exceeding normal wear and tear. If you're the kind of driver who likes to take your vehicle off-roading in rough terrain, then a lease may not work for you.

You're also limited to the number of miles you can drive it per year, typically 12,000 to 15,000. However, this number is negotiable, and high-mileage leases may be suitable if you plan on frequent long-distance trips with your vehicle. If you exceed the negotiated limits, you'll need to pay a per-mile fee.

Many lease contracts prohibit you from moving your vehicle out of state or driving it out of the country. If you intend on doing any of these things while leasing, be sure to let the finance team know and we can negotiate special arrangements.

When you turn in your vehicle at the end of the lease, it must be in original salable conditions so you'll have to remove any custom features. You'll also need to have any damage fixed before the return.

Tax Advantages for Business

Leasing a car for business allows you to deduct some of all of the operating costs, including the lease payment, insurance, registration, maintenance, repairs, gas, and miscellaneous fees. The standard mileage rate deduction is also still available if you prefer. This method, which you can use if you buy a car, multiplies a rate set by the IRS by the number of miles you drive for the business to come up with a deduction amount. You cannot deduct any other expenses.

At the End

When you buy a vehicle, you own it outright at the end of the loan. You can continue to drive it as long as it runs without further financial obligation. You can also sell it for its residual value and keep the profits or use them as a down payment on a new car. Even before the end of the loan, you can sell or trade-in your vehicle and use the money you receive to take care of the loan balance.

At the end of the lease term, you turn the car in, pay any end-of-lease fees, and walk away or sign up for a new lease. If you decide to end your lease early, you may end up paying costs that equal those you would have paid if you stayed with the contract.

Buying may be the better option if you tend to drive your vehicles for longer than the typical loan term. But if you prefer to have a new vehicle every few years, leasing may be the choice for you.

Still Unsure?

Are you still unsure whether buying or leasing is better for you? Then come over to Harley Swain Subaru and have a no-obligation chat with our finance team. They can calculate the actual costs of buying or leasing a model of your choice, and to help you figure out what you can afford. And while you're down here, our friendly sales consultants will be happy to take you on a test drive.


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  • Saturday 09:00am - 06:00pm
  • Sunday 11:00am - 4:00pm

Harley Swain Subaru

1915 N 1st Street
Directions Hermiston, OR 97838

  • Sales: 541-567-9696
  • Service: 541-567-9696
  • Parts: 541-567-9696