If you intend on using your Land Rover for light duty purposes and without accruing a large number of miles on an annual basis, you may want to consider leasing. We are not going to get into the “lease vs. buy” debate from a financial perspective. Countless websites have posted countless calculators that show you almost to the penny how the financials break down. For the aspirational Land Rover driver, the lease vs. purchase debate usually comes down to lifestyle and personal preferences and not whether you will save a few hundred dollars over a three year lease.
Lower monthly payments and acquisition costs. Due to the way a lease is structured, you essentially pay only for the portion of the vehicle you use. This results in a lower monthly payment. The acquisition costs are also typically lower than purchasing the same vehicle (down payment, sales tax, etc).
Always under warranty. It is a very attractive prospect to drive a vehicle that is always under warranty and a major factor for many potential drivers considering a Land Rover lease.
Always driving a newer model vehicle. If you lease, you will be able to easily replace your vehicle with the most recent model after your term expires. This may not be a significant benefit to Land Rover drivers since Land Rover vehicles typically go several years between generations. However, if you are interested in owning a Land Rover Range_e (for example) come 2013 of 2014, a lease may be a good alternative to bridge the gap between now and then.
Walk away at the end. With a closed-end lease you can walk away from your Land Rover after your lease obligations have been met. You do not have to worry about negotiating a trade-in price, selling the vehicle as a private party, warranty or recall issues, etc.
Mileage restrictions with harsh over-mileage penalties. The current Land Rover over-mileage penalty is $0.30 per mile on any mileage over 30,000 on a 36-month lease. Many drivers may find themselves struggling to keep the mileage under 10,000 per year, which could lead to significant penalties.
Always have a car payment. If you renew your lease every 36 months and trade up to a new vehicle you will always have a car payment. A rather significant benefit to ownership is that eventually the car payments come to an end. Not so with leases.
Limited use. Leasing is not a good idea if you want to go off-road or routinely use your Land Rover in any situation that could result in damage or unusual wear. You will pay penalties on any damage and you will not be able to modify or customize the vehicle in any way beyond dealer-authorized accessories.
Fixed ownership period. It can be difficult to divest of a leased vehicle before the lease term has come to completion. Speak with your Land Rover retailer about early lease termination before you sign any lease documents. Early termination fees almost always apply.
Potentially higher insurance premiums. The lease provider will have insurance minimums which will be required to be active on the vehicle for the duration of the lease. Purchase lenders have similar requirements, but owners who hold no financial obligations against the vehicle have much more latitude to set their insurance minimums to best satisfy their needs and risk tolerances.
No equity in the vehicle. Under a closed-end lease, you will have no equity in the vehicle and simply walk away after your obligations have been met. However, Land Rover leases provide the lessee the option to purchase the vehicle at a price negotiated with the retailer at signing. After your lease obligations are met, you can make a pre-negotiated balloon payment and take over ownership of the vehicle.