Should you LEASE or BUY your next Subaru? - How to decide.

Difference between leasing and buying a new Subaru at Sterling Subaru:

When you PURCHASE a Subaru...

- Generally MORE up front money
- Higher monthly payment
- Routinely having to deal with negotiating trade in values
- Responsible for maintenance costs after warranty expires
- GAP protection NOT included - added expense to purchase
- Safety & technology does not change
- No loyalty incentives
- Potential negative equity when you sell if value is less than payoff

When you LEASE a Subaru...

- Generally LESS up front money
- LOWER monthly payment
- No trade-in negotiations ever
- Less maintenance cost (always under warranty)
- GAP protection included*
- Update safety & technology every three years
- Receive Subaru Lease Loyalty Incentives
- No chance of negative equity
- Sales tax applied to monthly payment and spread out over term of lease
-New Car every 3 years or less with Subaru Trade Up Advantage.

What Exactly is a Lease?

Think of leasing like you are renting a car - but you only pay for the part you use.

Basically, you are financing the portion of the car you agree to use and not the car itself.

Insurance cost the same for leased or purchased vehicle.

About Subaru Leases

A typical Subaru lease is 36,39 or 42 months at 10,000, 12,000 or 15,000 miles per year. You may pre-buy additional mileage at the time of your lease if you choose. There is NO security deposit required. Subaru offers lessors a loyalty bonus equal to the first month of your next lease free (up to $500).Subaru is very generous with $1,000 "wear and tear" allowance when you turn your car in. This covers typical scratches, dings, and minor deferred maintenance items. Less Sales Tax and NO Negative Equity When you purchase a vehicle, you have to pay the entire sales tax amount UP FRONT when you register it. When you lease, the sales tax rate is added to each monthly payment only. According to, 32% of consumers are upside down on the vehicle they are financing. This means that their car is worth less than what they owe. This is not possible when you lease a Subaru because at the end of the lease, you owe nothing and you don't carry forward any negative equity into your next lease or purchase. In fact, your Subaru may be worth more than the lease-end value, putting $$ in your pocket!

Common Questions About Leasing

What is GAP insurance?

GAP insurance stands for Guaranteed Auto Protection and covers any difference between the current market value of the car (insurance settlement) vs your outstanding loan or lease payments in the event of total loss, theft or destruction of the vehicle. All Subaru leases INCLUDE GAP insurance. If you purchase a car, you have to buy GAP Insurance separately.

What is Cash Cap Reduction?

When you put money down on a purchased vehicle, you lower the payments because you are financing less money. That makes sense.

When you put money down on a leased vehicle (called Cash Cap Reduction), you buy down the payments only (on a car you don't own). In the event you total your car toward the beginning of the loan, GAP insurance will cover the value of your car but you will loose your money down. That's why we recommend putting the least amount of money down on a lease as possible.

What happens if I need to get out of my lease early?

When you sign a lease agreement you are obligated to make all of the monthly payments until the end of the lease. However, job downsizing, divorce, new baby or other factors may change your vehicle requirements. Don't walk away from the lease and harm your credit. Center Subaru will buy out your existing lease, no matter what make or model, for a new Subaru that best meets your needs. Give us a call at 888-869-5889 and we will be happy to inform you of your options.

You should NOT lease a Subaru if you:

-Tend to drive more than 15,000 miles per year.

-Expect a change in your job or family status - Changing status (job, family, baby) could alter the requirements of your current vehicle. Early termination of your lease could be costly.

-Like to keep your cars for a long time - This allows you years of no car payments.

-Mistreat your cars or don't maintain them - You are responsible for maintaining your leased vehicle according to Subaru's specifications.

-Want to customize your car - What goes on must come off without damaging or altering the car when you turn it in. This commonly happens with performance vehicles like a WRX/STI.

Consider a Subaru lease if you:

-Want a lower monthly payment or more car for your money

-Desire less maintenance headaches - Subaru's 3 year, 36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty covers everything (even wiper blades) except for regular scheduled maintenance - which you would do anyway whether you bought it or leased it.

-Have fairly consistent mileage history so as to not incur mileage penalties.

-Enjoy the latest safety and technology features as well as mileage improvements.

-Just like the smell of a new car.


As you can see, there are many factors to consider when deciding if a Subaru lease is right for you. We recognize that every customer has unique requirements. At Center Subaru, our goal is to LISTEN to your requirements and PROVIDE you with helpful information to make a good decision. Please select the new Subaru you want and then ask us to run BOTH lease and purchase payments for you so you can compare for yourself.