Is it Better to Buy or Lease a New Pickup Truck?

Is it better to buy or lease a new pickup truck? Whenever consumers are interested in a new vehicle from a dealership, the debate begins. Each of the options has their own advantages but differ from vehicle to vehicle. Particularly with pickup trucks, this can be a tough decision. Depending on the purpose of owning your personal pickup truck, one option may be better than the other. Though if the price is right, buying and leasing can each be tempting in their own way.

Should you lease a pickup truck?

Red 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor driving on mountainous terrain
Ford F-150 Raptor | Ford

First and foremost, the most important thing to know about leasing is that it will cost you less money. Pickup trucks have not been cheap for a long time. Many start from $40,000-$50,000 and can eclipse $80,000 or more under the right circumstances. That kind of price is not one you’ll want to finance. Leasing a pickup truck can make it much more affordable, monthly payment-wise. According to Edmunds, the average truck payment when leasing is almost $200 per month cheaper than the average financed monthly payment.

Secondly and as we all know, vehicles depreciate the instant they’re purchased. Your leased pickup truck is going to be worth significantly less just a few years later. The good news is, that’s not your problem. Turn the truck in and forget it ever existed, and it doesn’t matter what it’s worth. You get to drive a brand new pickup truck for a few years equipped with the most luxurious modern technology, make it worth way less money, then cut your losses and run. Best of all, if you completely fall in love with the truck you’ve leased, there’s always the option to buy it to own it at the end.

Is buying a pickup truck better than leasing?

Yellow 2022 Ram 1500 TRX Ignition Edition
2022 Ram 1500 TRX Ignition Edition | Ram

The best part about buying a truck instead of leasing it is that you can do anything you want to it. Not to say you couldn’t do it to a leased truck, but at the end of the lease, you might owe a lot more money. If you finance a pickup truck, you’re free to modify it in any way. If there’s one thing we know, it’s that truck owners love adding accessories, lift kits, and other modifications to their vehicles. Making changes like these to a leased vehicle would either cost money at turn-in, or you’d have to remove all modifications before returning it to the dealer.

Additionally, you can use it as a work truck. Just like with modifications, sure you can use a leased truck for work, but all damages are going to be charged back to you upon lease-end. That’s not usually something people want to deal with, and it can get very expensive. Work trucks usually take a beating, whether it’s the bed, constant dirty and dangerous environments for the paint, or even just tools and people getting in and out. Work trucks tend to get hit with a lot of extra wear and tear, and if you’ve financed yours, you fix it (or don’t) on your own terms.

Down payments

Black 2022 Chevrolet Silverado with mountains in the background
2022 Chevrolet Silverado | Chevrolet

Making a down payment can be a stressful decision in its own right. Both leasing and financing can have down payments, and the amount is really up to you. All the down payment does is lower the monthly payment, so future you will be very thankful if it’s a bigger down payment. The downside of lease down payments is that they’re recurring. If at the end of your lease you lease another vehicle, you’ll have to make another down payment. Not to mention the fact that your lease down payment is basically blown away in the wind. It slightly lowers your payment, but you’re not going to keep the truck. Essentially, you’re paying a “lower my payment” fee.

Down payments when financing is a little less wasteful. Again, the purpose is to get your payment lower. However, with financing, the amount you put down will also go towards the price of the truck. That means $3,000 down knocks $3,000 off the total price you’ll owe and finance. That’s a big improvement over the lease, where the money seemingly disappears.

There are plenty of advantages and disadvantages to leasing or buying a new pickup truck. The right choice for you depends on the situation and what you want to do with the truck. Leasing can be a great way to save money in the short term, have less long-term responsibility, and avoid depreciation. It’s also the best way to constantly get to drive the newest pickup trucks. Buying gives full ownership and allows you to modify, beat up, and drive off-road in your pickup truck as you’ve always wanted.

RELATED: Is Leasing a New Car Always Better Than Financing?