There really is no clear cut answer to this question. It really all depends on your personals needs and circumstances. There are advantages to both, however there are no differences in maintenance or operating costs.
Leasing may be better for those who drive up to 24,000 kms each year, take excellent care of their vehicles, and want a new car every two to four years. With a lease, you only have to pay for the portion of the car's life that you use.
Buying may be better if you drive a lot of kilometers, put your vehicle to heavy or rough use, or want to build equity. You can also sell, customize or trade your Infiniti if you wish when you own the vehicle.
You should speak to a leasing or financing consultant to determine which is better for your particular situation. Here is a list of some of the pros and cons of both options:
- Total ownership of the vehicle
- Monthly payments paid over a fixed term (may have option to pay bi-weekly)
- Unlimited kilometres
- Resale value (reclaim the amount the vehicle has not lost to depreciation)
- Higher monthly payments vs. leasing
- Pay taxes on total selling price of vehicle
- Repair responsibilities after warranty has expired
- Timing – you may owe more than the vehicle is worth if you sell the vehicle before the loan is paid out
- Inconvenience – you may need to sell your old vehicle or trade it in before you can purchase your new vehicle
- Lower monthly payments versus financing
- Drive a vehicle you otherwise could not afford
- New vehicle options every 2 - 4 years
- Lower maintenance costs since vehicle is always newer
- N.B. The leased vehicle must be maintained in accordance with owner manual’s recommendation (this is no different than your requirement if you own the vehicle)
- No trade-in hassles at the end of the lease
- Option to buy the vehicle when the lease ends (no obligation)
- You do not own the vehicle at anytime during or after the term of the lease
- Kilometer restrictions (there may be penalties for overuse)
- Almost always more expensive over the long term (if you elect to purchase and finance the leased vehicle for the residual value at the end of the lease)
- Difficult to get out of a lease if the car is not to your liking (costly~penalities)
- Responsible for excess wear and tear of vehicle at lease end (if returning vehicle)
What is balloon financing?
IFS does not currently offer Balloon Financing. Balloon Financing is very similar to leasing where you only pay for the portion of the vehicle you will be using; essentially providing you with lower monthly payments.
There is a ‘Balloon Value’ set at the end of the term (this is similar to the ‘Residual Value’ on a lease). You may or may not (depending on the financial institution) be required to retain/finance the vehicle at the end of the term for this stated ‘Balloon Value’.
The main difference between lease and balloon financing is balloon financing requires you to finance 100% of the applicable taxes on the selling price of the vehicle (i.e. PST & GST) whereas with a lease tax is only charged on the monthly payments and not the total selling price of the vehicle.
If my financing payment is too high, can I switch to leasing instead?
We strongly advise you make your decision whether you need a lease or loan prior to committing to either option.
Once you enter into a loan agreement you may be able to switch over to a lease however you may end up paying much more than if you had chosen to enter into a lease in the first place. Your brand new vehicle would now be required to be lease as a used vehicle (since the vehicle was originally registered under your name and it now would have to be registered under IFS’s name the vehicle is now considered a USED vehicle).
This means that you would not be able to benefit from the higher residual values attributed to NEW vehicles as well as not being able to benefit from lower rates which are attributed to NEW vehicles.
Can I make vehicle payments online?
IFS does not currently provide an online payment option.
What is an open-end lease? How is it different from a closed-end lease?
With an open-end or a closed-end lease, the residual value of the vehicle is established at the onset of your lease.
For a closed-end lease the residual value is guaranteed by, and is the responsibility of, the leasing company upon its maturity.
For an open-end lease, you (the lessee) assume the responsibility for the vehicle’s residual value at the end of the lease.
For your protection and peace of mind, all IFS leases are closed-end. We assume the risk. So if the market value of the leased vehicle is higher than the residual value we have established, and you decide to purchase the vehicle, you come out ahead. If the market value is lower, you are protected.
How can I have someone take over my lease?
If you would like to have another party assume the payments on your existing contract, that party would submit a credit application through your local Infiniti dealer, to IFS for review.
Be aware that if the applicant is approved, you are not released of your contractual obligation and will remain on the contract as guarantor.
After the credit approval is granted, IFS will send the Infiniti dealer an Assignment and Assumption Agreement for all parties to sign and add the applicant to your contract.
Please contact our Customer Service Department for more information. You may reach a Customer Service Associate by calling 1-800-565-2445 (Eastern Canada) or 1-800-268-0875 (Western Canada), Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
There is a $750.00 fee for each Assignment or Assumption (subject to GST and Provincial taxes).
Whom do I contact if I want to buy out my leased vehicle before the lease is due?
The Infiniti Dealership, listed on your IFS Lease Agreement can facilitate this request. You can also obtain a lease buyout quote by contacting our Customer Service Department at:
Who sets the residual values? And how do they affect lease payments?
At IFS/Infiniti Financial Services we set our own residual values. Residual values and lease payments are inversely related; that is to say, the higher the residual value the lower your monthly lease payment whereas the lower the residual the higher your monthly lease payment.
Are there penalties for breaking a lease?
Yes, there is an Early Termination Option (ETO) fee that is applicable if you should choose to terminate your lease early. This is detailed under Option 2 on your Retail Lease Agreement. Option 2 on all leases (excluding Quebec) requires you to pay a $475.00 ETO Fee for vehicles returned prior to the lease’s scheduled maturity.
In addition to this, you are also subject to pay the remaining payments (less the unearned interest), applicable excess Wear and Tear charges, applicable excess kilometer charges, unused security deposit and any other previously outstanding charges (plus applicable taxes on the previously listed items).
Under Option 1 for all leases, should you chose to purchase the vehicle prior to the scheduled maturity date, the $475.00 ETO fee and unused security deposit is applicable as well as the remaining payments (less the unearned interest), the residual value plus all applicable taxes.
What if I can no longer afford my lease payment?
If you cannot afford to make your monthly payments, contact the IFS Collections Department to explain your situation. In select instances, your dealer may be able to trade you into a more affordable vehicle.
Where do I return the vehicle at the end of the lease term?
At the end of your lease term you will be responsible to schedule an appointment with your original selling Dealer (the dealer listed on your IFS lease agreement) to return your leased vehicle.
If returning the vehicle to that Dealership is no longer convenient (ex. you have moved during the course of your lease term), then arrangements can be made to transfer your lease to an alternate Infiniti Dealership, in Canada.
Note: you are not permitted to return your leased vehicle to a non-Infiniti Dealership
I have a few scratches on my leased vehicle, who pays for the repair?
In accordance with the Lease Agreement, you have specific obligations in terms of the maintenance during the term of the lease as well as the condition of the vehicle upon return to IFS.
6 months prior to when your lease matures, IFS will mail you a detailed Wear & Tear guide outlining our guideline to ensure that your leased vehicle meets or exceeds the set standards (includes a handy driveway check-up tool).
If still in doubt, schedule an appointment with your Infiniti Dealership, to complete a more thorough assessment prior to the scheduled return date.
Since I would have to pay for excess kilometres on my leased vehicle, do I get a refund for using fewer than the kilometre allowance?
Unfortunately that is not how the lease agreement is structured. Residual Values (guaranteed purchase price) are determined using a standard 2,000 per month (24,000 per year) km allowance. There could be several uncontrollable and unforeseen factors that could impact the actual end value. If you find yourself under your kilometer allotment, you could potentially be in a position of equity based on current market value conditions. In that case, you may chose to purchase the vehicle for the residual value as set out in your lease agreement.
Note: In order to avoid any unpleasant lease-end obligations, if you anticipate that you will require additional kilometers, your Infiniti dealer may able to customize your lease to accommodate your needs.
Can I use my leased vehicle as a trade for a different lease?
No. Infiniti Financial Services owns the leased vehicle until you exercise your option to purchase.
You must own the vehicle before you can trade the vehicle.
If there is equity in the leased vehicle, there may be the potential to terminate the existing lease early and get into a new lease. There are many variables that come into play and your Infiniti Dealership may be able to assist with this process in certain instances.
I would like to buy out my leased vehicle, whom do I call?
Please contact the Infiniti dealer listed on your IFS lease agreement. You may also contact our Customer Service department at 1-800-268-6499 (Eastern Canada) or 1-800-268-0746 (Western Canada).
Can I finance my lease buy out through Infiniti Financial Services?
Absolutely! In fact, our rates and terms are very competitive in the marketplace. Please see your Infiniti Dealership, for more details and specific program parameters. Credit approval may be required.
How can I contact Infiniti Financial Services by phone? And by mail or email?