What is the difference between renting and leasing?


There is no difference between renting and leasing when it comes to apartments or houses. However, there is a vast difference between renting and leasing a car. Someone who rents a car pays a fee to use the car. Someone who leases a car pays for the adjusted value of the car.

Car rentals provide transportation options to business travelers, people on vacation or people who need a car for a short period of time. By comparison, a lease is a way to finance the purchase of a new car. Lease payments take asset depreciation into account, meaning that the lessee pays the lessor for the reduced value of the car. Car rentals are a flat fee and do not take depreciation into account.

Rental cars are often used for years and are rented to many people. Leased cars belong to one person (and occasionally, a co-signer) for the duration of the lease. At the end, the lessee has the option to buy the car at a discounted price or return the car to the leasing company. The leasing company then sells the car like any other used car. The car is not repeatedly leased.

Most car rentals last less than a month, while the length of a lease often starts at 24 months. Rental cars are owned by the rental company. With a lease, the leasing company buys the car from the car dealership and then lets the lessee use the car in exchange for monthly payments.

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