Originally Posted by UnFacconable
Still a lot of fail going on. Only GF can know whether he wants the car for the "right" reasons (which I guess in these circumstances is for driving enjoyment) or the "wrong" reasons (which people seem to think includes creating an impression on others). I don't necessarily disagree with these viewpoints, but they are opinions, not absolute statements. There are those who think that people who dress well only do so to create an impression on others and is therefore just as bad as buying a car to impress others.
Setting that aside, GF has already shown us one reason why people lease - his out of warranty A4 is going to cost him a mint to keep on the road. Whether or not the 75% of BMW drivers lease for that reason, or any other, is really irrelevant, the question to ask is whether a given lease is a better economic decision than purchasing outright. If you intend to drive a new BMW for 3 years (which many do), I would assume the rational actor would want to minimize total cost of ownership over that period. If it's leasing, great. If it's buying and re-selling, great. Go with whatever one works. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that with BMW's subsidized leases, often times the most cost-effective way to own a BMW is to lease and that's why people are doing it. Obviously there are limitations to leasing (mileage and modification restrictions, etc.) that make leasing a non-starter for some people but there are plenty of people for whom leasing is the rational choice.
In my possibly biased and comparatively uninformed opinion, I have no interest in owning a German near-luxury brand car because I think the headache of post-warranty ownership far outweighs the benefits. I don't disagree with tj100 - buying a CPO and then getting rid of it before it becomes a maintenance nightmare is likely the most cost-effective way to get yourself a BMW, Audi or Merc if you're willing to do it.
I completely agree that if you want/like to have a new
car, leasing is the way to go. Because at the end of the lease, you don't have what you wanted anymore - you have an older car. And you get to trade in for what you do want, another leased new
car. Much better deal than buying new every two years.
As I understand it (and I've been out of the BMW game for a few years), BMW subsidizes the leases because they sell a ton of CPO cars coming off leases (at decent margin) and need a steady supply.