Toyota Tacomas have a reputation. Sure, it’s a mid-sized, light-duty pickup truck. But it’s one of the most rugged options in that category, and has been known to last years longer than other truck brands. But it does beg the question – should you lease a Tacoma or buy?
If you prefer long-term vehicle ownership without ongoing payments, buying is ideal. Buying a Tacoma will save you money in the long run. However, leasing offers benefits like enjoying cutting-edge technology and features in a new Tacoma every few years.
Fact is, Tacomas can last years longer than other brand trucks. Perhaps more importantly, they can do it without hassling you with maintenance issues.
So, if you’re contemplating whether to lease or buy Tacoma, you’re not alone. This decision has puzzled many drivers, and the answer is far from one-size-fits-all.
To assist you in this journey, we have dissected various aspects of the Toyota Tacoma ownership experience.
Let’s look at some of the most important things to think about when it comes time to decide to lease or buy a Toyota Tacoma.
Ask Yourself Some Questions
When considering the choice between leasing Tacoma or buying one, take a moment to reflect on the following questions:
How Long You Typically Drive Your Vehicle
Firstly, evaluate how long you typically drive your vehicle. Leasing is often suitable for individuals who prefer to upgrade their vehicle every few years, while buying may be more suitable for those who plan to keep their Tacoma for an extended period.
The Number of Miles You Tend to Put on it Each Year
Consider the number of miles you typically put on your vehicle each year. If you drive more than 25,000 miles annually, buying might be a better option since leasing often has mileage restrictions and excess mileage charges.
On the other hand, if you drive less than 15,000 miles per year, leasing could provide a more cost-effective solution.
What You do With Your Old Vehicle After You Decide to Make a Switch
Next, determine what you intend to do with your old vehicle when you decide to make a switch. Selling it privately allows you to potentially earn a higher price, while trading it in at a dealership offers convenience. Alternatively, you may choose to keep your old Tacoma and pass it down to a family member, preserving its value within your family.
How You Plan to Pay For Your Truck
Consider how you plan to pay for your new truck. If you prefer to finance your purchase, you can spread the payments over a period of time, making ownership more affordable. Alternatively, if you have the financial means, paying cash allows you to avoid monthly payments and potential interest charges.
Your Interest in Customizing Your Tacoma’s Appearance
Reflect on your interest in customizing your Tacoma’s appearance. If personalization and customization are important to you, owning the vehicle may offer more flexibility. When leasing, modifications are generally restricted to avoid potential conflicts when returning the leased vehicle.
Your Feelings About Truck Warranties
Evaluate your feelings about truck warranties and the desire to maintain continuous coverage. Leasing often includes warranty coverage for the duration of the lease, providing peace of mind against unexpected repairs. If you prefer to have continuous coverage, buying the Tacoma and securing an extended warranty could be a suitable option.
Who You Let Service Your Vehicle
Lastly, consider who you prefer to service your vehicle. Leasing often requires you to adhere to the manufacturer’s service requirements, typically serviced at authorized dealerships. If you have a trusted mechanic or service center that you prefer, buying might offer more flexibility in terms of where you can service your Tacoma.
By reflecting on these questions, you can align your preferences, driving habits, financial situation, and customization desires to make an informed decision between leasing or buying a Tacoma.
Here’s how your answers can play a role in deciding whether to lease Tacoma or it.
How Long Do Drivers Keep Their Tacomas?
And that probably has something to do with its longevity. In fact, 11.6% of 15-year-old Tacomas are kept by their owners, with the average driver getting ten years out of the truck. Whereas, most vehicles are kept for around eight years.
Now, just because you can keep a truck for a decade doesn’t mean you want to. If you like to have the newest features or prefer the feel of a new car, leasing can give you the option to switch things up every few years. You can even upgrade to a newer Tacoma.
The Dependability of the Toyota Tacoma
You’re probably wondering how many miles a Tacoma can go without needing repairs, something that’s crucial to both lease and purchase decisions.
If you lease, a less durable vehicle may push you beyond what the dealer covers under normal wear and tear. And if you buy, you surely want to know if you’re going to be paying big bucks to keep your Tacoma on the road.
Here’s the deal. A well-maintained Tacoma can often reach the 200,000-mile mark without significant problems. That’s some major durability.
In fact, for the average driver who covers around 12,000 to 15,000 miles per year, it would take approximately 13 to 16 years to reach 200,000 miles. Making a strong case to purchase over leasing.
However, when Tacomas do need repair, they tend to be on the expensive side.
Obviously, this is all going to depend on the honesty of your mechanic, but according to CarEdge, the 10-year total repair cost of a Tacoma is $6,420.
Sure it’s a lot, but a Tacoma is also less likely to need repairs for many miles. Just keep in mind that, despite it’s durability and good reputation, at some point the Tacoma will need some repairs.
However, a Tacoma lease may mean you may not ever have to pay for standard repairs.
Buy vs. Lease Toyota Tacoma
Leasing a Tacoma offers a lower monthly cost compared to buying. This allows truck owners to enjoy the latest models without a substantial upfront investment. Typical lease terms extend to three years, perfect for those who like to swap out for the newest iteration frequently.
For example, let’s consider the scenario where you initially leased a 2015 Toyota Tacoma but later decided to upgrade to a 2018 Tacoma.
By making this upgrade, you would have gained the benefit of Toyota Safety Sense™ P. This features automatic emergency braking, lane departure alert, and adaptive cruise control.
Additionally, the infotainment system was updated with an available Entune™ Audio system with integrated navigation.
However, purchasing your Tacoma opens the door to total ownership and the freedom to customize your vehicle without any restrictions, a benefit not extended to leasing.
Another consideration, you may have the option to purchase the truck at the end of your lease. This means, you purchase the vehicle for the price of its residual value.
Here’s how it works – a lease buyout is calculated by adding up the residual value of your vehicle at the beginning of the lease, and the total remaining payments. An optional Toyota lease buyout fee might be applicable, but it’s worth negotiating to have this fee waived.
Certified Pre-Owned vs. Brand New Tacomas
Next in line is the contemplation of buying a brand-new Tacoma versus a certified pre-owned model. While many assume a Toyota Tacoma lease is only for new trucks, it is possible to lease a certified pre-owned Tacoma for an affordable alternative.
These vehicles undergo extensive inspection and refurbishment, and they come with extended warranties, regardless of whether you lease or buy.
As an example, the Toyota Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) warranty typically covers major components of the powertrain, comprehensive vehicle systems, and provides roadside assistance.
Tacoma Options and Trims
Your choice to lease Tacoma or buy your truck can affect the trim and options you select, as certain Toyota Tacoma lease deals might not include the more premium trims.
That’s something to keep in mind if you want to customize in the standard fashion. Notable mentions include the TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro versions for adventurous drivers who need enhanced off-road capability.
If you prefer an upgraded interior, the Tacoma Limited has leather seats and a premium sound system. You’ll need to ask your dealer about what’s available on a lease Tacoma.
Now, if your idea of customizing is a little more creative (and outside something the factory can do), you’ll likely need to own the car to be able to pull that off.
So, What’s Your Best Bet? To Lease or Buy Tacoma?
So, should you lease or buy your Toyota Tacoma? If you don’t like the idea of continuous payments, purchasing is the optimal choice.
On the other hand, leasing provides advantages to get into a newer model Tacoma, or switch to something completely different. Many truck owners eventually opt to transition away from the truck life and choose to switch to a sedan or SUV.
So in the end, it really depends on your individual needs. A lease can provide you with the latest model at an affordable monthly rate, ideal for those who frequently update their vehicles.
In contrast, buying offers complete ownership and customization freedom, which is especially beneficial if you intend to keep the vehicle for an extended period.
Furthermore, as the truck ages, the insurance costs associated with it are likely to decrease. Therefore, investing in a Tacoma and eventually paying it off can be a financially savvy decision, yielding long-term savings as opposed to leasing a vehicle and continually making monthly payments.
When to Lease
So it really boils down to this – if you do not want to have the hassle of paying for repairs, want the latest and greatest features and don’t mind an ongoing continuous monthly payment, then leasing is the way to go.
When to Buy
If you appreciate the concept of vehicle ownership and prefer the prospect of making payments towards owning a truck outright, with the benefit of being payment-free once the vehicle is fully paid off, buying would be the ideal choice for you. This option would particularly suit those who do not require cutting-edge features and technology.
Lease Tacoma Or Buy FAQs
What Are The Financing Options Available For Buying A Toyota Tacoma?
Toyota dealerships typically offer various financing options, including loans from banks and financial institutions, as well as Toyota Financial Services, which provides financing specifically for Toyota vehicles.
How Does The Leasing Process Work For A Toyota Tacoma?
When leasing a Toyota Tacoma, you essentially pay for the use of the vehicle over a set period, typically 2-4 years. Lease payments are based on the vehicle’s depreciation value during that period.
What Are The Mileage Limits And Penalties For Excess Mileage In A Lease Agreement?
Lease agreements typically come with mileage limits, such as 10,000, 12,000, or 15,000 miles per year. If you exceed the agreed-upon mileage, there may be excess mileage fees charged at the end of the lease.
Can I Negotiate The Price When Buying Or Leasing A Toyota Tacoma?
Yes, it’s generally possible to negotiate the price of a Toyota Tacoma when buying or leasing. Factors such as market conditions, dealer incentives, and your negotiation skills can impact the final price.
What Is The Warranty Coverage For The Toyota Tacoma?
Toyota offers a comprehensive warranty for the Tacoma, including a basic warranty of 3 years/36,000 miles and a powertrain warranty of 5 years/60,000 miles. Additional warranties may also be available.
Are There Any Special Incentives Or Offers For Purchasing Or Leasing A Toyota Tacoma?
Toyota often provides special incentives and offers, including promotional financing rates, lease deals, and cashback incentives. These can vary by region and time of purchase, so it’s recommended to check with your local dealership for current offers.
Final Thoughts: Lease Tacoma Or Buy?
The Toyota Tacoma is an excellent mid-sized pickup truck that has a reputation for being one of the most durable on the market. Whether you decide to lease or buy a Tacoma depends on your individual needs and budget.
If you want to avoid long-term payments, purchasing a Tacoma may be your best bet. On the other hand, leasing can give you the opportunity to enjoy new features every few years and stay current with cutting-edge technology.
Remember, there is no ‘right’ choice, only the one that best fits your personal situation and requirements. Whether you choose to lease Tacoma or buy one, you’re bound to experience why this truck has been a favorite for drivers everywhere.
Tacoma owners, did we miss anything? If so, share in the comments below.👇