A lease keeps cost down, so if it's merely a matter of affording a practical, entry level car, a lease may make sense. If possible, however, you'll want to purchase the car with a low percentage rate, or even better, if you have the cash, you don't have to worry about making a payment. Businesses can write-off/deduct leases, so it may make sense in some cases there. However, in most personal cases, buying is more logical. Just resist the urge to trade in every two to three years if you buy. The vehicle depreciates quickly once you drive it off the lot, so you should plan on keeping a purchased vehicle at least five years.