In my previous post, I decided to repair my 12 year old Integra instead of buying a new one. This past Monday, my mechanic called and said he felt it was potentially a money sink since there could be more work required for the engine. He didn't even say he thought it was fixable. Instead he said it might not be worth my while. How may mechanics tell you stuff like that and turn away work? Well it got me thinking about my alternatives. Ever since my car's been in the shop I've been looking up reviews of the Acura TSX, Volkswagen GTI, Mini Coop and Audi A3. I'll admit, I am partial to the Acura and ended up there first. I don't particularly like buying cars. It's not like going in and buying an iPod Touch or some flat screen television. This is a big financial commitment second only to buying a house. In these tight economic times it is all about cashflow and what you can afford. Do I purchase outright or lease? I thought about ownership and what that means in the case of a car. You lose 25% of the value of a car the minute you drive it off the lot. I also compared the loan payment rates to monthly lease payments. Even with a 2.9% interest rate over 5 years, you are still looking at about $450 a month in payments. With a lease it was closer to $300 per month for 39 months. After 39 months you can turn it in or buy the remaining portion of the lease. By that time there might be a good electric or hybrid car on the market. So I chose the lease option. I went down this morning, signed the papers and drove it off the lot. It was quite a difference going from 1996 technology to 2009. And you can't beat that new car smell. I love that you can pair your phone to the car's Bluetooth Hands Free option and connect up your iPod. I know I'm going to enjoy this ride.