What’s the best choice?

Now test your judgment: Carla is about to get a truck. Given her situation, which one these three possible options do you think is best for her?


Carla has her own landscaping business and plans to get a pick-up truck. She’s been considering a brand new one, but the same dealer has a used one in good condition with low miles. She has enough cash to buy the used one, although that might mean paying some of her bills late for a few months and a delay in buying new plants. Three years from now, she’d like to give the truck to her daughter, who will be turning 16. Cash; Loan; Lease
Buy the used truck for cash and save the fees and interest expense of a loan.

Scenario: Result

See the real-world consequences of your choice and read the coach's commentary.


Carla “I think I made a mistake! Even though I own the truck and I’m not paying loan interest, now I’m broke. I can’t buy as many plants as I need and I’m worried that paying my bills late is going to hurt my business and my credit rating!”
Make a down payment for the used truck and get a loan for the rest.

Scenario: Result

See the real-world consequences of your choice and read the coach's commentary.


Carla “I feel good about my decision. I saved money by buying a used truck instead of a new one. The down payment I made allowed me to get a 36-month loan with payments I can afford. When I make my last loan payment three years from now, I’ll own the truck and I can give it to my daughter—just like I wanted!”
Lease the new truck.

Scenario: Result

See the real-world consequences of your choice and read the coach's commentary.


Carla “I don’t know if I did the right thing. The down payment was small and maintenance costs are included in the lease agreement. But I think I’ll end up paying extra because of the number of miles I drive. And when the lease is up, I won’t own the truck. I’ll have to buy it from the dealer if I want to give it to my daughter.”
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The challenge of car buying Compare transportation alternatives What can you afford? Leasing: benefits & Drawbacks Depreciation New vs. used Smart car shopping tips Car insurance basics Three financing options