Leasing a car instead of buying has several advantages. It allows you to drive a nicer vehicle than you might otherwise afford, and you don't need a large down payment. At the end of the lease, you return the vehicle to the dealer. However, you don't own the car, so leasing is equivalent to a monthly rental. You don't have equity in the car, but you're responsible for basic maintenance.
There's a difference between renting an apartment and leasing a car. You usually aren't responsible for your dwelling's maintenance -- that's the landlord's job. Not so with a car lease. You must pay for the maintenance of the automobile, which includes regular oil changes, tire rotations and other normal aspects of upkeep.
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