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Leasing vs. Financing a 2019 Toyota Tacoma: What You Need to Know

If you are in the market for a new Toyota Tacoma, one of the questions you may think about is whether to buy or lease your new truck. Here are some tips to help.


One of my passions is helping people buy vehicles. Another is the Toyota Tacoma. I think I can help blend the two together and give advice on a common scenario when buying a new 2019 Toyota Tacoma.

When you think of long-term reliability and dependability, the Toyota Tacoma might spring to mind. It is also a great value. Tacoma is the #1 vehicle in the country with the Best Resale Value according to But this is not only for 2019. Tacoma has topped this list for the last five straight years. On a slight tangent, Tundra placed #2 on this list and 4Runner is #5. Toyota pride.

Toyota Tacoma will be worth approximately 69.4 percent of its original value after 3 years and 62.2 percent after 5 years. This is astounding, considering the average vehicle will be worth 39 percent of its original value after 5 years, according to KBB.

This incredibly high resale value is one important reason why leasing a 2019 Toyota Tacoma is a solid option for some truck buyers.

Watch Refreshed 2020 Toyota Tacoma Updates by Grade Level and Subscribe to Torque News Youtube for Daily Toyota and Automotive Analysis.

What is leasing and how does it work?

When you buy a new vehicle, you have several options for payment. This applies not just to Toyota, but across all car brands. You can pay cash. You can finance with monthly payments. You can lease with monthly payments.

First off, leasing is just another way to buy a vehicle. When you lease, you are only making payments proportional to a small percentage of your truck’s value. Often this results in lower monthly payments versus traditional financing.

Leasing is not for everyone, but it is a good option for some. There are several benefits to leasing, along with a few corresponding concerns.

Reasons you might choose to lease your truck

Lower monthly payments

As mentioned earlier, often a vehicle will have a lower leasing monthly payment than with financing payments. We all have budgets we work with each month, so lowering that payment to the bank is certainly an appealing aspect.

I ran a simple payment scenario on financing vs. leasing a 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport 4x4 with an MSRP right at $40,000. Terms are either 72 months financing or a 36 month lease. $3000 downpayment. Finance payment was $580 per month, while leasing was $307 per month. Significantly lower monthly payment.

Choices at end of term = flexibility

At the end of a 3-year vehicle lease, people have options, choices and also flexibility. Based on your remaining payoff balance, you may have positive equity, some negative equity or you might break even at the end of your term.

You may decide you love your truck and want to keep it. The benefit here is you get to keep the Tacoma you have fallen in love with. This means re-financing it for around your current payment. The drawback is this extends the length you make payments on the same car.

You can also trade your vehicle in for a new one. Remember, based on Toyota Tacoma’s strong resale value, it is entirely possible you may be bringing some positive equity into your next deal. This is the equivalent of putting money down without “putting money down.”

A third option is to turn the car back into the manufacturer after the leasing term. Generally, leased vehicles can be turned in to your local Toyota dealership without too much hassle.

Again, choices equal flexibility.

You can get a new vehicle every 3 years

Cutting-edge technology and safety features are coming out at record speeds in the automotive industry. Stay on top of the latest features by leasing a new one every few years.

A perfect example is with the new 2020 Toyota Tacoma that will be coming out in a few months, which will be equipped with power driver’s seat, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. If you just financed a Tacoma, you might be in the early stages of your term, and wish you had waited for the 2020 to come out. However, if you leased your truck, you can pick up the refreshed model sooner with the features you were hoping for.

Can get more features for lower monthly payment

Since leasing offers a lower payment than financing, you can load up your features on a leased car vs. a financed one.

For example, take the same 2019 Tacoma TRD Sport. You can finance for $580/month for 72 months. If you lease, you can choose to add a Premium Package, which includes dual climate control, heated leather seats, JBL premium sound and moonroof. Your payment will still be less than with traditional financing. More features for less or the same payment!

GAP insurance is a good thing

GAP (or Guaranteed Auto Protection) insurance covers any depreciation incurred to a vehicle lost to depreciation. It is especially necessary in the event your car is totaled in an accident. GAP is strongly recommended when you lease. Toyota offers available GAP insurance at an extra cost (it is even standard with every lease with Southeast Toyota Finance) when you lease – a huge benefit!

Mostly covered by manufacturer warranty

Since most leases are for 3 years / 36,000 miles, this means that almost all of your driving will be under a manufacturer’s standard warranty. Also, you are driving your leased vehicle during the best, newest and healthiest times of its life.

Watch my Video on Financing vs. Leasing and Subscribe to Torque News Youtube for Daily Toyota and Automotive Analysis.

Concerns about leasing

“I drive too many miles”

Most standard leases work with 12,000 miles per year scenarios. This allows you 36,000 total miles during the course of your lease. You can add additional miles (increase to 15k or 18k per year) into your lease. Each increment will raise your payment $15-$20 per month, but it gives you peace of mind.

Another benefit is that miles do not really matter if you end up buying your truck at the end of the lease. Miles also are not of concern if you plan to use your Tacoma as a trade-in for another vehicle. The manufacturer does not care how many miles there are if they are not taking your Tacoma back.

"I like owning my car not renting it"

This one is interesting, because even if you finance, you only “own” your car once it is completely paid off. The bank is the real owner until then. Financing and leasing are the same with this aspect.

"I am worried about excess wear"

Worried about what happens if you get too many scratches, dings, and dents when you turn in your leased Toyota Tacoma, or another brand for that matter? Most leasing companies are relatively conservative when assessing these cosmetic issues and are not too harsh with their penalties. You can also ask if your leasing company offers any type of “excess wear” coverage. This will raise your payment some, but again will give you peace of mind.

Again, leasing is not for everyone but it makes sense for many, especially when discussing a Toyota Tacoma. Now the real puzzle for you is “to lease or not to lease… that is the question.”

Have you ever leased a new vehicle before? How was your experience? Will you consider leasing in the future when purchasing your next car, truck or SUV?

Thanks everyone for reading. Please bookmark Torque News Toyota for all the latest Toyota news, reviews and buying advice. See you next story where I am discussing the next-gen 2022 Toyota 4Runner coming and enthusiasts offering redesign suggestions.

Jeff Teague is a Toyota news reporter at Torque News. You can reach Jeff on Facebook and follow his Instagram for his popular "Toyotajeff Minute" quick Toyota reviews.

Twitter at @toyotajeff1 and tweet him tips for new stories. Jeff also shares Toyota news videos on his Youtube Channel at ToyotaJeff1.


Ross Meyer (not verified)    June 18, 2019 - 11:55AM

GAP - this is not automatically included with Toyota leases - please correct your article

Jeff Teague    June 18, 2019 - 3:10PM

In reply to by Ross Meyer (not verified)

Sorry Ross. I was going by interviewing my region Southeast Toyota and it's standard with every lease. I should have investigated other regions to see if it was included as well. I guess each region is unique in that regard. Thanks for pointing it out. Jeff

Brian Bergquist (not verified)    June 19, 2019 - 2:14AM

Great article. I'm leasing my 2019 Tacoma and couldn't be happier. If I were financing, my payment would be twice as expensive and negative equity. I love the free maintenance, very low payment, and getting to drive a sweet brand new truck. As you mention, leasing isn't for everyone but it works for me. Some manufacturers
are starting to offer direct leases with insurance and maintenance included. Times are changing.

Adam (not verified)    June 19, 2019 - 6:43PM

How much more do you expect the new 2020 Tacoma’s was to be on average? Will there be better deals on the 2019’s once they arrive?

Darrin (not verified)    July 30, 2019 - 11:38AM

Is it at any benefit to pay a larger down payment than what's required to get the monthly payments even lower? For me if I were to do this I would be planning to finance the vehicle at the end of the lease.

Nathan (not verified)    December 29, 2019 - 4:36PM

Still have a question about leasing, would you be able to build a car say for example the Camry XLE and have it shipped brand new then lease it from you "the dealer" like you normally would with all the discounts y'all apply and whatnot? Or does it have to be what's available on the lot and that's all you get to choose from instead of the features you really want that aren't normally added to the car say for example the grey 2 tone color with beige interior & JBL sound system. Which I find hard to come by in most of the available cars on your lot with the JBL Sound System.

Chris Kannenberg (not verified)    February 11, 2020 - 10:55AM

This makes me feel great, with $4,000.00 down I paid $429.00 a month for 48 months (total $24,500.00) and was offered the truck at $27,000.00 if I wanted to keep it. Side note, I’m a disabled Vet and was dealing with a tumor, and the associated medications at time of purchase, and had just been through brain surgery at the time of lease end.
Is this a Toyota standard or just in Hickory NC?