Buy or lease? What's affordable? Know before you go with free car shopping calculators

I have a confession to make.

I'm not a car buff.

Despite the fact that I grew up with dinner table conversations centered on "quarter panels," "door skins," and other auto body repair jargon (thanks, Dad!), and I work in the car insurance industry ... well, to me, a car is a car.

So when it comes time to go car shopping, I'm less interested in specs (when I hear V-8, I think drinks, not engines) and more interested in how to make a good financial decision. Really, whether or not you're into cars, I think we can all agree that we want to get the most for our money.

And that's where Progressive can help.

With our vehicle shopping calculators, you can take control of your search before you head to the dealership. For example, if you're looking to see how much you can afford to spend, use our affordability calculator to get an estimate. Just answer a few questions and get a ballpark number in seconds.Then, once you find a car to fit your budget, learn more about possible future costs—we've teamed up with Warranty Direct so you can find out how much certain repairs might cost.

Or, find out if you should lease or buy. Me, I prefer to lease. I typically find affordable payments and stay within my mileage limits. For those who drive a lot and like to hold on to their cars longer, buying might be the better option. But why guess? Get the information you need so you can compare and make the best choice. You can even use our depreciation calculator to estimate how a car's value will change over time. 

With these calculators and other resources—like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s car safety ratings and research—at your disposal, you can get the insight you need to make better shopping decisions. That makes sense whether or not you’re a car buff.

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