Today’s entrepreneur has an awful lot to consider. Not only are there all of the traditional business needs and requirements that haven’t changed much since the industrial revolution, but now there’s everything the internet age has created. A small business can now generate visibility on the international stage, drawing in fans and clients on a scale that used to only exist for major corporations. But to play in those waters you’ve got to have all of the other practical matters handled. And part of that means securing transportation, and paying for it in intelligent ways. Most business owners claim at least a portion of their driving as a business expense on their taxes, a wholly understandable effort. But how should you secure this car? Should you buy or lease vehicles for business use?

The short answer is that there are pros and cons to both approaches. The final choice will have to come from your personal preference, and from what makes the most sense for your particular business. But in either case you will be well served, as long as you save all of your receipts and take proper records of everything. After all, to save money on transportation you must be prepared to defend the reasoning from a business perspective. As long as your needs are legitimate it will always make sense to organize a purchase or a lease through your business entity.

As for the specifics, when should you buy a vehicle? One of the reasons to purchase is if you will need to make modifications to use the vehicle over the long-term. Contractors and construction workers run into this frequently, especially with working vehicles. A pickup truck may have to be upgraded with better shock and suspension systems, or adjustable storage options might need to be added to the bed. This also comes up for people who run a taxi or limousine service. Perhaps you’ll want to put in a credit card machine, or to add a plastic separation between the front and back seat. In any of these cases, a lease just isn’t going to cut it.

You should also buy the vehicle if you anticipate working it hard, well outside of the limits of any lease options. For example, all leases come with yearly mileage limits. You get to choose the level, with the most common options being 12,000, 15,000 or 18,000 miles per year. If you drive for a living you could blow any of these limits out of the water. The per mile fee for overages is always incredibly expensive. If you outgrow your mileage ceiling, you will effectively spend what you would have to buy the vehicle, therefore eliminating any savings. The same goes for use where you anticipate significant damage. Perhaps you run an off-road driving school, and regularly take your vehicle across rocks and through rivers. The dents, dings and rust you’ll accrue will add up to major fees from the leasing company. It’s better to own and avoid being charged to death.

With these details in mind, it’s probably obvious when a lease is the better bet. If your vehicle requirement is simply getting from point A to point B, this is your best bet. It’s also a great idea to lease if you need a luxury vehicle for appearances, and you simply couldn’t afford to buy it outright. You can find discounted car insurance for small business owners, but Tesla won’t cut you a break simply because you need one. And of course you’ll be able to turn in that leased vehicle for a new one every couple of years, helping you keep up appearances and project the success of your company to clients and investors.