The decision to lease or buy is one of economics. With many variables involved in a lease or outright purchase, it is not easy to determine the best deal. When a company leases equipment, it typically uses a financing lease. Normally there is no down payment. The contractor then makes payments to a third party finance company. An alternative is the service or operating lease. Under this lease, the lessor (manufacturer or seller) remains the owner of the property and is responsible for the payments of any taxes or maintenance. This leasing option allows contractors to rent the equipment for a shorter, more flexible period of time.