1. Our guy would possibly have equity, but only if he sells. Hanging on to a car that has equity in it does nothing for you monetarily, and by the day, that equity is dwindling.
2. You have not factored in repair expense, though if someone were to budget $15k a year for transportation, I imagine they would have a hunk of **** that requires some extensive repair bills.
3. With a lease, I don't have to budget a damn thing. I have my payment, gas and a free ride if anything breaks under the warranty. I don't have the time, patience or sort of job that would allow me to call in because my equity-laden car wouldn't start for the 12th time this year.