Lease Calculator 2.1

UPDATED Per JR’s suggestion, I have modified the CAP COST REDUCTION AFTER TAX to add the tax to the cap reduction and subtract the tax you pay up front.

I’ve made a minor update to the Lease Calculator. You can download the latest version by clicking on the image below.

What’s New?
I have incorporated the Deal Rating, which is an general indicator as to how good your deal is. This is based on the discussion Matthew and I had in the E-Class July 2009 post, where Matthew stated that his brother, who works in the industry, considers deals around 1.0% of a car’s value (MSRP) to be an excellent lease. Based on my past experiences, I have concur with his assessment for the most part. However, I think that in today’s market, were leasing has become a bit more expensive, anything under 1.2% before taxes is a pretty sweet deal. Let us take the 09 Acura TL deal I received a few days ago as an example.

MSRP – 39,445
Sale – 32,595
Residual – 53% (15k/yr for 36-months)
MF – 0.00184
Payment – $423

Rating – 1.07 (Excellent)

With a 1.07 rating, The Acura TL I got a few days ago is great. I would have been that much better if it included tax, but our taxes here in California have gone up 1.5% in that last 3 months, so that puts a pretty huge damper on almost any lease. Still, this was pretty solid.

Now lets take a look at the MB E350 where I am going to take Lee’s quote as an example.

MSRP – 57,085 (Prem I, Sport, Woodgrain)
Selling price – $43,585 (10,000 MB cash + 3,500 off)
Residual – 36mos./15K (43%)
MF – .00165
Payment – $642

Rating – 1.12 (Good)

As you can see, this deal really is very good. Some people, such as Wayne have reported the following deal: 56,775 MSRP / 41,494 Sale Price. That calculator spits out a cool 1.03 rating which is pretty awesome.

I figured this addition into the calculator should help you in your decision process, so have fun with it. As always, I welcome any thoughts and/or suggestions on how to improve this calculator. If you are having any problems with it, remember to keep it simple. Don’t roll in any fees or cap reduction and you should get a pretty good idea how good the deal really is.

15 thoughts on “Lease Calculator 2.1

  1. You have to try

    Wherein it is really just a template for

    choose your car, then your zip code [any zip code you wish], color, options, and will give you a guaranteed price in many cases.

    I found a loaded 2010 Camry XLS V6 w/Nav for $28,295 [about 250 miles from me] vs. $29,938-$30,000 locally. The residual is a the now Toyota fixed $18,052 [about 55.49%] with a Toyota .00048 money factor, 36 mo./15k, sign & drive. The next lowest, about 45 miles away, was $28,768.

    • @SJ. hope that wasn’t an affiliate link you tried posting there. 😉

      @jeff. Yup, I didn’t actually cut the deal myself on the E350 posted above. I just took it from Lee’s offer on a previous post. Wayne’s offer was pretty good too. Of course there is always room to go down as long as the dealer isn’t really taking a huge loss just to sell the car.

  2. I was at a benz dealer this afternoon. I received a price of $39,900 on a 2009 E350 with P1 package and panorama roof. Unfortunately they didn’t have the color I was looking for, but nonetheless a great deal. I think you can do better than the deals you outlined above.

    I was quoted 45% residual (12k/year) and .00165 money factor.

  3. Also went by my MB dealer. They agreed to sell it at invoice -$10k. Picked out a maxed out one with P-I, P-II, and sports package. MSRP=$62k. Deal price around $47.

    Even at that great price I still walked away from it. It would be a step down from my RL. No AWD. No backup camera. Leather is inferior to the RL giving the cabin a cheap feel. It was a fair deal. But to buy a leftover of an outgoing generation, it needed to be a great deal. It wasn’t

    • @spicy mikey. You have a point there about the RL vs E350. Another thing worth mentioning on of out readers, WP, got a M35 for about $400 a month with approximately $3500 due at signing. Not bad for a car in this class. Apparently they are giving out $10k off rebate + $1000 lease cash and $1000 loyalty cash too.

  4. No, I have no business relationship with or Overstock, or any such auto web site. I had emailed TrueCar and they suggested Overstock to me, though, reading TrueCar’s press releases, they cut a deal to use the same search engine template on 5 auto sites of which Overstock is but one. Saying that, perhaps RIDE WITH G may wish to subscribe with them, offer your own link that will have their template within.

    I had inquired TrueCar whether they will enter leasing info, and the reply was, “no,” being that they have only been up since April and are concentrating on vehicle pricing [base cap costs] for now.

    How will they make $? They say, eventually, in advertising. No mention of their planned participation in consummated vehicle sales or fee-per-prospect.

    What I can say is that to the dealers who have not seen the light, TrueCar is seen as an anathema to their business.

    The bottom line is that, with their web affiliations, they wish to become THE web site that will be able to sell/lease any vehicle to you ONLINE, with no use for showrooms or salespersons.

    Welcome to the Auto Business, circa 21st Century! 😉

    • @SJ. Thanks for the clarification SJ. I was curious because I saw there was a “referrerID” code in the overstock link. No worries, I wasn’t sure so I had to ask. Anyway, thanks for the suggestion about the auto site templates. I really wished I had more time to focus on the site. Damn that day-job. LOL. In all honestly, leasing is only popular in certain states. Most Midwest states for example tend to buy their cars instead of lease them, so I do understand TrueCar’s reason for not focusing on leasing. I like leasing personally. I like the perks that come with it and I don’t like worrying about major repairs. Since I don’t have a money tree growing in my backyard, I figure I’d learn the leasing game well so I can get nice cars cheap. Next thing I know, I’m blogging about it. Pretty crazy if you ask me. I just wished I’d done it sooner! Now, if TrueCar can pull that off I think it would be great for people who really like to shop online. I don’t think CarsDirect has been successful at this. I feel that they kind of sold out since they stopped showing invoice prices and such on their website.

  5. Great Website, I wanted to check if this was correct. In the lease calc 2.1 you have the “Cap Cost Reduction after Tax” formula to be

    Shouldn’t it be

    That way you add the tax to the cap reduction and subtract the tax you pay up front?

    • @jr. good point! I guess I wasn’t really thinking about it that way. I was thinking of that your cap cost reduction tax + whatever taxes you pay upfront. It was really meant for folks who have to pay taxes upfront, like those in states like NY where sales taxes are often paid in advance. But even so, I do see your point so I will update the changes. Thanks for catching that.

  6. G:

    When you talk about the “1% of the car value” to figure out the “rating”, are you talking about MSRP or cap cost?


    • @supercharger. I meant MSRP. Sorry I amended the post now so you can see it. I think it’s working fairly way, you just have to make sure you don’t roll in any fees and keep the math simple. This assume all your inceptions are paid upfront.

    • @gene. actually, you aren’t supposed to enter the security deposits into the calculator. You only fill out the green fields if you plan to roll it into your lease payments. If you aren’t going to do that, leave the fields blank.

  7. @G

    Is the “1-1.2% of MSRP” rule only good for 36-month lease with $0 down? That # should be off if you are looking at 24 or 48-month lease.

    • @supercharger. i haven’t worked out the rating for 24 and 48 months yet. So for the moment, the 36 month rating is most accurate. This will probably have to be revised down the road when the economy improves and prices start to trend upwards. I will update the calculator rating once I’ve determined the numbers for 24 and 48 months.

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