Estimate Lease Payment Amount When You Don’t Have All the Numbers
Our popular Lease Calculator will calculate actual car lease payments accurately — to the penny — as long as you know all the factors of a lease, such as net capitalized cost, including any added fees, cap cost reduction, money factor, residual value, term, and sales tax rate.
But it’s not always possible to know all the figures if you’re simply in the shopping stages of leasing a car. Yet, you would like to know approximately what the monthly payments might be for the vehicles you are interested in — a reasonable estimate. This would allow you to quickly determine if those vehicles are within your monthly budget. It would also allow you to compare different vehicles.
One way to estimate payments
One way to do it is to use our Lease Calculator and estimate the figures you don’t know.
For example, for a typical 36 month car lease, the lease-end residual value will be about 50% of MSRP sticker price. In an actual lease, the figure might be higher or lower, but probably not by much.
If you assume MSRP as your capitalized cost, it ignores the fact that you’ll probably get a discounted price, but it allows for the addition of add-on fees such as a typical lease acquisition fee.
If you have a trade vehicle, look up it’s approximate trade value at Kelley Blue Book (KBB.com) or NADA Guides (Nadaguides.com). It’s not likely that a dealer will offer you that price, but it’s a good “ballpark” estimate.
For money factor, you can use Bankrate.com to find the national average new-car loan rate and divide by 2400 to get money factor. For example, the current rate (as of this writing) is about 4.5%. Converted to money factor, it becomes .001875.
An easier way to estimate payments
We’ve created a special calculator — the Lease Payment Estimator — for estimating car lease payments when all the detailed figures are not yet available.
Simply plug in the numbers you know and we’ll give you the answer.
Please understand that the answer you receive is simply an estimate based on rough numbers and assumptions. However, the answers should be good enough for general shopping decisions and comparisons.
Actual payment amount can only be calculated when detailed figures are known, using our Lease Calculator.