Calculating car lease payments and other related costs is not difficult if you know and understand the standard lease formula, and are willing to drag out the home calculator to do the math.
However, it’s much easier and faster when you have a lease calculator to do all the work for you.
To use an online car leasing calculator you must be prepared with the following numbers:
- MSRP (sticker price) of vehicle
- Negotiated price of vehicle
- Any additional costs that will be included in the lease financing
- Any down payment
- Trade-in vehicle value, if any
- Lease-end Residual Value of vehicle
- Number of lease months (term)
- Finance rate (Money Factor)
- Sales tax rate
Of the above numbers, some such as Money Factor and Residual Value must be obtained from a car dealer. You won’t find those numbers anywhere else.
When all the numbers have been plugged into the calculator, you’ll get the monthly lease payment, sales tax on each payment (in most states), total finance charges, and total of all payments. It’s easy enough to change the numbers to explore different options or different leases.
Here’s a video that explains How to Use a Lease Calculator in more detail: