الجمعة، 1 فبراير 2013

The Residual Value Of Leasing

If you are in the market to lease a vehicle, you will hear the term

“residual value” recur like a leitmotif. A residual value does not only

affect your monthly payments, but is equally used by leasing companies

to determine any penalties should you break your lease early and how

much to pay if you decided to buy the vehicle at the end of your lease.

Let us first start by looking at the meaning of residual value. The

term “residual value”, refers to the value of something after it has

been used for some time. In leasing lingo, it refers to the

depreciation of the vehicle’s value over the life of its lease.

So how does it exactly affect your monthly payments? When you lease a

car, you pay for the car’s value that you use over the lease length.

Suppose you leased an $18,000 car for 2 years: the leasing company

needs to estimate the value of this car in two years time in order to know

how much of the car you will be using during your lease term. That’s where

the “residual value” comes into the equation. If the residual value is

estimated to be $13,000 at the end of your lease, then your monthly

payments will be calculated on the $5,000 you will use over 24 months,

giving an average monthly payment of $208.3 (plus interest, tax and fees).

How about if the car is expected to lose half its value over the same

period? In this scenario, you will be using $9,000 over the same period,

leaving you with a higher monthly payment of $375 (plus interest, tax and


As you can see, residual values are a key factor in determining how much

money to pay on your lease and the higher the residual value, the lower

your monthly fees. This works in reverse if you build a bond with your car

and decide to purchase it at the end of your lease. If we stick with the

same example above, the lower monthly payments in the second scenario come

at the cost of paying substantially more to buy your car at the end of the


So, since the residual value is so important, how do I know which one is

best for me? Well, it all depends whether you want to purchase the car at

the end of your lease. If you don’t want to make a large down payment and

you want low monthly payments, then a car that holds with a higher residual

value is a good deal. If you are thinking of purchasing the car at

lease-end, then you need to balance low-monthly payments with a moderate

residual value.

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