Actually, it’s not easy to tell by simply looking at the numbers.
Sure, the payment seems low, especially when compared to a loan payment for the same car, but is the payment higher than it should be? Has the dealer made a mistake in his math or is he cheating you? Is the dealer basing the lease on a vehicle price that is too high — higher than sticker price? Is he charging too much interest (lease money factor)? Has he set the lease-end residual value too low?
All these factors contribute to the calculation of monthly lease payment amount. If any one of them is set too high (or too low in the case of residual value), it’s not a good deal. (If you are not familiar with how car lease payments are calculated, see Lease Payment Formula, at LeaseGuide.com.)
However, simply knowing how to calculate a monthly payment doesn’t tell you if the lease deal is good, bad, or just average.
The best and easiest way to evaluate a car lease deal is by using a Lease Deal Calculator such as the one at LeaseGuide.com.
You simply plug in some numbers about the vehicle and the lease, such as you might see in a TV commercial or newspaper advertisement. You’ll need the MSRP sticker price for the vehicle (not the negotiated price), the number of months in the lease, any down payment amount, and the monthly payment amount (not including any sales tax).
The calculator will then score your deal on a scale of 0-100 (scores can actually exceed 100 on outstanding deals) and rate it as Poor, Average, Good, Excellent, or Outstanding. You can compare different leases to determine which is the better deal.
The Lease Deal Calculator is a great tool for anyone thinking about leasing a car.