When shopping for a new car, consumers have a number of choices. One of those options includes leasing a car. In this article, we're going to provide a car lease spreadsheet, which is an Excel workbook that can be used to calculate monthly car lease payments.
The spreadsheet is as sophisticated as any other online version found on the Internet. Since we're providing this as a free downloadable tool, it was designed to deliver more flexibility than many of the other calculators on the web.
The remainder of this article will be dedicated to providing detailed instructions. This will reduce any confusion over the use of the spreadsheet. We'll also explain some of the terminology that might be encountered when evaluating a car lease. Finally, as appropriate, we've included some examples, or suggested values, to use in the spreadsheet.
The spreadsheet can be downloaded by clicking on the following link: Car Lease Calculator. Once the spreadsheet has been opened in Excel (it should also work in LibreOffice / OpenOffice Calc or Lotus 123), users will notice the tool already contains example information. All users need to do is overwrite the example values with the car lease information they're evaluating.
When a cell value is "blue," this indicates the need for an input. The remaining cells are used for spreadsheet calculations or explanations.
The first value that is going to be calculated is the gross capitalized cost of the vehicle. The important inputs include:
The next step in calculating the lease payment is to figure out how much capital, or money, the user is willing (or required) to pay upfront. This is known as the capitalized cost reduction. The larger the upfront payment, the lower is the monthly lease payment. Generally, there are two ways to reduce capital:
In this section, users are going to provide some of the lease terms they've been offered by the dealership or perhaps have seen in an advertisement.
This section of the spreadsheet computes the total of all out-of-pocket payments associated with the lease. This is the total amount of money that needs to be provided as part of the agreement.
This is the part most users are interested in: An estimate of the monthly car lease payments. This output isn't going to be reviewed line-by-line because the concepts have already been explained. This section converts the lease costs into monthly payments by dividing those values by the term of the lease.
It's easy enough to print out a copy of these instructions, and refer to them when using the car lease spreadsheet. The tool can be very useful when playing "what if" scenarios, to see how changing an assumption affects the monthly payments. Keep in mind this tool is not intended to replace the calculators used by dealerships. The intention here is to provide consumers with quality information, so they are better prepared when they negotiate with leasing companies or dealerships.
If an online car lease calculator is preferable, we can help there too. In fact, we have a complete line of car loan and lease calculators that users can access for free. Included in that offering is an online car lease calculator, which follows the same format as the above spreadsheet. All of our online tools come complete with instructions too.
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