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Leasing a car comes with its own set of challenges. One of the biggest challenges is understanding the down payment and how much you should put down to get the best deal. At Car Leases™, our team of expert automotive enthusiasts has surveyed countless leases to provide you with comprehensive advice about every $1,000 down on a lease. We’ll cover the 1% rule, the Leasehackr Score, how to research what others are paying, and how to calculate your ideal lease. Plus, we’ll answer frequently asked questions so you can make the best decision for your budget and lifestyle.
The One Percent Test: Is it the Right Measure?
You might have heard of the 1% rule, which recommends that you put down enough money to cover a monthly payment that is 1% of the car's MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price). This test can help you avoid overpaying for a lease, but it's not the complete picture. Here are some pros and cons to consider:
- It is a simple way to compare lease deals to determine if they are good or bad
- It can help you avoid leases that are excessively expensive
- It doesn't factor in lease length or interest rates, which can affect your monthly payment
- It doesn't take into account your budget, which could vary from person to person
So, while the 1% test is a useful measure, it should be used in conjunction with other factors when evaluating a lease.
The Leasehackr Score: What is it and How to Use it
Leasehackr score is a rating system developed by Leasehackr.com, which rates leases on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best possible score. The score takes into account the residual value, money factor, and other lease variables to give you an idea of how good a lease deal is.
How to use it:
- Start by finding a lease deal you're interested in
- Plug the lease variables into the Leasehackr Calculator [Link to: https://leasehackr.com/calculator]
- The calculator will generate a score for the lease deal
- It is a more accurate measurement than simply using the 1% rule
- It takes into account many variables, giving you a better idea of how good a deal is
- It can be time-consuming to calculate a score for every lease deal you're interested in
- There are some variables that are difficult to accurately predict when using the calculator
Overall, the Leasehackr score is a valuable tool for evaluating lease deals, especially if you're comparing multiple deals.
Research What Others are Paying: Where to Find Great Deals
One of the best ways to determine if you're getting a good deal on a lease is to research what others are paying. Here are three ways to find great deals:
1. Dealer Sites
Many dealerships offer special deals on their own websites. Check out dealer sites to find great lease deals.
2. Lease Comparison Sites
Lease Comparison sites like Leasehackr.com, TrueCar.com and Edmunds.com offer listings of lease deals that can help you determine what a fair price for a given car and model should be.
3. Social Media
Social media groups like Facebook Marketplace and Reddit can be great places to find and share lease deals.
- You can find deals that you may not have found otherwise
- Great to get an idea of what people are paying in your area
- Many sites also provide reviews from other buyers
- Not all of the information may be accurate
- It can take a long time to find deals that are relevant to you
Calculate Your Own Ideal Lease: Don't Get Shortchanged
When you know your budget, the length of the lease, and the amount you can put down, you can calculate your ideal lease payment amount. Here's how to do it:
1. Determine your budget
The first step is to determine your monthly budget. Keep in mind that your budget should include not only the monthly lease payment, but also the cost of insurance, gasoline and other expenses of car ownership.
2. Calculate the lease payment
Use the following formula to calculate the lease payment:
- (MSRP – Residual Value) ÷ Length of Lease ÷ Money Factor + Sales Tax
3. Adjust the amount you put down
The more you put down, the lower your monthly payment will be. However, putting money down on a car lease could potentially put you at risk of losing your investment in the event your car is stolen or totaled.
- It helps you avoid being shortchanged on a car lease
- It gives you more control over your monthly lease payment
- Depending on the variables, it can be difficult to calculate
What is the 1% rule in leasing?
As described above, the 1% rule suggests that your monthly car payment, plus your down payment, should be no more than 1% of the vehicle's sticker price.
What is the lease payment on a $45,000 car?
The lease payment on a $45,000 car will depend on several variables, including money factor, residual value, and down payment. Use the formula provided above to calculate the lease payment based on the terms of your lease.
Is it dumb to put money down on a car lease?
It's not necessarily "dumb," but putting too much money down could potentially put you at risk of losing your investment in the event your car is stolen or totaled. It's best to evaluate your budget and down payment options before signing a lease agreement.
Quick Tips and Facts
- Keep in mind that a car lease is a long-term commitment that should be evaluated carefully before making a decision.
- Be sure to read the lease agreement carefully and understand all of the terms and conditions before signing.
- Leasing a car can be a great way to drive a new car for a lower monthly payment than if you were buying it outright.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for the best deal for every $1,000 down on a lease, be sure to take into account the 1% rule, the Leasehackr Score, and how to find great deals. Calculate your ideal lease payment and check out what other people are paying. At Car Leases™, our team recommends using all of the tools and resources available to make an informed decision that's right for your needs.