1st time using calculator struggles

I just leased a mercedes and on their paperwork it does not list an APR or a MF, they only list a Rent Charge. It would be nice if the rent charge could be entered to display the MF and APR.

It would also be nice if there was a section to include money owed on a purchase that’s being traded as well as the value they are giving for the trade. Then you could display both the monthly lease cost with/without trade so that it could be better compared to other leases.

Lease agreement is standard nationally and never lists MF but pretty easy to calculate. Just divide the monthly rent by the sum of the cap cost and residual.

Including trades in the calculator is not useful bc a dealer just pushes money around… higher discount and lower value for a trade-in. If you have negative equity, add it to the dealer fees, otherwise put any positive equity in the down payment field.

Thanks! I don’t disagree that it can be calculated, but if the form is standard across the nation, why wouldn’t the “calculator” be able to calculate that instead of using MF and APR which are not on a standard national lease agreement. I just think it would make things easier, as if I’m calculating things on my own, why even use a calculator?

I agree that money gets pushed around which is why I’d like it to be an option on the calculator is order to better evaluate the deal. It would be awesome if they could link it to black book or something like that to have it show you the value of the trade, but that’s getting overly complicated… I don’t mind putting it in as an additional dealer fee, just irks me because that’s not what it is.

So all in all, yes, there are ways to work around these things, just suggestions on ways that I think it would be improved.

Why would you be trying to fill in the calculator of a deal based on the signed contract?

You should be filling in the calculator first, to determine what the price should be, and that requires you to input the mf, as that’s the value that matters. A specific rent charge amount is only determined after a deal is worked out because it requires more than just the interest, but also adjusted cap cost.

Long story short, if you have a rent charge amount to input, you’re using the calculator way too late in the game.


I disagree. I used it in the beginning when I was told I would be getting a mf of 00120 and with my trade at 10k everything looked correct. Then when I got to the finance table the numbers were all different and I had no way to validate without doing the math myself. In my case they ended up giving me more for my trade (11,500) and then increasing the mf to 00133 (no idea why as payments remained the same, unless they had to do it due to my credit score). That’s why I feel it should have both options. How else would you know if the dealership is pulling a fast one?

His point was you should check before you sign not after.

If only there was a comprehensive guide for how to read a lease contract and perform these simple calculations…


The onus is on YOU to double check what you sign, not the leasehackr calculator.

You’re more than welcome to custom build your own spreadsheet that matches a lease contract line by line and share it with the community. However I don’t really see the point of this as the lease contract is an output of your deal, not an input.


I was checking before, during, and after. Again, it would be a great validation before you put pen to paper to be able to validate what they told you is what you’re getting. By putting the contract info into the calculator (which I did while sitting at the table) you could do that. Except I had no idea what to do with the rental charge and without apr or mf I couldn’t validate anything, unless I depended on the word of the finance guy or knew the calculations.

I guess my question is why would it be bad to show what the rent charge is in the calculator?

Automatically calculating the MF is based on almost every input in the calculator so any change would adjust the MF too. It’s very complex to design. Also, people struggle enough getting the basic numbers inputted so now you are just adding another variable. Someone who get the wrong selling price are now going to think the dealer is charging them 9%.

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That’s why it’s important to be an informed consumer, for example by taking advantage of the resources already available on this site. You can sit at the F&I desk allllllllllll day doing these calculations, or leave and come back another day, or phone a friend. There really is no rush when you’re talking about signing a contract for tens of thousands of dollars.

You also could have just asked the F&I guy how the rent charge was calculated if you didn’t understand what rent charge was. He can’t get around revealing the MF if he shows you the calculation. Hell, you could go line by line making him explain every single one to you and showing every single calculation.

I have recommended it a hundred times on this forum and I’ll do it again: You really need to build your own lease payment spreadsheet if you want a calculation that is accurate to the penny. The LH calculator is not desking software.

Personally I’m OK showing what the rent charge is But it’s an extremely simple calculation, and where does it stop? If we include every possible contract output it becomes pretty cumbersome, people get confused by it all, and we arrive back at the prior recommendation - just make your own lease calculation spreadsheet.

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So what is this “suggestions” forum for? I thought it was to make suggestions on how the tool could be better. Are you saying that because there are other options that this calculator shouldn’t be improved? Why even make new cars? The one you have drives. You can buy a map at the gas station so no need for GPS. I mean I really don’t get why there is so much pushback for this feature… I mean I guess at least the post is getting attention…

I could understand if I was asking to put in ads or have it provide a cooking recipe, but I’m asking to include a field that is used in calculating every lease in America (and maybe elsewhere). Why so much pushback?

With any device, there’s a trade off between adding functions and retaining simplicity.

How many people edit photos on their phone vs using Photoshop on a desktop?

I also don’t understand why you’re asking “why is there even a suggestions sub forum” and “why so much pushback?” its simple: people are free to disagree with you.


Precisely this. However it’s not the make a suggestion and insist everyone agrees with it or they are wrong forum.


For the life of me, I can’t understand why everyone relies on this calculator so much, TBH :spoon: :spoon: :spoon:. Sure, it’s a quick reference point, but I calc everything out on my own via spreadsheet like you mentioned. I never even look at the calculator. I also feel much more confident in my own spreadsheet than a calc I have no idea whether is correct or not. Everyone should know how to calc a lease out themselves before entering a dealership. It’s really not even that difficult.

Best part is, you can add all these little nuances yourself to your own spreadsheet that everyone is suggesting. Easy peasy.

Personally, I wouldn’t be sad if the calculator disappeared tomorrow. I bet 50% of the threads are from people that don’t know/understand how to use it.

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You’re not though. MF is used to calculate the lease. Rent charge is the output of the calculation that includes MF and many other variables.

Rent charge isn’t the variable that goes into the calculation, it’s the answer that the calculation gives.

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You can also create your own lease calculation spreadsheet if you’re hellbent on these features, and ignore the calculator altogether.

The calculator isn’t designed/intended to be dealer desking software.

I’m not saying no one can disagree, it’s just no one was giving a valid reason why not to add it. Making the tool too cumbersome is a valid answer, and although I disagree, I can see why someone would say that. In addition I see that making it an output may be better than an input like the apr.

I like using the calculator because 1) it’s easily accessible while I’m at the dealership and the numbers are constantly changing (for those that go home to think on the deal, that’s fine, but I don’t have the time to go home after every deal to save $100 after 2 weeks and having the car I wanted sold). And 2) it’s the only calculator that I’ve used that is accurate to the dollar. All others are close, but never spot on. And finally 3) someone already created it so it’s just easier than sitting down and doing my own calculations which again would be had to be mobile.

But I do appreciate the feedback!

Didn’t you missing the MF bump cost you $22/mo or $792 over 36 months? Plus tax. Just sayin…

Anyway. The bottom line for the “push back” is that there are two factions on LH. One faction is :spoon: feed me everything and JUST GIVE ME THE ANSWER, the other faction is learning, understanding and educating. I do see where you’re coming from, but like I said, where does it end? Do we just continue adding inputs/outputs until it looks like my lease spreadsheet with 50 excel rows? You may think rent charge is extremely important. Another may think that a line for dealer adds is most important. Another may think total sales tax is important. As you said, you want a trade field. It can go on and on and on…which is why you really need a full spreadsheet if you want an accurate lease cost down to the penny. To me and most other long time members on LH, the calc is just a quick hit and run tool. I go into the dealership with my laptop computer and my excel spreadsheet. Actually, I have draft contracts sent to me ahead of time, but that’s besides the point.


PS I will happily sell you my lease calculation spreadsheet for the low low low price of $791. Plus tax. :slight_smile:

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I could get behind the logic for a request for having something that tells you what the total depreciation amount is and the total rent charge amount as an output. Having it as an input doesn’t make any sense though.

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Ha ha, touche! In fairness the payment for my trade in went from 10k to 11.5k while the MF went up 791 and the acq fee dropped from 1095 to 495. I am guessing my credit score came back requiring a higher MF and that’s how they handled it. Not to get into all the details but they accidently quoted me the residual of a brand new 2020 while I paid $500 under the sale price of a 2019 with 5k miles (over 20% off MSRP)… but that’s not the point.

As I said, I 100% understand the tool getting too complicated and this is my first lease so I did not go down to the dealership with my laptop and spreadsheets. I was able to use the tool and the forum to get the price dropped. They continually said “none of those calculators actually price the lease correctly” and when I showed him it flipped things a bit and I was able to negotiate further. I just feel, for me, that feature would have helped. That being said, I am on the “Just give me the answer” side of things, but that’s because I don’t quite know all of the calculations and terms. Reading through this website definitely saved me from a horrible lease (as the first offer was $60/mo higher with a larger down payment). So my stance (in discussing the tool with a group that is OBVIOUSLY on the “learning, understanding, educating” side) is that it could help save a couple idiots like myself that can’t sit through a youtube video that lasts more than 3 minutes.

That being said, I believe I got lucky in my deal being that it was February, last day of the month, and they mixed up the residual. I am pretty sure it won’t happen again so I will work on joining the other side. But, all I’m trying to say is that it would have been nice to see the Rent Charge next to the APR when I put the MF into the calculator. It’s too late for me, but maybe it would help another schmuck out there save a couple bucks.

Luckily I have 3 years (2 years 9 months if I stay with MB) to develop my spreadsheet.

Again, thanks for all the comments, both snarky and helpful!