Calculator Fee Options

I would like to suggest adding “pay upfront” option to each fee instead of only allowing it for acquisition fee.
It was difficult using calculator for my lease because I only paid registration and first month upfront. The numbers just didn’t match (I haven’t tried using negative numbers).

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Good idea :+1:t4:

I think a vastly more useful feature would be something that allows you to just type in what you want the das amount to be. It’s too easy for a dealer to do some up front and others not.

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Adjusting down payment into negative is what I’ve been doing, and it’s hit or miss and trial and error. I’d love this.

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I would value this tweak as well. Roll-in or DAS toggle option for each fee line item.

Each dealer treats fees differently. Ex, some capitalize doc fee, some do not. Flexibility in the calculator helps avoid “ad hoc” figure manipulation when you input variables.

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Dealer fees and government fees are make of many parts. So if only parts of those fees are paid upfront, the user still has to use the negative downpayment trick to roll the payments into drive-off.

We have been brainstorming on the best way to approach this. Perhaps a clear explanation on how the numbers are treated and tricks to use the calculator, or a separate field for roll-ins? It’s a balancing act between simplicity and functionality. We find sometimes that more functions don’t lead to better user experience. The tax calculation, for example, has been a point of confusion because each state taxes auto leases differently and the numbers don’t always match.

I think the most useful thing would be an option to input a das number and then have the monthly auto adjusted for that. For the most part, what the das is made up of doesn’t matteruch, as long as the sum matches. Way too much book keeping magic can be done to have the individual fees set as charge up front or not.

The DAS id made up of many parts though. If I understand you correctly, the goal is to fix the DAS and reverse calculate the monthly payment required to reach the DAS. What would the formula be to achieve this? Do we freeze the downpayment and upfront payment input for the reverse calculation?

Exactly. Ultimately in a deal, these are the outputs senate trying to compare… If the DAS is matched to the dealer offer, does the monthly match (or come close).

Down payment would be what you’d probably want to leave floating, as it’s basically a made up number anyway as it is so incredibly subject to how the dealer bookkeeps the deal.

You’d basically just have the calculator capitalize 100% of the fees/upfront taxes and then treat the DAS as the down payment

When I glance at a posted calculator with a “negative” number in it the first thing I think of is "Do I want to spend the time to figure out this “jerry-rigged” calculator. I believe when a calculator contains “tricks” it discourages engagement. As @littleviolette points out, “It’s a balancing act between simplicity and functionality.” That’s the rub.

Here is one suggestion on how to illustrate within the calculator the way capitalized/DAS fees and taxes are handled in actual lease deals:
Screenshot (142)

I believe this treatment also illustrates to the user the need to understand how fees and taxes can be handled in their deal - rolled in or paid at signing. Information button provides the basic explanation. Keep the data limited to 3 basic fee buckets: acq, dealer and government.

Whichever solution you chose, thanks in advance for making the calculator more useful.

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The issue I have with this approach is that it requires one to not only know what the fees are, but how the dealer is going to bookkeep them. That is a deeper level of deal knowledge required that is going to be harder to find. It also doesn’t make much difference in the end if you do know it, other than a few dollars here and there in taxes.

@mllcb42 makes good points. You put your finger on my #1 leasing pet peeve. Its a game we all play - where is the dealer putting the fees? One dealer capitalizes acq fee, the next dealer quote you receive acq shows up in DAS. Get 3 dealer quotes - you will surely get 3 different recipes for how each fee/tax is handled. My favorite - when a dealer capitalizes some CA DMV fees and puts some in DAS. Its a jigsaw puzzle.

But it is a game everyone on LH is forced to play. Everyone works to get their LH calculator to match their quote.

We have all seen the post that read something like this “I can’t get my monthly payment to match my quote sheet?” One variable we immediately consider, which inception fees were capitalized? Or, we have all seen the post “I can’t get my DAS to match?” Same problem since fees/taxes can wind up in one of two places.

Leasing is a complex financial transaction. LH doesn’t make it any easier if it doesn’t clearly explain that lessees have the choice to capitalize or pay off their fees/taxes. Tell lessees to keep an eye on how fees/taxes are handled and they will learn. It’s no different that having them learn about MF markup. Leasing ain’t easy.

I think you’re looking for a micro solution to a macro problem there. I’ve never seen a calculator related thread where someone said “I can’t get the calculator to match” and it turns out that they’re off by $1 a month with a matching DAS because of an issue with how a fee is taxed because it is capitalized or not. The vast majority of the time it’s because of some gross error in how things are applied or a significantly mismatched DAS amount.

I agree that in an ideal world, being able to properly delineate which column a fee goes in is a good thing. I’m all for more data and having the numbers worked out to the best of one’s ability. With that said, that’s a fine tuning of the number to get that last 2% to match. We’re still stuck with the hurdle of playing around with negative down payment amounts, etc that is the other 98% of the problem. Now, yes, truly accounting for where all the fees go would solve this problem, but can you imagine the nightmare of trying to itemize line by line each fee on a dealer offer if it’s cap’d or not? Hell, it can be hard enough to get them to tell you what the fees are.

Ignoring all of the “where does the fee go” and having the calculator immediately cap everything, and then have a DAS amount you set gets us 98% of the way to where we need to be and then you’re left dealing with the “well, my monthly is off by $.50 a month!” questions, which never actually come.

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I see what the goal is now – it’s to cross-check the DAS number offered by the dealer. In that case, we can either move all the fees to Cap Cost Adjustment and add the upfront payment check boxes for Dealer Fees and Gov’t Fees as OP suggested, or add a new Fee Paid Upfront field under so users can manually input the amount they want to pay upfront. The latter would essentially replace the negative downpayment “trick,” which I acknowledge isn’t an effective way to present the data.

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Added the feature to elect to capitalize dealer fees and government fees, along with tweaks on the one-pay and zero drive-off options, as you cannot elect to roll in those fees when you opt for one-pay or zero drive-off. The updated calculator is now under testing. We would appreciate your help with testing and let us know if you find errors in the calculation. Thank you!

Calculator Update Test

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Nice. Tested on one of my existing calculators for $0 drive off and the monthly is off by $2. Not really a big deal cause that usually is marginal for other small double or single digit fees which add up.

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We made some changes to $0 drive off. Hope that would resolve the discrepancy.