Help on Calculator Update

Hi All!

The Leasehackr Calculator has been one of the most popular features on our website. We always strive to make it better. While the calculation for leases are more or less the same, the way sales tax is levied varies based on states. We have no way to encapsulate all variations in our calculator, but we figure we can enlist help from our experts here to make the calculator as accurate as possible. Here are a few things I would like your advice on:

  1. Zero Drive-off: Can you still make use of the MSD program if you elect zero drive-off? – I assume no because it defeats the purpose?

  2. If the sales tax is levied on the total lease payment (the total of all monthly payment), do you still need to pay for taxes on capitalized cost reduction?

  3. If the sales tax is levied on the net capitalized cost, do you still need to pay taxes on capitalized cost reduction?

On a side note, we have updated the calculator to reflect the changes in the MSD program of BMW (it is not longer available) and Mercedes-Benz (the MSD payment is now calculated based on the pre-MSD monthly payment instead of the post-MSD monthly payment; in short, it is more).

Thank you!

#1: I don’t consider MSDs to be drive off. It’s really just transferring money from your bank to the “Bank of Mercedes” or “Bank of Lexus”, which you will then withdraw in 3 years. That’s different than a downpayment or a doc fee (which nobody should ever pay!!!), which is money that will never be seen again.

Suggestions for future releases (not that anyone asked but here it goes)…

Further break down, drive offs into two categories; those that you can negotiate and those that you cannot. So you can negotiate down payment and doc fees, but you can’t negotiate sales tax and DMV fees. Personally I always leave sales tax and DMV fees out of any negotiation. Those are things you will pay no matter where you end up leasing. And it keeps negotiating cleaner and easier apples to apples comparisons to leave that out. But that’s just me :slight_smile:

And if you really want to get super duper fancy with the calculator, a cool feature would be showing the ROI (Return on Investment) of the MSDs. For example if your put $5000 in MSDs but save $1500 over 3 years, then your ROI is 30% or 9.14% annualized ROI. I think a lot of people don’t realize the tremendous value MSDs have and in some cases can return 15%+ yearly. Tax free to boot!


Sales tax is going to vary by state. In NY and NJ the answer to #2 is Yes.

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  1. In Ohio, sales tax is levied on the total lease payment, and CCR (down payment, rebates) are taxed…from what I can tell, the current calculator does it correctly
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I think a cool feature would be to have a toggle or something that gives the ability to wrap the due at signing costs into the lease so we can easily see what a $0 due at signing monthly price would be.

And to expand further, maybe several options could be offered and depending what we choose, we can see updated monthly pricing…

-$0 due at signing
-just first monthly payment
-first payment, taxes, fees
-specify an amount due at signing


Yes. This x1000. I have a spreadsheet that does it, but the LH calculator is far more elegant, especially on a mobile device.

How about the ability to save scenarios and compare scenarios on the same screen? E.g. cost difference between leasing 2 different models or difference between 2 different trims. Each have different RV/MF so changing in the same calculator can get confusing. I am shopping about 4-5 different vehicles right now, so might have 3 calc windows up on my phone and will sometimes forget which one is which.

The holy grail of a request - a link to a backend which contains the current RV/MF for each manufacturer/model. The database would need to be kept up to date and some logic applied at beginning of month if new information is not yet available.


Like this:


Yes, thanks for the link. I’ll start using that one.

stolen and added to wiki :smile:

Yeah, I use it all the time.

Try not to ask over PM for donations for this link

good idea. now soliciting donations for the most amazing lease calculator site. :joy:

If you donate, I will also provide you a link to my corporate discounts to samsung, bose, apple, whirlpool, ge, etc.

Fix the Chevrolet One Pay MF reduction for 24 months

Mind elaborating on the issue? Thanks!

For 24-27 months, you subtract .00042 from the MF and for 36 and more, you subtract the. 00073 or whatever it is

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Yes, sorry about that, Board pretty much summed it up. Thanks ! :slight_smile:

Calculator doesn’t seem to be accounting for Down Payment field. I change the field from 0 to 2500 and the monthly stays the same.

Edit - the Zero drive off button made the calculator ignore the downpayment field.

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Lol because the downpayment is a drive off payment. Put the downpayment in nontaxed incentives field for same effect.

Yes because when you elect zero drive-off, you are not paying anything upfront to lower the monthly payment (except for the MSD, which is refundable). Downpayment has to be paid upfront.

I like the new calculator, but there seems to be a problem when putting a link to it in a post. The post changes the “&” symbols in the link to add “amp;” in front of each one and that breaks the link.