Everyone posting here is asking if the deal they are quoted is good or not. I am a Finance Professor and would like to propose an alternative way to analyze these deals that assigns an interest rate to the loan amount covering the lease. It would work as follows: what is the interest rate that equates your payments to the gross amount financed in the deal. Below I've appended one of the deals I took from this discussion. They were quoted a purchase price of $31,052, made payments of $338 per month for 36 months, and then gave the car back to the dealer with residual value of $20,655. One can calculate the interest rate that equates these two amounts, the PV of the car, and the PV of the payments plus the discounted future residual value. In this case the interest rate (APR) is approximately 1.75%. I'd say that is a good deal in an absolute sense, and one can compare the deal with others using this approach. Can anyone tell me if this makes sense? It certainly simplifies things. My spreadsheet allows for added charges, down payments, different residuals, etc. The way that the dealer does this calculation is a little obscure, using finance factors etc. Let me know.

Car Lease Analysis
Chevrolet Volt
Deal 2
Purchase $34,995.00
Fees, Taxes etc. $-
Gross Purchase $31,052.00
Amt Down (Drive-off?) $-
Payment $(338.00)
months 12
Years 3
Periods 36
Residual Percent 66.5%
Residual Value $(20,655.00)
APR 1.75%
Periodic Rate 0.15%
PV of Pmts plus Residual Value $31,462.31

@vint280sl said:
Everyone posting here is asking if the deal they are quoted is good or not. I am a Finance Professor and would like to propose an alternative way to analyze these deals that assigns an interest rate to the loan amount covering the lease. It would work as follows: what is the interest rate that equates your payments to the gross amount financed in the deal. Below I've appended one of the deals I took from this discussion. They were quoted a purchase price of $31,052, made payments of $338 per month for 36 months, and then gave the car back to the dealer with residual value of $20,655. One can calculate the interest rate that equates these two amounts, the PV of the car, and the PV of the payments plus the discounted future residual value. In this case the interest rate (APR) is approximately 1.75%. I'd say that is a good deal in an absolute sense, and one can compare the deal with others using this approach. Can anyone tell me if this makes sense? It certainly simplifies things. My spreadsheet allows for added charges, down payments, different residuals, etc. The way that the dealer does this calculation is a little obscure, using finance factors etc. Let me know.

Car Lease Analysis
Chevrolet Volt
Deal 2
Purchase $34,995.00
Fees, Taxes etc. $-
Gross Purchase $31,052.00
Amt Down (Drive-off?) $-
Payment $(338.00)
months 12
Years 3
Periods 36
Residual Percent 66.5%
Residual Value $(20,655.00)
APR 1.75%
Periodic Rate 0.15%
PV of Pmts plus Residual Value $31,462.31

The calculator my co-host and I use has no math functions more complicated than the basics - add, subtract, multiply and divide. It's just a matter of knowing what numbers to plug in:

MSRP

Selling Price

Residual Value

Money Factor (rent charge, interest rate)

Length of lease

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I understand that. However, if you want get an accurate understanding of the actual cost of the transaction, you need to know the implicit interest rate involved. This is like the true price of the lease. Let's say you agree on the value (or cost) of the car, the present value, the dealer then states the payment amount (they would calculate this using the "money factor" method), and you agree also on the value of the car at the termination of the lease. There is an interest rate that is implicit in this contract which represents the cost they are charging for you to use the car for the period of the lease. The present value of the car today equals the discounted fixed payment stream and the future value of the car at termination. Their method obscures this, in my opinion. But I haven't found anyone else who is interested in the alternative approach. I was wondering if anyone on the discussion had looked at this.

Can we have updated numbers for April if they are out yet?
Also, I see people talking about the low residual plus the tax rebate raising the residual percentage. Can anyone show me how that's done? I'm sure I'm missing something here.

@vint280sl said:
I understand that. However, if you want get an accurate understanding of the actual cost of the transaction, you need to know the implicit interest rate involved. This is like the true price of the lease. Let's say you agree on the value (or cost) of the car, the present value, the dealer then states the payment amount (they would calculate this using the "money factor" method), and you agree also on the value of the car at the termination of the lease. There is an interest rate that is implicit in this contract which represents the cost they are charging for you to use the car for the period of the lease. The present value of the car today equals the discounted fixed payment stream and the future value of the car at termination. Their method obscures this, in my opinion. But I haven't found anyone else who is interested in the alternative approach. I was wondering if anyone on the discussion had looked at this.

The interest rate on a Chevy lease is right there... You don't really have to calculate it, because they give it to you. (Ally Bank uses APRs) The one thing you have to factor in for the lease vs. purchase, are the extra fees you pay to lease, the tax treatment vs. purchasing (sometimes better, sometimes worse), and whether the residuals are realistic. Sometimes, incentives come in the form of an artificially inflated residual. If you only want the car for the lease term, that's an incentive that is easily quantified, but goes away, if you purchase the car at the end of the lease.

True money factors can be converted to an approximate APR by multiplying them by 2400.

A lease is just an alternative method of financing a vehicle. If there were no extra fees, and the money factor/APR was identical to the purchase rate, and you knew for certain that the residual was going to be accurate, then then leasing would be exactly equivalent to purchasing (and selling at the end of the lease term).

@Slimms said:
Can we have updated numbers for April if they are out yet?
Also, I see people talking about the low residual plus the tax rebate raising the residual percentage. Can anyone show me how that's done? I'm sure I'm missing something here.

1.00% MF and 56% for 36mo, 15K/yr. $1571 lease cash.
These numbers are from ALLY Bank.

In this calculation ALLY is keeping the tax credit. Other banks (USBank) would also keep the tax credit, but they may have a much lower residual, and give a matching rebate ($6500 or so), to make up for it. The payment is likely to be similar, but if you are considering purchasing the car at lease-end, the latter type of lease program would be much better, as the residual will be lower.

@kyfdx@Edmunds said:
In this calculation ALLY is keeping the tax credit. Other banks (USBank)
would also keep the tax credit, but they may have a much lower residual, and give a matching rebate ($6500 or so), to make up for it. The payment is likely to be similar, but if you are considering purchasing the car at lease-end, the latter type of lease program would be much better, as the residual will be lower.

So for a base $35k volt, there is $1571 taken off for lease cash ? If you were paying sticker, you'd be looking at $33,429
.56 is $19,600 (from 35,000)
$35000-19,600 = $15,400
$15,400 - 1,571 = 13,829
$13,829/36 = $384 plus tax/money factor and other fees. Looks like people are getting substantial discounts to get prices around and under $300

A lease is just an alternative method of financing a vehicle. If there were no extra fees, and the money factor/APR was identical to the purchase rate, and you knew for certain that the residual was going to be accurate, then then leasing would be exactly equivalent to purchasing (and selling at the end of the lease term).

Thank you for responding to my inquiry. I understand they are equivalent, but for some reason they are not negotiated the same way. Why? Can you explain to me in more detail exactly what a money factor is? And perhaps you could comment on a proposed method for negotiating a lease, below:

Prior to negotiating the lease you get information on the True Market Value (TMV) of the car if purchased. You then add in all the fees and taxes that you would have to pay. This gives you the total amount to be paid. They then give you a proposed down payment and monthly lease payment using their method (money factor), and somehow you derive a residual(salvage) value for the car at the end of the lease. You then calculate what they are charging in interest by determining the rate which discounts all of your payments to a sum equivalent to the initial amount. In finance this is known as the "Internal Rate of Return." This gives you all the information you need to negotiate a fair deal, TMV ,the interest rate, and the amount of your contractural payments. These are the actual costs of the deal.

Now, if the rate (IRR) implied in the quote is too high, say 6-10%, you ask for a lower down payment, a lower fixed monthly payment, or in the situation where you are sure you are buying the car at the end of the lease, a lower contractural estimated residual value.(Note that this IS a payment, because you either give them back the car, or pay them this amount in cash to own it outright.) Lowering any of these lowers the interest rate. Say they are offering deals with 0.9% interest; then ask them to lower your payments until you realize that rate. Does that make sense?

This method has the quite significant benefit of allowing a purchaser to compare deals which have different prices, payments and/or residual values. But, as in a purchase, you do have to start with a solid broadly accepted price for the vehicle, e.g. the Edmunds TMV or something related to dealer invoice.

The residual isn't negotiated. It's set by the bank offering the loan. It's what they determine the car to be worth when you turn it in. What you pay in a lease is depreciation and interest. That's it.
$20k car
$11k residual
You pay $9k over your 24,36,39 month lease. Your state varies over how the tax and money factor is applied to the payment.

Yes.. as @Slimms noted, the residual is set by the lending bank, and also the base money factor (aka "buy rate"). As with a traditional loan, the money factor (or APR) is only negotiable down to the amount that the bank provides to the dealer. The dealer may mark up the money factor or APR for additional profit, and you can negotiate that down, but you can never go below the base rate.

In theory, you could shop for a better rate from another, independent bank, but those entities rarely have an incentive to sell you a vehicle, so their rates are usually not competitive with the captive finance companies. So, you are locked into their residual, and their base money factor, at best. The negotiable aspect of the lease is the selling price and the money factor (if marked up). As in every car purchase, you have to watch for added "extras" in the finance office, as this can markedly change any good deal for the worse.

The money factor is not that esoteric. It's actually a simple substitute for the APR, that allows you to calculate the finance charges with a simple calculator or spreadsheet, negating the need for a financial calculator.

The typical lease assigns a constant finance charge to each month, and does this by calculating the amount financed as a true average between the CAP cost and residual. So, if your CAP cost is $30K and your residual is $18K, then the average amount financed for the life of the lease is $24K. Why multiply the money factor by 2400 to get an equivalent APR?

100 X to convert it from a fraction to a whole number.
12 X to convert it from a monthly to an annual amount.
2 X to convert the (CAP + residual) to (CAP + residual)/2 (for an average of the two numbers)

2400 X the money factor to get an approximately equivalent APR

Do you know the selling prices of the car at the dealer? That will have a material affect on the payment.

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Volts are outselling the Leaf, Prius Plug-in, C-Max & Fusion Energi, RAV4 EV and the Tesla. 60,000 sold since introduction in 2010. Not a huge number in the overall scheme of things but they're out there.

And yeah, owners should be posting. GM doesn't advertise the Volt on TV since their market is mostly online and on social media. (cnet)

Moderator Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

Just received first quote from Princeton Chevrolet
Base volt with safety 1
Sale price $32429
Residual of $22083.70
$1000 down to cover fees
12k, 36 months
$357.29 a month

@Slimms said:
I came back and said my numbers were more around $302. Am I right with that?

What is the MSRP of the vehicle you're looking to lease?

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@Slimms said:
I came back and said my numbers were more around $302. Am I right with that?

With your MSRP and selling price used with the residual of 58% and a .00042 MF, I get a pre-tax payment of $304.15.

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I also wasn't getting the 58%. They said they were using us banks 41% plus 7500 because it was a better deal. After talking to them, I realized they were giving me the car for 32,429 with 2,000 in incentives built in, for a sale price of 34,429. I thought they could do much better, but he tried to stress that incentives were the discount, I'm not that gullible. Incentives come of the sale price, not the sticker. Do you know what incentives are running now?

@Slimms said:
I also wasn't getting the 58%. They said they were using us banks 41% plus 7500 because it was a better deal. After talking to them, I realized they were giving me the car for 32,429 with 2,000 in incentives built in, for a sale price of 34,429. I thought they could do much better, but he tried to stress that incentives were the discount, I'm not that gullible. Incentives come of the sale price, not the sticker. Do you know what incentives are running now?

Looks like $1571 in lease cash on the Volt.

And yes, you want to negotiate the best price possible before any incentives are factored in.

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@octoucan said:
Hello, helping a friend of mine as she is clueless. Please provide April's MF, RV and any lease incentives available on 2014 Volt. Thank you =)

1.00% MF and 56% residual for 36mo, 15K/yr. $1571 lease cash

@kyfdx@Edmunds Thank you. I think that is the highest MF I've ever seen in the 10+ yrs I've been leasing cars. It's even more than Mercedes AMG's MF 7-8 yrs ago.

@octoucan said:
kyfdx@Edmunds Thank you. I think that is the highest MF I've ever seen in the 10+ yrs I've been leasing cars. It's even more than Mercedes AMG's MF 7-8 yrs ago.

Am I correct to assume 57% RV for 12K/yr?

12K is usually 2 points higher than 15K, so 58%.

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@octoucan said:
Michaell@Edmunds Thank you. Is the Money factor 0.00042 or is it really 1.0? I'm assuming 1.00% effective APR on the lease. Is that correct?

Correct - GM uses percentages for their leases. Divide by 2400 to get the equivalent MF.

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## Comments

9Everyone posting here is asking if the deal they are quoted is good or not. I am a Finance Professor and would like to propose an alternative way to analyze these deals that assigns an interest rate to the loan amount covering the lease. It would work as follows: what is the interest rate that equates your payments to the gross amount financed in the deal. Below I've appended one of the deals I took from this discussion. They were quoted a purchase price of $31,052, made payments of $338 per month for 36 months, and then gave the car back to the dealer with residual value of $20,655. One can calculate the interest rate that equates these two amounts, the PV of the car, and the PV of the payments plus the discounted future residual value. In this case the interest rate (APR) is approximately 1.75%. I'd say that is a good deal in an absolute sense, and one can compare the deal with others using this approach. Can anyone tell me if this makes sense? It certainly simplifies things. My spreadsheet allows for added charges, down payments, different residuals, etc. The way that the dealer does this calculation is a little obscure, using finance factors etc. Let me know.

Car Lease Analysis

Chevrolet Volt

Deal 2 Purchase $34,995.00 Fees, Taxes etc. $-

Gross Purchase $31,052.00 Amt Down (Drive-off?) $-

Payment $(338.00) months 12 Years 3 Periods 36 Residual Percent 66.5% Residual Value $(20,655.00) APR 1.75% Periodic Rate 0.15% PV of Pmts plus Residual Value $31,462.31

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0 · Like LOL9,211The calculator my co-host and I use has no math functions more complicated than the basics - add, subtract, multiply and divide. It's just a matter of knowing what numbers to plug in:

MSRP

Selling Price

Residual Value

Money Factor (rent charge, interest rate)

Length of lease

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0 · Like LOL9I understand that. However, if you want get an accurate understanding of the actual cost of the transaction, you need to know the implicit interest rate involved. This is like the true price of the lease. Let's say you agree on the value (or cost) of the car, the present value, the dealer then states the payment amount (they would calculate this using the "money factor" method), and you agree also on the value of the car at the termination of the lease. There is an interest rate that is implicit in this contract which represents the cost they are charging for you to use the car for the period of the lease. The present value of the car today equals the discounted fixed payment stream and the future value of the car at termination. Their method obscures this, in my opinion. But I haven't found anyone else who is interested in the alternative approach. I was wondering if anyone on the discussion had looked at this.

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0 · Like LOL19Can we have updated numbers for April if they are out yet? Also, I see people talking about the low residual plus the tax rebate raising the residual percentage. Can anyone show me how that's done? I'm sure I'm missing something here.

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0 · Like LOL31,850The interest rate on a Chevy lease is right there... You don't really have to calculate it, because they give it to you. (Ally Bank uses APRs) The one thing you have to factor in for the lease vs. purchase, are the extra fees you pay to lease, the tax treatment vs. purchasing (sometimes better, sometimes worse), and whether the residuals are realistic. Sometimes, incentives come in the form of an artificially inflated residual. If you only want the car for the lease term, that's an incentive that is easily quantified, but goes away, if you purchase the car at the end of the lease.

True money factors can be converted to an approximate APR by multiplying them by 2400.

A lease is just an alternative method of financing a vehicle. If there were no extra fees, and the money factor/APR was identical to the purchase rate, and you knew for certain that the residual was going to be accurate, then then leasing would be exactly equivalent to purchasing (and selling at the end of the lease term).

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0 · Like LOL31,8501.00% MF and 56% for 36mo, 15K/yr. $1571 lease cash.

These numbers are from ALLY Bank.

In this calculation ALLY is keeping the tax credit. Other banks (USBank) would also keep the tax credit, but they may have a much lower residual, and give a matching rebate ($6500 or so), to make up for it. The payment is likely to be similar, but if you are considering purchasing the car at lease-end, the latter type of lease program would be much better, as the residual will be lower.

MODERATORPrices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

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0 · Like LOL19So for a base $35k volt, there is $1571 taken off for lease cash ? If you were paying sticker, you'd be looking at $33,429 .56 is $19,600 (from 35,000) $35000-19,600 = $15,400 $15,400 - 1,571 = 13,829 $13,829/36 = $384 plus tax/money factor and other fees. Looks like people are getting substantial discounts to get prices around and under $300

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0 · Like LOL31,850Yeah... I wouldn't pay sticker..

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0 · Like LOL9@kyfdx@Edmunds said:

Thank you for responding to my inquiry. I understand they are equivalent, but for some reason they are not negotiated the same way. Why? Can you explain to me in more detail exactly what a money factor is? And perhaps you could comment on a proposed method for negotiating a lease, below:

Prior to negotiating the lease you get information on the True Market Value (TMV) of the car if purchased. You then add in all the fees and taxes that you would have to pay. This gives you the total amount to be paid. They then give you a proposed down payment and monthly lease payment using their method (money factor), and somehow you derive a residual(salvage) value for the car at the end of the lease. You then calculate what they are charging in interest by determining the rate which discounts all of your payments to a sum equivalent to the initial amount. In finance this is known as the "Internal Rate of Return." This gives you all the information you need to negotiate a fair deal, TMV ,the interest rate, and the amount of your contractural payments. These are the actual costs of the deal.

Now, if the rate (IRR) implied in the quote is too high, say 6-10%, you ask for a lower down payment, a lower fixed monthly payment, or in the situation where you are sure you are buying the car at the end of the lease, a lower contractural estimated residual value.(Note that this IS a payment, because you either give them back the car, or pay them this amount in cash to own it outright.) Lowering any of these lowers the interest rate. Say they are offering deals with 0.9% interest; then ask them to lower your payments until you realize that rate. Does that make sense?

This method has the quite significant benefit of allowing a purchaser to compare deals which have different prices, payments and/or residual values. But, as in a purchase, you do have to start with a solid broadly accepted price for the vehicle, e.g. the Edmunds TMV or something related to dealer invoice.

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0 · Like LOL19$20k car

$11k residual

You pay $9k over your 24,36,39 month lease. Your state varies over how the tax and money factor is applied to the payment.

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0 · Like LOL31,850Yes.. as @Slimms noted, the residual is set by the lending bank, and also the base money factor (aka "buy rate"). As with a traditional loan, the money factor (or APR) is only negotiable down to the amount that the bank provides to the dealer. The dealer may mark up the money factor or APR for additional profit, and you can negotiate that down, but you can never go below the base rate.

In theory, you could shop for a better rate from another, independent bank, but those entities rarely have an incentive to sell you a vehicle, so their rates are usually not competitive with the captive finance companies. So, you are locked into their residual, and their base money factor, at best. The negotiable aspect of the lease is the selling price and the money factor (if marked up). As in every car purchase, you have to watch for added "extras" in the finance office, as this can markedly change any good deal for the worse.

The money factor is not that esoteric. It's actually a simple substitute for the APR, that allows you to calculate the finance charges with a simple calculator or spreadsheet, negating the need for a financial calculator.

The typical lease assigns a constant finance charge to each month, and does this by calculating the amount financed as a true average between the CAP cost and residual. So, if your CAP cost is $30K and your residual is $18K, then the average amount financed for the life of the lease is $24K. Why multiply the money factor by 2400 to get an equivalent APR?

100 X to convert it from a fraction to a whole number.

12 X to convert it from a monthly to an annual amount.

2 X to convert the (CAP + residual) to (CAP + residual)/2 (for an average of the two numbers)

2400 X the money factor to get an approximately equivalent APR

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0 · Like LOL6In Connecticut I have been offered the following in the month of April:

Dealer 1 (Reasonable) MSRP: $36,965, 15K mi, 39 months, $395/mo ZERO down

Dealer 2 (Very high) MSRP: $37,270, 15K mi, 39 months, $439/mo, $1300 down

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0 · Like LOL19- Spam
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0 · Like LOL9,211Do you know the selling prices of the car at the dealer? That will have a material affect on the payment.

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0 · Like LOL19- Spam
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0 · Like LOL42,373Volts are outselling the Leaf, Prius Plug-in, C-Max & Fusion Energi, RAV4 EV and the Tesla. 60,000 sold since introduction in 2010. Not a huge number in the overall scheme of things but they're out there.

And yeah, owners should be posting. GM doesn't advertise the Volt on TV since their market is mostly online and on social media. (cnet)

ModeratorMinivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

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0 · Like LOL19Base volt with safety 1

Sale price $32429

Residual of $22083.70

$1000 down to cover fees

12k, 36 months

$357.29 a month

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0 · Like LOL19- Spam
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0 · Like LOL9,211What is the MSRP of the vehicle you're looking to lease?

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0 · Like LOL19- Spam
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0 · Like LOL9,211With your MSRP and selling price used with the residual of 58% and a .00042 MF, I get a pre-tax payment of $304.15.

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0 · Like LOL19- Spam
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0 · Like LOL9,211Looks like $1571 in lease cash on the Volt.

And yes, you want to negotiate the best price possible before any incentives are factored in.

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0 · Like LOL16Hello, helping a friend of mine as she is clueless. Please provide April's MF, RV and any lease incentives available on 2014 Volt. Thank you =)

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0 · Like LOL31,8501.00% MF and 56% residual for 36mo, 15K/yr. $1571 lease cash

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0 · Like LOL16@kyfdx@Edmunds Thank you. I think that is the highest MF I've ever seen in the 10+ yrs I've been leasing cars. It's even more than Mercedes AMG's MF 7-8 yrs ago.

Am I correct to assume 57% RV for 12K/yr?

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0 · Like LOL9,21112K is usually 2 points higher than 15K, so 58%.

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0 · Like LOL16@Michaell@Edmunds Thank you. Is the Money factor 0.00042 or is it really 1.0? I'm assuming 1.00% effective APR on the lease. Is that correct?

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0 · Like LOL9,211Correct - GM uses percentages for their leases. Divide by 2400 to get the equivalent MF.

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0 · Like LOL16@Michaell@Edmunds Thank you so much. You guys are the BEST.

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0 · Like LOL