You may already know from reading our Lease Guide that leasing provides much lower monthly payments — 30% to 60% less — than car loan payments.
Getting a good price is certainly important. However, to achieve the highest savings on a car lease , several other factors are also important. Actually, the make, model, and style of vehicle you lease can make a huge difference in your lease cost, and it’s not because prices are different. Find out why.
Cheapest Cars to Lease
Did you know that a Honda Accord is typically a much better car to lease than a Ford Fusion — at the very same price?
It’s true. Although loan payments for these two cars, at the same price, would be exactly the same, lease payments will be much less for the Honda than for the Ford.
The reason is that there is another important factor that determines lease payment amount, other than price alone.
It’s called residual value.
Residual value is a vehicle’s estimated resale value at the end of a lease term. Residual value is what is left over after depreciation has taken its toll.
If you look at the standard lease payment formula you will notice that residual value affects payment amount in a way such that the higher the residual, the lower the monthly payment.
Therefore, the cheapest cars to lease are those with the highest estimated lease-end resale, or residual, values.
Typically, cars that have a 3-year residual value that is at least 50% of the original MSRP sticker price are considered good lease vehicles.
In general, vehicles that are highly reliable, best selling, and in high demand as used cars have good residual values. Honda, Toyota, many models of luxury brands such as Lexus, Chevrolet Corvette, and several other makes and models have high residuals.
For a complete list of specific vehicle makes and models that make the best, and worst leases, see the LeaseGuide.com Lease Kit. The Vehicle Lease Ratings feature contains up-to-date information.