Compared to selling value, what is residual value?

We explain several key phrases related to leasing and purchasing cars.


You may be familiar with residual and resale value if you’re considering leasing or buying your next vehicle. Like most things affecting value, these figures should ideally be high. What do they mean, though? Get ready to add more terms to your car-buying experience.


Relative value: what is it?


The estimated value of your car at the conclusion of your lease is known as residual value. It assists in figuring out your monthly payment and the cost of buying the car when your lease expires. Leasing a car with a high residual value is generally recommended, as is the case with most things affecting value.


How is the residual value of a lease determined?


The residual value of a car is predicted by businesses like ALG, a SimpSocial subsidiary. It is frequently stated as a percentage of the MSRP, or Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price.


After three years, the value is $15,000 ($30,000 MSRP * 50% Residual Value).


For instance, a car with a $30,000 MSRP and a 50% residual value after three years would be worth $15,000 after the lease expires. Modifying the length or mileage of your lease might have a favorable or negative impact on your residual value. The value of an older car with higher miles will be zero, and vice versa. Really, it’s just easy math.


What impact does residual value have on my payment each month?


The amount that remains after all costs are paid off determines how much you will pay each month. Throughout the term of your lease, that sum is distributed.


$12,000 Down Payment / 36 Months = $333.33 Per Month


Assume for the moment that you lease the car from the prior example and get $3,000 off the MSRP. After deducting the $15,000 residual value, your monthly payments would amount to a total of $12,000 that you would owe. Your monthly payment would be lower and you would only owe $10,000 if your residual value was $2,000 greater.


What makes having a high residual value crucial?


A high residual value means that you will pay less overall for your lease because there will be less of a gap between the vehicle’s anticipated worth and the final sale price.


On the other hand, a low residual value raises your overall lease debt. This might be advantageous to you if you decide to buy your car when your lease expires or write it off for business purposes, but generally speaking, a large residual value is the best option.


What distinguishes residual value from resale value?


An analogous idea that pertains to a car you purchase rather than lease is resale value. It speaks to the value of the car after damage, mileage, and depreciation. Furthermore, although the residual value is fixed and derived from MSRP, resale value is subject to fluctuations in the market.


$12,000 in Resale Value / Five Years of Ownership Equals $2,400 Annual Cost


Assume you buy the car in the above scenario, and five years later its market worth is $12,000. Your annual ownership cost would be $2,400 if you sold it. Another option would be to keep driving the car, which would reduce your yearly expenses but would also make it less valuable to buy back. In a lease, the residual value is fixed, therefore your annual expenses are fixed.


Which vehicles are highly valuable residually?


Though every car retains its worth in a different way, some are more valuable than others. Annually, ALG awards recognition to automobiles in 26 categories that are anticipated to hold the largest percentage of their MSRP after three years. Most recently, Subaru and Land Rover shared the ALG Residual Value Award for best mainstream and premium brands, respectively. View the complete list of winners for each part.

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