# Average Car Payment

**Average Car Payment** is not a term you’ll hear about from car dealers, financial managers, banks sales reps and financing experts. And except for here on MonthlyCarLease, you are not likely to find *average car payment* listed among any of the jargon and terms inside online car leasing guides. Yet ironically, this is the single most important consideration in leasing a car. Understanding the real payment in terms of what it actually means goes beyond the actual car payments which are advertised by car makers, dealers and in newspaper advertisements. Understanding what it really means, gives you a much better sense of what you are paying to lease or buy a car. So, what is your average payment and how do you calculate it? Your car loan might be $250.00 a month for a $30,000 car, but if you made a $4,000 down payment (or capitalized cost reduction), how much are you really paying for the car? Just because you’re money is no longer figured into the loan doesn’t mean it’s not costing you or affecting your monthly budget. There is a much more honest way to calculate a monthly loan payment. Let’s see what your actual monthly car payment means in real terms of what it does to your wallet and monthly budget.

## How Do You Calculate Your Average Car Payment?

Your average car payment is based on very simple math. It tells us how much our monthly payment would average out to be when we consider the down payments and/or any extra fees required to lease the car. To calculate this, we will need to know the total cost of our lease. The total cost of our lease is determined by adding any down payments and additional fees to the total cost of our monthly lease payments. The total cost is a much honest take asessment of what the car is really costing us, but we can take it a step further and average it out over the months we’re making payments on the car.

**Total Lease Cost = **

- ((Monthly Payments x Lease Months)+(Down Payment + Extra Fees))

The result is the total cost divided by the number of months in the lease term.

**Average Car Payment = **

- (Total Cost Of Lease / Lease Months)

So, can you see why the average payment is such an important figure? If I leased a 2011 Honda Accord EX for $300 a month on a 36 month lease, but had to put $2,000 down to do it, my average monthly cost is $355.55. ($300 x 36) + $2,000) / 36) That’s $55.00 a month higher than the advertised payment of $300. While Down payments or capitalized cost reductions do lower our monthly payment, they generally don’t reduce our total cost of leasing the vehicle. Those down payments underneath the fine print of lease deals are subtle, but effective marketing ploys to make us feel as though our monthly cost is lower than it really is. Whether we are buying or leasing cars, it is important not to be influenced by the marketing psychology behind *low monthly car payments*. Some car manufacturers like Honda have recognized that some consumers don’t like the idea of paying money up front on a car lease and they have adjusted their car lease specials accordingly. Look for No-Money-Down-Car-Lease-Specials.

### Can You Negotiate Your Average Car Payment?

Negotiating your monthly payment is as simple as refusing to pay any down payments, cap cost reductions or extra fees. Bring your calculator, do the simple math and know your ** facts. **In fact, another reason it is important to know your average monthly payment is so you can compare it to the loan payment actually being offered to determine if it really saves you money, if at all, by putting money down on the lease in the first place. With car leasing, it is highly unlikely that a down payment will significantly reduce the total cost of the loan over the life of the lease. As an example, let’s say that a $4,000 down payment on a $30,000 car lease reduces your monthly payment by $100.00 a month. Over a 36-month term, that means you’ll make $3,600 less in monthly loan payments. In other words, you had to pay $4,000 down to save $3,600. In reality, the scenario might play out a little bit differently than in this example, but it illustrates how down payments can work in the favor of the dealer or negotiator of the lease deal. It doesn’t have to be this way, once you understand how and why down payments are used by the dealer and how they are completely unnecessary, you can begin to use them to your own advantage as a negotiating tool. Play along with the dealer. When he tells you that $30,000 car is $250.00 a month – explain to him how your average car payment is really $350.00 a month. Explain to the dealer that you’re not interested in putting any money down on a lease, but the $350.00 payment is too high. Your budget on that $30,000 car is $300.00 monthly. In reality, it rarely pays off to put any additional money down on a car lease in order to reduce your monthly payment. Look at your average payment – and you’ll do much better at the negotiating table.

**What is the Average National Car payment**

According to the Wiki Answers website, the average payment in the United States is between $380 – $460 per month. Wow – you can lease a really nice, luxury car; BMW, Infiniti, Acura, Cadillac etc., for that kind of money. Unfortunately, a $380 car payment doesn’t get you much in a auto-loan purchase situation. Let’s assume you acquire a great deal on a 60-Month, 3.9% interest rate and put nothing down (usually not possible with a purchase) Even under those best circumstances, you’re looking at $21,000 car. Hello Civic, Corolla, Elantra, etc. And sadly, the national average car payment range does not take into account the down payment used to acquire that $380 – $460 monthly payment. Most people are putting anywhere between $500 – $4,000, or more when purchasing a car on loan. The *real*, national U.S car payment when down payments are figured in to that number is probably closer to $500 – $650. Whether you lease or buy your next car, realize that there is more than one way to calculate and understand your actual payment and compare it to the national average.

## Car Lease Deals Average Payment by Month

Would if we were to total the average car payment figures of all of our monthly car lease deals and divide them by the number of listings? The results below give a true indication of what the average monthly payment on a variety of different leasing deals from top to bottom, month to month. It is interesting to see how the payment consistently averages around $400.00.

Average Car Payment January 2012: $341.00 Average Car Payment February 2012: $405.00

Average Car Payment March 2012: $395.00 Average Car Payment March 2012: $397.00

Average Car Payment May 2012: $334.00 Average Car Payment June 2012: $364.00