Closed-End Lease

DEFINITION of 'Closed-End Lease'

A rental agreement that puts no obligation on the lessee (the person making periodic lease payments) to purchase the leased asset at the end of the agreement. Also called a "true lease", "walkaway lease" or "net lease".

BREAKING DOWN 'Closed-End Lease'

Since the lessee has no obligation to purchase the leased asset upon lease expiration, that person does not have to worry about whether the asset will depreciate more than expected throughout the course of the lease. Thus, it is argued that the closed-end leases are better for the average person.

For example, suppose your lease payments are based on the assumption that the $20,000 new car that you are leasing will be worth only $10,000 at the end of your lease agreement. If the car turns out to be worth only $4,000, you must compensate the lessor (the company who leased the car to you) for the lost $6,000 since your lease payment was calculated on the basis of the car having a salvage value of $10,000. Basically, since you are buying the car, you must bear the loss of that extra depreciation. But, if you have a closed-end lease, you don't buy the car so you don't bear the risk of depreciation.

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