DDB – Double Declining Balance Depreciation

You use the double-declining balance depreciation (DDB) method to depreciate an asset more quickly during the beginning of its life than the end. Unlike under the straight-line method, the depreciation expense is not the same for every depreciation period. Instead, the depreciation expense declines in each successive period like its name.

See a table comparing the different depreciation amounts using all of the methods.


Thumbnail showing a depreciation schedule
Depreciation Schedule Video
Thumbnail showing depreciation in Google Sheets
Depreciation Functions Video


To return the value of one period of double declining balance depreciation expense.



  • cost – Acquisition cost of the asset. The acquisition cost includes the purchase price and costs associated with its acquisition, such as freight and sales tax.
  • salvage – Amount you expect to receive in exchange for the asset at the end of its useful life. Typically, this is zero. An example of a case where this is not zero is an automobile’s expected trade-in value.
  • life – Length of time you expect the asset to be in service. You specify this value using the number of periods.
  • period – The period for which you are calculating depreciation expense.
  • [factor] – OPTIONAL. A factor used to increase depreciation instead of the default value of 2. Use this to increase or decrease the depreciation rate with a higher number making the earlier amounts larger. If you do not specify a factor, it is the same as entering a 2.
  • Note: Be sure that life and period are in the same units (months or years).


DDB formula


Example 1 – DDB in Years with Salvage Value

You purchase an automobile for $40,000 that you expect to last three years and have a trade-in value of $4,000.

2$40,000costacquisition cost
3$4,000salvagemoney back at the end of life
43lifenumber of periods for the useful life
51periodwhich period the expense is for
=DDB(A2,A3,A4,A5)Depreciation expense for the first period$26,667
=DDB(A2,A3,A4,2)Depreciation expense for the second period$8,889
=DDB(A2,A3,A4,3)Depreciation expense for the final period$444

Notice that the three results add up to $36,004 instead of $36,000. Although this difference would be immaterial to a financial statement user, it could cause problems for bookkeepers trying to balance the accounts.

Example 2 – DDB in Months with Salvage Value

You purchase a laptop computer for €3,000 and expect it to last 36 months. You expect it to be worth €150 at the end of the three years.

=DDB(3000,150,36,11)Depreciation expense for month 11€94

Note that we used months in the above table instead of years. The DDB function works with any input time, but it would typically be months or years.

Live Examples in Sheets

Go to this spreadsheet for the examples of the DDB function shown above that you can study and use anywhere you would like.

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