Do you hear that? It’s the call of the open road, with miles of freedom. It would just be great to be an owner operator right? With the ability to schedule your own dispatches, and to drive without little company policies to follow or a manager constantly watching you to make sure you don’t make mistakes? Well to do that you need your own truck to operate, and one way to do that is by leasing one.
A Little About Leasing
Leasing is basically another word for borrow because you’re using someone else’s equipment. Only instead of ‘borrowing’ the semi truck you’ll be paying to use it. In order to lease a truck, you’ll sit down in an office and agree to a contract with set monthly payments over a certain amount of time. The average lease lasts about three years, then you’ll be on your way, driving a truck that someone else owns.
Many truckers turn to leasing because it’s a quick option to jump in a truck when their credit isn’t in order to buy a truck or their finances aren’t in order, because leasing companies often don’t turn those with bad credit away, and don’t require a down payment.
It’s seen as a good way to start driving as an owner operator while you can get your finances together and credit score up to buy your own truck. However, there are some negatives with leasing to consider.
The Downsides of Leasing
When you lease a truck, it’s not your own. Now you may be comfortable with that, but you also might not be. Part of the call of the open road is the romance of being attached to your truck. Not to be mushy or anything but in the automotive industry people really love their vehicles. Will you be able to give your truck up at the end of the agreement?
Plus, when the truck isn’t yours you can’t modify it. Lease contracts will prevent you from installing lift kits, or the latest technology to make your life easier as a trucker.
If you think that leasing is your way to get into a brand new truck you’re wrong. Just like with buying a newer trucker, leasing a newer truck comes with higher monthly payments. Chances are that if you’re trying to start your business you’ll be in an older truck with a lower monthly payment at first.
Also, leasing isn’t a way to get out of higher monthly payments due to poor credit. Your monthly rates will still be higher when leasing if you have a bad credit score.
Speaking of monthly payments, did you know that leasing companies have protecting their vehicles from depreciation in their best interest? So, they want their trucks to be perfectly repairs and maintained. will add on a maintenance fee to your monthly payment. They’ll also add in the cost of insurance.
Don’t forget to watch out for lease contracts that have step up agreements, meaning that over time the amount you pay will increase.
If you buy a used truck you can use it for its trade in value to help you out with your down payment on a new truck. However, with leasing you have to give the truck back, leaving you with nothing to trade in.
Sure, you can lease to own, but generally, at the end of your leasing contract you’ll end up paying more for the truck than you would have if you would have simply bought the truck up front.
Is Leasing For You?
Sometimes leasing is the right option to help guys get their business started. As their business grows they can buy their own new or used truck or continue to lease. Speak with a financial advisor to figure out your best option for your current financial situation and business plan.
For more trucking trips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your thoughts about leasing in the comment section below.