When you’re ready to invest in a new truck—whether you’re first starting out as an independent trucker or you have years of experience and are ready to upgrade—you’ll need to decide if you’re going to buy or lease the vehicle. And the same is true if you run a business and want to build or grow your fleet of vehicles.
The main difference between financing and leasing is that, when you lease, you don’t end up owning the truck once you’re done making all of your payments, unless you choose to buy it. But there are quite a few benefits that come with leasing a commercial truck, so it’s definitely a smart strategy to consider.
Leasing a Commercial Truck vs. Buying It
Are truck leases worth it, and is commercial truck leasing a good idea? Absolutely!
What are some of the benefits of leasing a truck?
One of the harsh realities you’ll encounter when you start shopping for a semi is that it comes with a high price tag, especially if you’re planning on buying new instead of used.
Many truckers don’t have the cash available to buy a truck outright, so their only option is to finance the purchase. This typically involves submitting a down payment and taking out a loan that will require fixed monthly payments, usually with interest, for a specified number of years. And, when you own a truck, you’re also responsible for all of the costs associated with maintenance and repairs until you’re ready to trade it in or sell it.
With a lease, on the other hand, you might be able to reap the following benefits:
- A more affordable down payment, or no down payment at all
- Lower monthly payments
- Costs of maintenance and repair, including emergency repair, might be covered
- No need to worry about being able to sell your truck when you’re ready to get a new one
- Get a new truck at the end of the lease so you always have one of the latest models
How do commercial truck leases work?
If you’re feeling intimidated about the process of leasing a vehicle, don’t be! Once you learn how to lease a commercial truck, you’ll be able to make decisions that will benefit you financially and help you take your business to new heights.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Every lease agreement will have its own set of requirements that you’ll need to adhere to, so understanding the contract is the first step. Always read the fine print!
- Generally, a lease might last anywhere from three to five years.
- There might be restrictions with regards to how you can use or modify the vehicle, so that’s something to ask about before signing on the dotted line.
- You can decide if you want a full-service lease that will cover all maintenance and repair costs or if you’re comfortable taking on a lease that doesn’t cover everything.
- When you sign a lease, you’ll agree to pay a monthly rate until your lease is up. During that time, you won’t own the vehicle, but you might have the option of buying the truck once the lease is up if you really like it and want to keep it as a business asset.
How much does it cost to lease a commercial truck?
It’s difficult to answer this question because there are many factors that will determine the amount of money you’d pay for the duration of a lease.
As you browse offers, you can calculate costs by checking the length of the lease, the monthly payment, the interest rate, and any additional fees. Keep in mind, too, that you might incur penalties if you don’t adhere to all of the terms of the lease, so those are potential costs to consider as well.
Also, the type of truck that you’re leasing will influence the total cost. For example, a newer semi with all of the latest features will likely be more expensive. And if you do opt for a full-service lease, it may be pricier than one that doesn’t cover repairs.
Is It Better to Lease or Buy a Semi Truck?
Ultimately, that’s up to you! Weigh the pros and cons of each option, and consider your current and future financial picture. Then, figure out which truck models you’re interested in, based on affordability and features, before looking into the total cost for buying vs. leasing. Are you thinking about leasing a reliable Peterbilt truck? Contact us to learn about the many models that are available so you can hit the road in a truck you’ll love!
Updated on May 19, 2021
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