Running a trucking business offers many perks, but it’s also a lot of work and there are some risks — proving the well-known saying, “no pain, no gain”. However, the potential for reward is huge.
Owner-operators all over the globe naturally wonder what are the best financial tools for fleet management. One of those is widely offered by numerous truck leasing companies and in this article we are going to get insight into what is a lease purchase program in trucking?
- What Is a Lease Purchase for Trucking?
- Pros of a Lease Purchase Agreement for Truck Drivers
- Cons of a Lease Purchase Agreement for Truck Drivers
- How Much Lease Purchase Truckers Make?
- Difference Between Leasing and Lease Purchase
- Factors to Consider Before Entering a Lease Purchase Agreement
- Why Should You Choose HMD Lease Purchase Program?
What Is a Lease Purchase for Trucking?
For many OTR drivers, who are working on their own, it is a matter of principle to buy their own truck, for example, an 18-wheeler or a semi. At the same time, this large investment, while potentially quite beneficial in the short term, can a little later become very disappointing in terms of asset management.
A lease purchase agreement is an advantageous way for a driver to own a commercial vehicle but without the hassle of a traditional loan.
A lease purchase program in trucking generally consists of two stages:
- lease agreement implies that the carrier makes monthly payments to the owner-operator for use of a truck, a so-called down payment serving as security for the full term of the contract;
- lease purchase agreement is an option to own the vehicle when the lease period comes to an end.
Be careful reading terms and conditions in a lease purchase contract . Sometimes a breach of lease terms or delay in payment can result in annulment of title transfer . The creditor will start repossession processes, i.e. take back the vehicle because you didn’t pay in time.
Note, it’s important to understand that there are two types of lease purchase contract stipulations you should keep an eye out for:
- lease to own meaning you become the full owner of a truck immediately after the last lease payment;
- lease with an option to own, i.e. after the last payment the company has an option of buying equipment from you and returning it. So at the end of the day your ownership is not guaranteed.
Pros of a Lease Purchase Agreement for Truck Drivers
Even doubters that narrow down the lease just to high interest rates and various uncertanties have to admit that lease purchase trucking has its pros. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Opportunity to Own a Truck Without a Large Upfront Cost
One of the main benefits of ownership after the lease period is the fact that there is no large upfront cost. It’s the ultimate solution if you’re a startup struggling to optimize your cash flow and need to get money without a credit check. In this case, the burden of payment will be normally spread over several years according to agreement terms.
Potential Tax Advantages
Large equipment, including trucks you get by lease purchase, which you are going to use for a long time, are referred to as capital costs. Their cost cannot be deducted from taxable income. But there are potential tax advantages, because the depreciation amount is recognized as expenditures and reduces the profit of the company for tax purposes. For example, in a year, the value of the car will depreciate by $1,000 due to inevitable wear and tear. That $1,000 will be included in the company's expenses for the previous year and will reduce tax-payable profits by $1,000. And so, gradually, the initial capital cost will be taken into account when calculating profits annually.
Possibility of Lower Monthly Payments Compared to Traditional Financing
As opposed to traditional financing, like a traditional bank loan, when calculating monthly payments in lease purchase, the depreciation of equipment has to be duly taken into account, which can lead to quite significantly reduced amounts of monthly payments.
Lease purchase means that a leaseholder and a truck driver will normally share responsibilities and expenses for vehicle repair, maintenance, insurance and license until the lease period is finished.
Possibility to Test Drive
Testing a vehicle is an important part of the buying process, especially for those who will be using it for heavy haul.
A good example is buying clothes online: the sample image often differs from reality. A test drive forms an impression of the vehicle's reliability and technical specifications long before buying.
Lock in a Price
A sale price is set in advance and defined in the appropriate clause of the agreement. The driver may get a good bargain if prices rise in the near future. If prices drop, there will be a lack of profitability for the buyer, but the seller will win.
Cons of a Lease Purchase Agreement for Truck Drivers
At this point the doubters will rub their hands with pleasant anticipation, because lease to own has some cons as well:
Higher Overall Cost Compared to Buying a Truck Outright
Over the total period of lease purchase, the vehicle will cost more than if bought outright, but the possibility to pay in monthly installments may make it more attractive in any case.
Limited Flexibility and Control Over the Truck’s Operation
When you purchase a truck you get full control over it and more flexibility in how you use it for work, however if you take it on lease purchase, your rights are going to be limited during the lease period. For example, if you lease the truck from an owner-carrier, you may not be allowed to take loads from other carriers.
Risk of Default and Losing Money Invested in the Lease Purchase
If the buyer defaults, the leaseholder will not refund any lease payments and the buying company will lose the money already invested.
You have to read the contract very carefully, especially if the upfront cost was unusually low, as there is a danger of a balloon payment. This means that when the time to buy the truck comes, you might unexpectedly need to pay a large amount of money as a lump sum to actually get the ownership of it.
How Much Lease Purchase Truckers Make?
Normally, those self-employed drivers, who are in lease purchase trucking earn more than company hired drivers. One of the reasons why it is worth using lease purchase to own a truck is that owner operators make more money.
Difference Between Leasing and Lease Purchase
Ordinary leasing and lease purchase, which is also often referred to as lease to own, are two different but related financial tools that come in handy when you don’t want to buy a truck outright. You will make monthly payments during the lease period in both cases. The main difference between them is that you will return the leased vehicle at the end of the leasing contract, while in a lease-to-own program you will own the truck at the end.
Factors to Consider Before Entering a Lease Purchase Agreement
To avoid any disputes that may arise as a result of an inadequately drafted lease purchase agreement, anyone considering this type of financing should take into consideration these factors:
- the terms of the lease, including the length and payment structure;
- your financial situation and ability to make monthly payments;
- the reputation and financial stability of the leasing company;
- penalties imposed for early payoff;
- bloated pricing, when you will pay double the actual value.
Before entering an agreement, it is highly recommended to make a proper check of the reputation of the leaseholder and of how their lease purchase program works.
Why Should You Choose HMD Lease Purchase Program?
With demand for lease-purchase services growing, HMD is now offering this opportunity as well.
We are pleased to announce the HMD lease-purchase program.
We guarantee the following:
- beneficial terms of the lease;
- new or low-milage Peterbilt 567 and Peterbilt 579;
- multiple down payment options including 0 (zero) down;
- no hidden payments or early payoff penalties.
Getting a truck on lease makes you an owner-operator and provides you with access to our most beneficial rates of:
- Dry Van Regional $1.70 CPM + fuel surcharge;
- Dry Van OTR $1.50 CPM + fuel surcharge;
- Flatbed up to $1.80 CPM + fuel surcharge.
If you’re a truck driver or considering the opportunity to become one, you might dream of being an owner-operator. So, no need to wait for years while you save enough to get that shiny truck! Instead, you can easily get started with a lease purchase program.
HMD is the best place to find high-paying loads, no matter whether you own or lease your truck. Come and join the HMD team today.
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