Adding a Truck to Your Business Fleet: Should You Buy or Lease?

Building your fleet of Ram trucks allows you to tackle more jobs in the local area. You can even extend your service area when you have enough tires on the road. Adding each of those vehicles represents a significant capital investment. When you need heavy vehicles for commercial transport, they get a lot of wear and tear. When you only need vehicles for personnel transport, vehicles might stay in more pristine condition. You might even use vehicles solely for local transport, like airport pickups and dropoffs. How you intend to use the vehicle and deal with maintenance should help you make the decision between leasing and buying. 

Why Buy a Vehicle?

Whether you buy used heavy duty trucks or D.O.T. code liquid vacuum trucks for sale, you own them outright. If you pay cash upfront, it is a single expense with regular maintenance the only ongoing cost. If you finance the purchase, you make monthly payments but at the end you own the truck. Either way, investing in a purchase gives you a valuable piece of property at the end of the contract. You may see this page to find more available trucks for sale. For consumers, buying is the most cost-effective way to own a car.

What about Leases?

With a lease, you don’t own the vehicle at all. You have the use of the truck for the duration of your contract. For individuals, the only real reason to lease is to drive a more expensive car than you could afford to buy. For businesses, there are other potential benefits. You might be able to write-off the cost of the lease when filing year-end taxes. You might also be able to negotiate very low rates when signing multiple leases. Another possible benefit comes from maintenance expenses. Some leases allow you to avoid the cost of maintenance, making it the dealer’s responsibility.

How Does Maintenance Work?

Check the fine print on any lease contract. When you buy a vehicle, you are responsible for all of your maintenance expenses, from oil changes to new truck parts if there is a problem. Hence, you might want to look for a reputable semi truck repair shop that will handle the maintenance and repairs your fleet needs. When you lease, that might not be true. You can negotiate. You might pay a slightly higher monthly payment and avoid maintenance costs. You might also be able to negotiate a lower rate if you want to handle maintenance. Either way, be sure to hammer out the details before signing on any bottom line.

What Happens When the Contract Ends?

When you finish a sale contract, you simply make your final payment and continue owning the vehicle. When you are leasing, you have a couple of options when the term expires. First, keep in mind that the dealer can charge you for any damage they consider beyond normal wear and tear. That means that having the truck detailed before turning it in is probably a good idea. Secondly, remember that there are mileage limits on leases. You will be charged per mile for anything in excess of the agreed upon final mileage. With those details in mind, be sure to ask about a lease to own option. You might be able to buy out the vehicle for less than the listed value, with some tough negotiating tactics.

Bottom Line on Leasing

For consumers, buying is almost always a better option. It costs less and they have an asset they can sell at the end of the financing period. For a business, leasing can make a lot of sense. You can expense the cost of the lease and avoid the ongoing maintenance expenses. Leasing makes the most sense in situations where your fleet expansion needs happen suddenly or are expected to be temporary. With a lease, you can add as many vehicles as you need, without paying too much past the time they are needed.

Annabell Rivera is a blogger who left the corporate world 10 years ago to raise a family and pursue her passions. She still keeps an eye on the business and finance world and writes about these topics as a contributor to various business blogs.

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