Tips for Leasing a Truck

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Many people dream of being their own boss, and one exciting and fairly easy way to do so is to become a truck driver with their very own truck. However, some people become so enthused by the prospect of becoming an entrepreneur that they will dive head first into a lease that can be best described as predatory. The end result is that many gullible but well meaning drivers will end up very deep in debt, and will actually take two steps back instead of a step forward toward realizing their ultimate goal.

Tips for Leasing a Truck

However, you can avoid such pitfalls and Machiavellian and shady business tactics by following some of the tips below for commercial truck leasing. Do not, under any circumstances, sign a contract that is designed to make you suffer while the company reaps massive profits at your expense.

The Old Miles Ruse

Some companies will try to dupe neophytes into a deal whereby the truck lease price that they pay will be determined by the truck’s mileage. This may seem like the ideal deal to some, but in reality they are the worst, in terms of the truck leasing options available on the market.

Variable Terms

If the truck lease involves a final asking price, payment structure, interest rate, and/or leasing term that is not set in stone, then it should be avoided. In other words, the final asking price should be clearly stipulated and the payment schedule should also be defined in simple but clear terms.

100% Fuel Surcharge Coverage

Furthermore, the company that you work with should provide you with comprehensive fuel surcharge coverage, meaning they should give back all of the accumulated fuel surcharge to the owner-ops. In fact, there are a few companies that won’t provide fuel surcharge coverage at all, which is not only a big red flag for prospective clients, but will usually also lead to the company going out of business in record time.

In any event, while you should look for a company that provides fuel surcharge coverage, you should also check to see if their rate is close or comparable to the present median going rate. If the discrepancy is too great, then you should shop around for another truck leasing company.

Defined Cap

When you are shopping around for a truck lease, the company that you end up choosing should provide a truck lease with a defined cap on maintenance. Moreover, escrow account withholdings, if applicable, should also have a clearly defined cap so that there are no unexpected “surprises” to worry about in the future.

Quick Payments and Interest Rates

The company that you select should also allow you, if feasible, to pay off your vehicle ahead of schedule, relative to what you need to pay back to the truck leasing company. Thus, something that all prospective truck owners should check is the interest rate.

As such, we would recommend that you perform the necessary due diligence and compare the interest rates offered by different commercial truck leasing companies until you find an interest rate that is reasonable and that you are comfortable with paying.

In addition, you should also look into the asking price of the truck before interest rates are factored. If you discover that the asking price before interest rates are calculated is actually higher than the listed price in an automotive sales periodical, then you should take your business elsewhere.

Getting a Second Opinion

What’s more, the company that you are thinking of doing business with should be comfortable with allowing you to take their proposed lease purchase agreement to an unbiased third party for a second opinion. If they won’t allow it, then they may have something to hide, or are likely offering you a poor deal, or else they wouldn’t have a problem with you wanting to compare and contrast differing options.

Truck Upgrades and Improvements

The best truck leasing companies are very flexible, and should allow drivers to upgrade their truck in order to reduce operating costs and/or ameliorate fuel economy. However, certain companies have lease terms that strictly forbid truck improvements and upgrades, which will eventually lead to added costs and possible damage to the truck and the driver in due time.

Now, while it is perfectly reasonable for the company to add an undo clause to the lease, in the event that you fail to adhere to its terms and make the appropriate payments on time, if at all, they should still allow you to upgrade your truck to maximize your profits.

Failure to allow for upgrades, in essence, defeats the purpose of truck ownership, as the whole point of owning a truck is to have a thriving and profitable business that you can call your own. In fact, some companies are so strict that they will even prohibit certain companies or parties from making repairs or PMs on the truck that they lease, even if you are perfectly fine with paying for the work yourself.

Fees and Penalties

While fees and penalties are things that some truck drivers will have to worry about at some point, you should avoid a lease that has a plethora of prolonged or recurring administration fees, as well as very large penalties that will be initiated when you fail to make a truck payment. Long-term administration fees and egregious penalties can quickly eat into your savings and can leave many new drivers with crippling debts, so make sure to read between the lines to ensure that any fee and penalty conditions and terms are reasonable and fair.

Truck Loan Center

If you are in need of a truck lease that is fair and affordable, then please visit our website or give us a call at 1-866-230-0094 for a free, no obligation quote and consultation. Truck Loan Center specializes in affordable truck loans and leasing, and offers many lenders, easy approvals, and low interest rates. We also provide leasebacks, private sales, working capital loans, and equipment financing options so that each of our clients will be able to benefit from a customized solution that is tailored to their unique needs.


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