If you are a new truck driver thinking of leasing a semi, you've no doubt considered a lot of the advantages that leasing has over buying. And it's true; leasing does have many advantages, such as allowing you to drive a newer truck for a smaller amount of money down than if you were buying the truck outright, for example. However, like any contract, you have to consider all aspects of the lease, including what to do if you no longer want to be in the field. Here are four things to ask about when looking at semi leases.
What Happens if You Have to Break the Lease?
Trucking can be lucrative, but it can also be a difficult field to handle for long (although some people succeed at that quite well). If you decide to lease a semi, you need to know what to do if you decide to leave the truck driving field. Are you still on the hook for the rest of the lease? Can you pay extra (but not the whole remainder of the lease) to get out? Or are there escape clauses that let you go after a certain number of months even if the lease isn't up? While you should be positive in your outlook regarding truck driving for a long time, it's best to have this information in case you find you need to switch jobs quickly.
And it's not just voluntary switches that you need to be concerned about. If you become ill and have to stop driving, what payments will you still have to make on the semi?
For Lease-to-Buy Transactions, What if You Decide Not to Buy?
Some leases are just that, but others are part of a lease-to-buy arrangement that ends with you owning the semi. But sometimes the semi turns out to be less than optimal for you -- maybe you find out you prefer a different model or you need a different setup for the types of hauling jobs you prefer to take. Find out if you can switch the lease to another model; barring that, you need to know what to do if you find the semi isn't really the one you want after you've signed the lease-to-buy agreement.
What Warranties Are Available?
Many semi leases come with extras, such as round-the-clock emergency service, bonuses, and warranties. Always find out what sorts of extras are included because these can save you a lot of money over the life of the lease. A cheaper lease with no extras might actually be more expensive in the long run than a slightly more expensive lease with some extras.
What Credit Do You Need?
A big factor in how much you pay each month is your credit. Many leasing companies don't check credit at all, which is great if you're trying to get back on your feet financially. But those no-credit-check places may also charge a lot more than places that will check your credit and take down-payment amounts into consideration. Find out if your monthly payment is influenced by the company's credit policy.
If you have any questions about the leases you see, ask immediately. Each leasing company you deal with should be upfront about what to do if you want to leave trucking, if you have a problem with the truck, and so on. Contact a company like Decatur Trailer Sales & Service Inc for more information about leasing semi-trucks.Share