There's no doubt about it, being a truck driver is an exciting career that attracts a unique breed of people who love the open road and the freedom to make their own decisions. That's why many choose to become owner-operators, working independently to transport cargo across the country. Perhaps one of the biggest issues these intrepid individuals face is determining which type of semi truck financing option is best. For many, leasing is the most attractive option and offers some real advantages, however, there are also disadvantages that should be considered as well.
The easiest way to get yourself behind the wheel of a late model tractor and trailer is to enter into a lease agreement. The main advantage of leasing is that it requires very little, if any, initial investment. In most cases, companies that lease semi-trucks also offer more flexible terms, such as a step-up lease which starts out with a low payment and increases over time. This is a great option for anyone just starting out that doesn't have a steady income stream, or limited opportunities. They are also more willing to enter into an agreement with those that have less than perfect credit, or restricted access to capital. In addition, there may be an opportunity to take ownership of the truck at the end of the lease period.
One of the disadvantages of leasing is that the driver doesn't own the truck, it belongs to the carrier, or other entity. That means the driver cannot make any modifications to the truck without explicit permission. Many leasing companies also require the driver to bring the truck to them for regular maintenance and repairs, sometimes at an additional cost. Finally, should the driver choose to purchase the truck at the end of the lease, they'll pay more than they would had they bought it outright. Other disadvantages include being responsible for insurance, both for the truck and for the cargo, as well as the costs associated with necessary permits and other fees.
Before you enter into a lease agreement for a new, or used, semi-truck, do your homework and plan your finances well. If you're a truck driver that's interested in becoming an independent owner-operator, contact us to learn more about semi-truck financing options. We understand the unique challenges that drivers like you face, and we will work with you to find the best truck, at the best price, and for the best terms possible.