Why Semi-trailers For Lease May Be Your Best Option
Are you a truck driver looking to become an owner-operator in the massive trailer transport and storage industry? If you are, and that is your goal, then you surely have explored several ways you make that dream come true. You have probably explored semi-trailers for lease or own.
For most people, the first thought is to work hard and save enough money to a point they could walk into a dealership and purchase a new semi-trailer outright. Others are counting on a good credit rating that could guarantee a loan; a great option, but credit for a semi-trailer might not be that easy after all.
Alternatively, you could go for a semi-trailer lease, even with the option of leasing to own. From the beginning, realize that you need a little more preparedness before taking up a lease option.
Why would you need to do that anyway? Well, semi-trailers don’t come cheap. Simply put, first consider the overall cost of owning a semi-trailer before committing. You can also consider a semi-trailer rental.
What is the Average Semi-trailer for Lease Cost?
The cost of leasing a semi-trailer will usually depend on several factors, including whether what you are leasing is a new or used semi-trailer. The terms of the lease agreement will determine the monthly payments- this will mainly be pegged on the length of the agreement and whether there are any other charges levied by the lease company.
Lease payments will also vary from company to company and location to location, though you are likely to fork out on average anywhere between $800 and $1000 per month for a used semi-trailer.
If you go for a new semi-trailer lease, then that could cost you $3000 on average per month. When looking to lease a trailer, it’s best if you research several independent companies to aggregate various price quotes and see what’s best for you. Remember, cost should not be the only thing you consider, reputation and dependability are important factors as well.
Semi-trailer Lease Agreement
A semi-trailer lease agreement is, like most other contractual agreements, a set of terms and conditions that govern a contractual agreement between two parties.
Here it means a leasing company and a second party enter into a contract that above other things, sets out what the leaser agrees to pay to take charge of and use a semi-trailer. The terms specify the (monthly) payments and the lease term (period of the lease).
Remember that everything concerning the lease is usually set out in the lease agreement. The onus is on you to ensure you completely understand the contents of the lease before proceeding to sign any semi-trailers for lease agreement form.
You could agree to an operating lease that offers lower payment arrangements and often include clauses allowing for lease termination or semi-trailer swap in case you need to. Alternatively, you could go for a lease agreement with an option to purchase. Get more on this type of lease option below.
Here are a few considerations when assessing a lease agreement:
- How long is the lease term and what are the monthly charges?
- Does the monthly payment include maintenance and repairs? Or are you handling that out of pocket?
- When and under what circumstances can you turn in the semi-trailer before the lease ends.
- Any tax benefits or implications for you as a driver or operator?
Semi-trailer Lease to Own
One of the things to keep in mind when looking for semi-trailers for lease is what your intention is at the end of the lease agreement. If you are intent on getting a lease to own arrangement, then be prepared to make considerably higher monthly payments or doing so for an extended period.
If you are a driver and go for a third-party lease deal, the company leasing the semi-trailer can agree to a clause where you get to own the trailer at the end of the lease. You could also make one lump sum payment to close the lease to purchase deal.
If only for the umpteenth time: take time to scrutinize any semi-trailer lease-purchase agreement.
According to the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association (OOIDA), which boasts over 160,000 members across the U.S. and Canada, some drivers and individuals have taken up lease-purchase agreements that ended up shredding their savings and left them with much more to pay.
Most often, it is when you rush into a lease deal with a non-reputable company that things go wrong.
Why Lease a Semi-trailer Instead of Buying?
Long term, buying the semi-trailer may not be the best option as ownership costs can be extreme. So why would you go for a lease arrangement instead of buying? Well, leasing affords you the flexibility to pick a semi-trailer that suits your needs for a specific period only- usually one-three years.
Leasing also allows you to access the semi-trailer at almost no upfront payment- or just a fraction of it- as opposed to buying.
Leasing also comes out as more flexible and cheaper than when you buy through a loan. In this case, you could opt for a step-up lease agreement that allows you to pay less at the beginning and gradually ramp up your payments as you make more money.
With leasing, if for one reason or the other, you conclude that the lease deal is not for you, then you have the option of turning in the semi-trailer and doing a swap or executing an early termination. For the latter, you will, of course, have to pay an agreed contract termination fee (could be costly) but you get to walk away. Many financing options don’t give you that leeway.
How Much Does it Cost to Lease a Shipping Container?
Generally speaking, the question of how much shipping container costs can be best addressed by looking at a number of factors. How much a manufacturer or dealership charges certainly depends on what your answers are for these questions.
- What type of shipping container is it? – are you looking for a hi-cube or is it a dry box? Refrigerated or customized?
- What size of container would suit your needs? – is it be a 20′ or 40′?
- What’s your location? – Location near a manufacturer or will it have to be shipped inland?
- In what condition is the preferred shipping container? – new used, retired, etc
- Of what use are you intending to put the container to? Home, storage, transport, office, etc
In summary, you would need to consider things like container age, usage, type, size, and condition; location of the supplier; associated fees e.g. delivery fees.
With these points taken care of, you can then assess the cost of various types of containers. Quite frankly, what you get as the cost of a shipping container in one location could be different from what the same container costs at a second location.
On average, shipping containers could cost you anywhere between $1700- $5000, depending on any number of factors from the above list. If you go for a new shipping container, then the cost could range from $3,000 to $5,000.
Remember, if you opt to lease a shipping container opposed to a semi-trailer, you will need to be able to lift the container off a flatbed whenever you need to move it. That’s why a semi-trailer is often your best option for leasing.
How Much Does it Cost to Lease a Pod?
PODS, short for “portable on-demand storage” are designed to make you accomplish your moving and storage plans much easier, faster and (often) less costly. There are several companies providing Pods.
One of the most FAQ is what it costs to lease one of their pods. With Pods, you can get your storage on-site and loading services can be provided by several small businesses in your area.
How much then would it cost you to lease a pod? That price would depend on your choice among the three sizes of 16 ft, 12 ft, and 7 ft containers. Also key is the nature of your needs- residential or business, moving or storage, and where you’d keep the container.
On average, PODS charges $150 per month for its 12-foot container and $160 for the 16-foot container.
If your need suits the 7-foot Pods container, then charges average less.
Why Lease a Semi-trailer Instead of a Shipping Container or Pod?
When it comes to a choice between semi-trailers, shipping containers, and pods, the better choice would be one that offers security, enough storage space, is quick to deliver or move, and would cost less comparative to usage.
Whereas semi-trailers, shipping containers, and Pods all offer some of these advantages, you are likely to find leasing a semi-trailer ideal for both your short-term transport and storage needs.
Here is the thing about semi-trailers that makes them great: they are transferable and provide dock level access. Again, a trailer is wider than both a container and pod and will be great for you if you are looking to store items on pallets. Because they are on wheels, semi-trailers are more manageable than pods or containers.
If you are looking to access and use more space, then leasing a trailer provides a more cost-effective option as well.
Semi-trailer for Lease Near Me
Are you looking to get semi-trailers for lease near you? Options abound across the country, and in most cases what you end up with would come down to performing your due diligence. When you think of semi-trailer leasing and you are thinking “near me,” it is often because you need fast and less costly delivery.
The drawback could be forgetting about one very important consideration: always put your search for a lease deal with a reputable company being the first consideration.
There are many reputable semi-trailer leasing companies that could be located right in your backyard, but some may not be located in your city yet, still service your city. You should perform serious background checks and consult reliable sources to help decide about a semi-trailer leasing company.
If you settle on a few options, compare their offers, but always ensure you completely understand the overall cost of entering into a lease agreement with the company. Anything that doesn’t make sense is probably a red flag that should make you take a second look.
If you need somewhere to start, have a look at this top-rated semi-trailer lease company: