How to Lease a Truck

by Contributor

In some cases, leasing a truck is an attractive alternative to purchasing a truck outright. Leasing a truck requires a much lower upfront investment and allows the leaser to turn the truck in for a newer model after three to five years. Given that trucks are often used for heavy-duty jobs, such as construction, having the ability to trade the truck in after significant use is a valuable option. A leaser simply pays for the use of the truck and does not assume ownership of the vehicle, unless she purchases the vehicle from the leasing company once the lease is over. Leasing a truck can seem complex, but it is much easier if you know what to expect.

Decide what type of truck you will need based upon how it will be used. Many truck dealers will try to convince you to lease a fully loaded truck with numerous different features. Shop only for a truck with features that you will use. Consider whether you will use the truck for personal reasons or for work and what types of jobs you will complete with the truck.

Research the true market value of the type of truck you want to lease. Use Edmunds.com or Kelly Blue Book's website to complete your research. Enter the year, make and model of the truck you are interested in, as well as all of the features you want. Enter your zip code to determine what people in your area are paying for comparably equipped trucks.

Visit numerous dealers to test-drive the truck you are interested in. Do not be pressured into signing a lease that day: you should visit at least three dealerships before making any decisions.

Call the dealers you have visited to negotiate the value of the truck you want to lease. If possible, you should negotiate with all of the dealers simultaneously to ensure that you get the best deal. A lower value means lower lease payments for you, so it is critical that you negotiate a good value for the truck before finalizing other terms of the lease. Base your negotiations on the true market value information that you have pulled from Edmunds.com or Kelly Blue Book.

Visit the dealer that offers you the lowest truck value and finalize the lease. There are numerous terms to consider, including how much you will have to pay upfront (usually the first month's payment and a refundable security deposit); the length of the lease; any end-of-lease payments or fees; per-year mileage allowance and the per-mile charge for excess use; and the definition of excess wear and tear and any associated charges.

Tip

  • check Always try to negotiate a refundable security deposit at the start of the lease. Some dealers may try to lump the security deposit into other, non-refundable fees that you are required to pay at the start of the lease. Be sure that you get the security deposit back at the end of the lease (assuming there is no significant damage to the truck).

Warning

  • close Many dealers will ask you how much you want to pay per month for your vehicle. Never make a decision regarding a lease based upon a monthly payment. Many dealers may try to entice you with lower monthly payments, but you may end up paying more in the long run (if the lease term is longer, for example). Always start by determining what the true market value of the truck is, and base your lease off of that information.

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.