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How Much Does it Cost to Lease a Semi Truck?


The open road is a life that many would never trade for a cubicle. It is not all freedom and glamour of course. Tight delivery deadlines, brutal road conditions and sitting for hours on end are all part of the truck driving life. Huge responsibility and liability comes alongside the glory.

Trying to purchase a new or used truck on your own is not always simple for those dreaming of being an owner-operator. This can be even more of a hurdle if you have unresolved credit issues to contend with. Understandably, many trucking companies have established drive-to-own plans, lease and lease-purchase options. Dealerships may offer affordable financing choices as well. Your best bet is to get all of the info ahead of time to determine which type of lease will be your best bet if pursuing your dream through traditional means is not feasible.

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How Much Does It Cost to Lease a Semi Truck?

Your monthly commitment all depends on the kind of truck you will be driving. On average, expect to pay around $750 to $2500 per month. Used trucks may be available from $750 to $1700 each month. If you are leasing a brand new truck off the lot, expect to pay around $1600 to $2500. Drivers with more experience may be eligible for lower rates. Conversely, if you have less driving experience, certain companies will require a higher down payment.

Things to Consider When Leasing Your Semi-Truck

Every company has their own paperwork to follow. Some companies require a down payment up to $1500, while others simply incorporate everything into your lease agreement. Some individuals have experienced nothing short of a financial nightmare from dealing with a less than reputable company. Know your lease agreement up front. Tire repairs and certain expenses are often not covered under your lease and will be coming out of pocket. Discuss all of the fine print before making any long term decision.

Benefits of leasing include:

  • Completion incentives when the lease is over including: buy-outs, cash back etc.
  • Low or no down payment
  • Driving equipment that meets the latest safety specs
  • Zero long term commitment is a great way to "try before you buy"
  • Experience different makes and models without having to worry about resale potential
  • Ownership pride

The Fine Print...

Many leases include strict mileage rules. As a trucker, it is vital that you determine if there are parameters you need to adhere to in order to avoid penalties. Maintenance schedules are another factor to take into consideration. It is necessary to keep your log books up to date and follow the rules to keep your lease agreement valid. If repairs are required, do you have to go through the company or can you act as a free agent and use whichever mechanic you prefer? Is there any fuel protection included by the leasing company? All of this fine print can add up fast and drastically influence your bottom line. The key to any successful lease agreement is understanding what you are getting into prior to completing the deal.

Speak with your business accountant or personal banker to gain their insight into the pros and cons of leasing your semi. There are numerous online forums and unbiased opinions available on the internet that may or may not ultimately influence your decision.

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