Could lease purchase trucking be right for you? Here’s what to know
If you’re a professional truck driver with an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to take more control over your career, chances are you’ve considered buying your own truck. But because of the cost or other potential limitations, becoming an owner-operator might seem out of reach.
The good news is there’s a path forward with lease purchase. Explore what it is and how it works to decide if a lease purchase program is right for you. Then find out how Panther® and Expediter Services can help get you started on the road to truck ownership.
What is lease purchase trucking?
A lease-purchase (or lease-to-own) agreement is a bridge to owning your own truck. It allows you to work as a company driver (while earning owner-operator pay) for the carrier you’re purchasing the truck from. Unlike lease operators — who pay no money down for their equipment but must return it at the end of the contract — drivers in a lease-purchase program make a down payment on the truck and own it when all the installments are paid.
Why lease purchase can be beneficial
When you lease purchase through a reputable carrier, you operate under their authority, which means they handle the administrative details so you can focus on driving. Some even help you track your hours of service and manage loads!
Other advantages may include:
- Access to new equipment
- More favorable rates
- Multiple financing options
- Carrier-paid license plates, permits and fees
- Fuel discounts
- Rewards programs
Factors to keep in mind before you sign
Entering into a lease purchase agreement is a serious investment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Clearly understanding the details of your commitment — especially the following four elements — will help you know what to expect so you can plan accordingly.
Options like make, model and age depend on what’s available from the carrier or company you’re leasing from, so make sure they have what you want. Some offer new trucks, while others deal in used inventory. While an older truck should cost less, you may pay more for maintenance and upgrades. Consider that since your goal is to own the truck at the end of the lease.
While lease purchase agreements commonly run for 1-3 years, some offer extended arrangements that are more cost-effective. What if you sign a contract and decide to terminate it early? Breaking an agreement before the term expires is often complicated, which makes finding a comfortable term length even more critical.
Determining how much you can afford to pay for a truck each month is one of the first and most essential steps in finding a suitable lease purchase agreement. Make sure the monthly payment amount is clearly stated, as well as when you’re expected to begin making payments.
As a lease purchase owner-operator, you run your own business, which means you are responsible for most of the expenses. Still, some carriers offer incentives to help offset those costs as part of your lease purchase agreement. Find out what is covered in your contract. These incentives might include a truck warranty, fuel discounts, license and permit fees, cargo insurance, and trailer fees.
Take control of your career with confidence
As you grow professionally, it’s easy to forget that you entered this industry because you enjoy driving. Lease purchase gives you the freedom to pursue your passion while getting all the support you need as you work toward owning a truck. Plus, you get to be your own boss!
Grow and thrive with Panther and Expediter Services
Ready to explore truck ownership but not sure where to start? Maybe you’re an established driving team wanting to take charge of your future. Panther®, a service of ArcBest®, and Expediter Services (ES) can help! These trusted industry leaders have partnered to simplify the path to truck ownership with an exclusive lease purchase program.
With this non-traditional program, you could qualify for a new truck with no money down, no minimum credit requirements, no balloon payment, flexible financing options, and more. Gain access to Panther’s nationwide customer network, haul premium freight for top pay and build the career you’ve always wanted.
Note: The lease is signed with Expediter Services