First-time Car Buyers: Tips for Navigating the Auto World

Need A New Rig? What Are Your Best Financing Options?

If the frequency with which you find yourself taking your current semi truck to the shop is costing you money both in repair bills and in jobs lost while your rig is inoperable, you may be debating your purchase options. However, while buying a new car or truck at today's low interest rates is within reach for many with modest finances, purchasing a new or used semi truck can often cost multiples of one's annual income. What financing options will let you afford your new-to-you semi truck without taking a bite out of your finances for years to come? Read on to learn more about your potential choices.

Company financing

Truckers who are employed by a company rather than owner-operators (OOs) may be able to take advantage of company-sponsored financing. Through this arrangement, rather than enter into a loan agreement with a bank to secure the purchase funds, you'll be making your payments to your employer instead – often in the form of payroll deductions. This can be a good option if you're not sure your credit will allow you to get the best interest rates or if you're uncomfortable taking on tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in secured debt for a work vehicle. 

Once you've repaid your loan, you'll own the truck outright; and if you leave employment before the loan is paid, you'll be able to work with your employer to transfer ownership of the truck or (in some cases) even cash out the equity your payments may have generated.

Lease agreement

In some cases, leasing a semi truck may make more sense than purchasing one. In some cases, you may even be able to lease a truck from your employer rather than a third-party leasing company. Through the lease, you'll pay an initial deposit and then a monthly payment for the duration of your lease term. At the end of your lease, you'll be given the option to purchase your truck, re-lease it, or enter into a different lease.  

If you tend to take relatively few cross-country trips compared to some of your coworkers and spend most of your time on short runs, leasing can be a more cost-effective option than purchasing (particularly given the extra wear and tear a semi subjected to short stop-and-go trips may undergo). If or when your schedule changes to accommodate more frequent long trips, you may want to re-evaluate and put a future purchase back on the agenda instead.   

Keep these tips in mind when looking for semi trucks for sale.