There are many reasons that leasing a truck is a popular option. As a former off lease inspector I can tell you these can be some of the most troublesome leases when it is time to turn in the trucks at the end of the term.
Company trucks work hard and collect damage from multiple drivers. In most lease contracts there is language included about the condition of the vehicle at the end of the contract.
People usually sign this part of the agreement without understanding it fully. We all know a pickup truck or cargo van in many cases can see very hard service. People lease trucks and vans to carry tools, equipment and tow or haul things.
Sometimes these hard working trucks are
leased by a business and specialized equipment is mounted on the vehicle. Light bars and compressors to run tools are two examples.
These types of service trucks are also susceptible to accruing excessive mileage on them. Often when these work trucks are turned in not only can there be extensive damage to repair but also mileage charges to be paid if over the lease contracts limitations.
When I did my off lease inspections I would have to make extra time when a pickup truck or cargo van was on my task list, because I had to document every dent and scratch.
I had to mark these damaged areas with a Post-it note and snap pictures taken of the damage area to send back to the lease company.
Often the beds of the pickup trucks were used in the capacity they were designed for. Hauling cinder blocks and bricks can do a lot of damage to the bed of the pickup truck.
I know it doesn't seem fair, but unfortunately the lease contracts can often be the same for cars as they are for trucks. This is yet another reason to bring a magnifying glass to read all the fine print included in the complex documentation.
Most lease contracts will allow for a few dents, dings or scratches without any penalties. When it comes to leasing a truck often that damage exceeds what's considered normal wear and tear.
Body damage wasn't the only problem when it came to these lease inspections. Most lease companies also demand that a certain amount of tread on the tires must be present at the end of the contract term.
Many of the big and popular companies that I was dealing with at the time, demanded 4 to 5/32 of tread remaining on the tires at the end of the contract.
In many cases the customer had to replace some tires
before they turned in the vehicle. With rubber prices on the rise and odd ball tire sizes often over 17 inch this can be a tough pill to swallow.
In many cases when someone starts a business they are advised by their accountant that a vehicle used in the service of the business is a good tax deduction.
If the truck is leased by the business the monthly costs are applied as overhead for business operations. What your accountant may not know is the costs involved when the lease is up and the vehicle is ready for turn in.
As an example, in the case of a plumbing business when they lease a van they mount emblems on the sides of it. These logos can cause paint damage and will need to be removed before the vehicle is turned in.
Also plumbing tools, parts and equipment are heavy and can damage the interior surfaces of the most hardy cargo van. Add to this, hired employees may throw these items inside the van and you see how damage can build up. Some manufacturers provide special leases for work trucks.
In any case before you sign these contracts it is a good idea to read through all of the fine print. Paying extra for a lease that includes the highest mileage possible and the most leniency on turn in can pay off big in the end.
Although leasing a truck is still very popular often problems during turn in or the end of the lease contract prevent the business from leasing again. For more information about leases in general you can return to my main page that focuses on the general car lease.
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As I mentioned I have performed off lease inspections. This process
leaves some people angry. This next page provides answers to why. Note
that these problems can also happen when leasing a truck.