Before leasing a vehicle to a trucking company, it's important to know the proper legal procedures for leasing. This will help you from getting scammed or ripped off during the proceedings, and might even save you from having to pay for expensive vehicle repairs. While leasing a vehicle to a trucking company, you must create a lease that both parties must sign. Be sure to keep copies of all important documents in case a dispute ever arises between you and the trucking company.
Check the track record of several trucking companies before making any deals. Ask the company to provide a list of its past clients. Contact a few of the clients to see whether the company has been reliable in its dealings. Investigate the company’s credit rating on credit report databases such as Experian and Cortera.
Negotiate the terms of the lease before writing the contract. These terms include the rental price and how many miles per year the company may drive the truck. Take the initiative and write, sign and send the lease agreement to the company before the company does. While the company may revise the contract, writing the first draft usually grants more control over the terms.
Follow government regulations for interstate/interprovince vehicle leasing. The U.S. Department of Transportation Code Section 376 controls the U.S. leasing of freight vehicles and requires the parties involved to sign a written lease agreement with the lessee . Provisions in the least agreement that must be included are the dates starting and ending the vehicle’s rental; exclusive use of, the amount of control of and responsibility for the vehicle given to the lessee during that time, and a clear explanation of the payment amount and the schedule for when the payment is due. Include any provisions if the lessee needs to remove any “identification devices” such as company symbols from the vehicle at the end of the lease;. Detail how you will give a “receipt” or bill to the lessee at the end of the lease, such as immediately or after X business days, by mail or in person.
Write out in the lease who takes responsibility for expenses of operating the vehicle, such as fuel, maintenance, licenses and toll payments. Specify who arranges for loading and unloading the vehicle’s cargo. Include a notice to the lessee that the lessee will take responsibility for any damages to the vehicle for overloading it, and who pays for any base plates bought for the vehicle’s use during the lease.
Send a receipt in the mail to the lessee after both parties have signed and dated the written agreement. The receipt should be a confirmation that the lessee has the right to use your vehicle.
Know the legal responsibilities of the lessee. The truck driver has to keep a log of each trip, detailing each stop, mileage, and repairs made. The driver also has to keep a proof of responsibility, or receipt for the vehicle.
- U.S. Department of Commerce: Part 376: Lease and Interchange of Vehicles
- Experian: Business Credit Reports at Experian.com.
- Cortera: Business Credit & Community Ratings for Finance Pros
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "What Should I Know About the Differences Between Leasing and Buying a Vehicle?" Accessed April 12, 2020.
- Merriam-Webster. "Lease." Accessed April 12, 2020.
- AARP. "To Buy or Not To Buy." Accessed April 12, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "What is a Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)?" Accessed April 12, 2020.
- LeaseGuide.com. "Capitalized Cost – Cap Cost." Accessed April 12, 2020.
- Autotrader. "Leasing a Car: Can You Negotiate the Price?" Accessed April 12, 2020.
- Edmunds. "The 'Residual Value' of Leasing." Accessed April 12, 2020.
- Federal Reserve. "Keys to Vehicle Leasing: Future Value." Accessed April 12, 2020.
- LeaseGuide.com. "Money Factor—Explained." Accessed April 12, 2020.
- Federal Trade Commission. "Financing or Leasing a Car." April 12, 2020.
- Federal Reserve. "Keys to Vehicle Leasing: End-of-Lease Costs: Closed-End Leases." Accessed April 12, 2020.
April Lee started writing professionally in 2009. She is the marketing writer for an independently owned cheese business. She attended the University of North Texas and majored in English.