Is leasing a car right for your business?
The leasing marketing is booming for automobiles. It’s an attractive option for consumers to lease a car due to lower monthly costs, and the ability to swap out cars frequently to keep up with current technology and safety features. The question becomes:
Is leasing a car right for your business?
Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to lease a car for your business, or outright buy a car.
- Length of ownership. Ask yourself: How long do you think you’ll have the car. The majority of business owners and their employees drive the car a lot. Read: they put a lot of miles on the car, and quick! This makes leasing more attractive in that respect
- Mileage is an extremely important data point to think about and it must get factored in
- Take into consideration the total cost of the car over the time you have it. You should calculate both buying and leasing options , including the expected miles to be driven, maintenance and routine upkeep on your vehicle. Lastly, consider the cars value at the end of the lease vs. the ownership period…and don’t neglect to add in those pesky taxes!
Here is a resource we like, it’s a car lease calculator from Bankrate.com
When you start negotiations a lease for your company car with car dealerships in Wilmington NC , you will more than likely get offered two options:
1) An open lease
2) A closed lease
Open lease vs closed lease
Usually, an open lease contract is used for commercial business vehicle leases. The lessee pays the difference between the residual value and the actual resale value at the end of the lease. If the vehicle is driven more than estimated, the actual resale can be low, and increase costs to the lessee. On the flip side, at the end of closed lease, the lessee pays only extra mileage and extraordinary damages.
The value of the car at the end of the lease, known as residual value, is also used to describe the amount a business expects to sell at the end of its usefulness.
The residual value has a relationship to the payments. So a higher residual value at the end of the lease can lead to lower payments. The exact opposite happens with a lower residual value.
Leased Company Cars and Tax implications
As always is the case in business financial matters, taxes must be considered, and maximizing deductions is most important.
Income taxes. Leased vehicles are not depreciated, but business driving costs for a leased car may be deducted, under certain circumstances and with limits.
First, the car must be driven 50% or more for business purposes (and you must be able to prove the amount of business driving each year). Only the business driving portion of the costs can be deducted.
Then, you must use the actual cost method (not the standard deduction) to calculate driving deductions, in order to deduct the cost of the lease payment.
Finally, a higher value leased vehicle may be subject to what the IRS calls an “inclusion amount,” which is actually a reduction in the deduction for the lease cost. You can read more about this inclusion amount in IRS Publication 463, under “Leasing a Car.”
Sales taxes. You can’t get out of paying state sales taxes on a lease, so keeping the price low will help you pay less on sales tax. (source: thebalance.com)
So the next time you’re looking at cars for sale in Wilmington NC , make sure you have thought out the aforementioned “things to think about”, and you will be much more prepared to get a better deal, that fits your companies needs.
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