Buyers’ market: Comparing lenders’ offers

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Updated Jul 14, 2015

Follow these links for Part 1, assessing the used truck market, and Part 2, outlining maintenance issues some operators are seeing around the emissions systems of post-2007 trucks some owner-operators are having, of this multipart feature from Overdrive‘s July 2015 issue.

For long-established owner-operator small fleets, strong local banking relationships are valuable. “The key there is to educate the lender” on the necessity of the purchase, says Fleet Advantage’s Mike Meehan. More and more, he says, the key to bank financing is proving your case with data, demonstrating “what the new equipment will do to my cash flow. It will be evident in the numbers when you look at, say, fuel economy in a 2014 model truck versus a 2009.”

In Overdrive‘s 2015 truck purchasing survey, owner-operators and small fleet owners buying new or used reported these financing sources to ink the deal:

Among those buying new:

Among those buying used:

If you’re going to veer from a trusted financing partner for a better deal, don’t neglect the fine print. Emissions system issues in his 2012 Kenworth dump truck aside, owner-operator Dave Palmer cited a decent experience with the $80,000-plus he financed at 5.5 percent with Paccar.

Owner-operator Dave Palmer and his 2012 Kenworth T800 dump truckOwner-operator Dave Palmer and his 2012 Kenworth T800 dump truck

“I talked to the bank, who would actually match that rate, but the reason I went with Paccar is that they ‘gave’ me an extended warranty,” including two years or 275,000 miles on the emissions system, thankfully. “It’s out of warranty now,” and Palmer’s already a few thousand in repairs in the hole.

Readers can download the full 2015 Overdrive Truck Purchase and Lease Survey via this link.

What he neglected to note in the deal was a clause addressing early payoff. “I paid it off in two years, four months,” he says, rather than the deal’s six-year term. “I was penalized around $1,800,” he says. “I hated that, but it was ultimately worth it for the warranty coverage.”


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