I need to retire 3 company cars, looking to lease 3 new and want the nicest long distance cars or SUV I can get for a total of $1500/mo excl taxes. 2 are in PA, one in VA. Can pick up anywhere in the East. Trouble is the mileage, it’s 20k, 25k and 35k mi/yr. And no, I will not buy them - I don’t want to have our GM need to go to our owner to get funding approved vs just covering the costs in the operating budget… What should I get? I like the A4 but unsure if I can get it within the budget. Also looked at TLX, Q50, Volvo - all seem more doable. Charger R/T or 300C? Grand Cherokee? Either way it will be an upgrade vs the Ford Taurus we’ve had - but I struggle to find someone who wants to do business. My local small town dealers bail because of the mileage and refer to fleet management companies but they don’t want to talk to me because we have only 3 cars… It feels like an odd Catch 22. Surely someone out there has a good solution?
I am not sure if any banks offer 35k mile leases. That is just too high. Also, what you planning on covering up front?
You might need to get creative and lease more than three cars, mix and match terms and figure max mileage allowances for different captives. Most banks max at 15k/yr then you pre pay the mileage over that at a discounted rate. This sounds like a big pain in the ass, I hope you’re paid allot to figure this out because this doesn’t sound easy or cheap. Oh and what if you run out of warranty, sounds like you had 24 mo terms only and decent warranties
Thanks for input - quick answers:
1/ We only have 3 company cars, so I can’t go leasing more than that.
2/ I’m not terribly worried about being out of warranty or what the fuel economy is or any other running costs… We’re a profitable company. I just don’t want to create a situation that opens up for our corporate bigwigs to say “do away with the company cars”. So staying with leasing is a lot easier as it would not raise any questions at the corporate level.
3/ Last time the leases were just rolled over as we had been owned by a $20Bn company with thousands of cars, but now our fleet company just doesn’t want to lease us less than a hundred cars anymore…
4/ I’m flexible on the upfront charges. Prefer not to have them if I can avoid it, but not a problem to pay if needed.
You are going to want to lease for a longer term, and get an extended warranty.
I run a large fleet of commercial vehicles. We lease for anywhere from 4 to 6 years, given the mileage the unit will travel during it’s “useful life”. We always buy at the end of the lease, with very few exceptions and then keep for 1 or 2 more years, again depending on mileage, and dump at wholesale.
This will get you around the budget piece. I know, I do the same thing. At the end of lease you will be buying for anywhere from 4 to 7K. Which will hopefully clear the GM easily.
Best of luck, hit me up on PM if you need any advice.
Lincoln just rolled out an unlimited mileage lease program in CA and FL, not sure where you are located. From what I understand is that you pay based on 25k miles per year for the car you want and there is no limit to the miles.
What’s the difference in leasing vs. buying, in terms of a monthly payment that’s covered by the operating budget? The fact that you’ll “eventually” own it? I know purchase payments are higher, but… maybe you could get an 8-year loan at a low interest rate that’s around $500/month, then after 3-4 years buy it out and sell to Vroom / carvana / carmax and eat the difference?
For example, Infiniti has an offer right now (at least in NorCal), 0% APR on Q50, $13.89 / $1k financed for 72 months. That gets you roughly a $35K car, which is right around the MSRP of a 2.0T Q50. However, those get discounted A LOT. You can get a $40K Q50 for $30K. Finance that for ~$400/month (I’m sure if you take 3, they’ll give you a bit more off the price) and try to get as little down as possible. So, $1200/month, put $300/month away for depreciation, and when they hit a certain mileage, whatever, sell them and use the $300 / month you saved to settle up?
For the mileage you ask, payment, and car type you looking i would say forget it. Just overage mileage charges at 20k miles extra a year at .25 a mile will be about 15k for 3 years or 450 a month for one of the cars. I saw honda of saratoga advertise 33k mile leases. Reach out to them but without a hefty downpayment or huge chunk of overage charges at end of lease do not see how this can happen. Maybe some bare bones equinoxes with 15k down and prepay for miles if GM allows it.
SportsCar - in my case there are two differences favoring leasing.
The first one is just political. To make a $90k purchase our GM must go to the owner for approval. They both have more important things to do than engaging themselves in this.
The second reason is much more egotistical - you go the route of the company owning the cars and 3 years down the line we have 75-100k mi cars that need replacement and we’ve set ourselves up for the company to say “but they still run ok so let’s just keep them a bit longer” and then we’re stuck forever with old heaps rather than maintaining a healthy replacement policy.
Ha, perhaps I’m projecting this from the fact that our GM is running our $100M company and yet drives a mid-90’s car that I’ve been out helping him jump starting it down the hill from our factory on more than one occasion?
Anyway, I may have got a lead on some TLX V6 - still haven’t seen the numbers in writing but initial info seems promising.
You should be able to buy extra miles upfront by paying 15-20 cents/mile into a lower residual. For example, take a 15K mile/year lease and reduce the residual by the extra miles x 15-20 cents/mile. Done. I’ve seen limits of 100K miles for the term of the lease, so you might be limited to 33K miles/year.
If Lincoln offers unlimited mileage leases, I’d look hard at that. I’ve heard the Hyundai Ionic EV offers that in limited areas, but driving a lot with an EV could be a nightmare. I’d look for anyone else who does unlimited mileage leases for the 35K mile/year car, then maybe just bringing down the residual as needed for the others.
Thanks for the tips! I did look into the Lincoln unlimited mileage lease but it specifically says it requires FL or CA residency. I will still check with a dealer.
An EV won’t work well, most of our trips are 5-10 hours one-way so there would be a lot of charging stops
Some random thoughts…
Maybe start with a budget of $400, $500, and $600 + tax for the cars. Your Acura, Infiniti, and Volvo (the Volvos shine for seat comfort and the S90 in particular for long distance. An S60 Inscription would make sense) targets seem appropriate. Is fuel economy or reliability important? Maybe the 35K mile/year car should be a 24 or 30 month lease if you don’t want to wind up 5,000 miles over at the end. On a lease with a big discount, sometimes a 24 month lease isn’t much more than a 36 month lease- that would be a good thing.
Fuel economy, no, I can’t say it is high on my priority list. I have room in our budgets. Reliability…I’m not terribly sensitive. Let’s just say I’ve owned more Alfa Romeos and British cars than Japanese cars in my life. It’s a nuisance to have problems, but a boring car is worse.
Can you finance?
That should buy you like 100k
Buy 3 lightly used X5s
In post #9 I gave my reasons for why buying them is difficult. Our corporate HQ would have to get involved for a $100k “investment” while there is no such need for rolling over our current $1500/mo leases to new contracts. Just making it a whole lot easier for everyone even if it may cost us a little bit more in the long run.
I think there is lesson in this ??
If you are going to lease the cars on 20-30k miles a year, you definitely DO NOT want X5 or Audis or other German cars … The maintenance costs will have your owner and 1990-Camry-driving-GM relegate you to driving Chevy…
Volvo has no limit on the miles/year of the lease, as long as the residual doesn’t drop below 20% of the MSRP. So, for a 35K mile/year lease, the residual has be be dropped for the extra 20K miles > 20,000 x 0.20 = $4,000/year. $8K on a 2 year lease, or $12K on a 3 year lease. I’d look at the 2 year lease so the car is either always under the 4 yr/50,000 mile warranty or not driven more than 70K miles on the 35K mile/yr lease. I’d put a warranty on a 35K mile/year lease to avoid a potential disaster.
Business transactions like these can get into the 10-12% RV range.
I have leases in my fleet that are setup to buy out at a dollar. I also have deals that evergreen indefinitely, until the vehicle is returned and upgraded.
There are options to handle business leases like this through various financial captives, as well as services that the OP mentioned.
Getting down to 20% RV is probably not going to be enough to “slide” this down into an easy capital expense.
Yeah- I was just saying that the total miles probably isn’t a problem, but of course the payment might be.
Also, with Volvo, the company has to be really big ($50M gross revenue or something like that?) to do a lease without a personal guarantor/co-signer.