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Car leasing for self-employed people – what are the advantages compared to buying a car??

leasing rates for a company car reduce a company’s taxes. Self-employed persons maintain their liquidity and do not burden the balance sheet with liabilities for a car purchase.

When a good business idea leads to the establishment of a company, the founder has to make numerous decisions. The considerations are the office, store or production space, the staff and the equipment. In many industries a vehicle is particularly important. In the case of a manufacturing company, a truck must be used to deliver the ordered goods. A service provider needs a representative car to visit customers or to drive to a trade show. Often, when starting a business, there is not enough capital available to finance a vehicle. Even established companies are regularly faced with the decision of having to purchase a new company car. For many self-employed persons, the question arises as to what advantages arise from car leasing compared to a purchase or financing.

What is car leasing?

Car leasing means that the car driver does not have to pay the full purchase price for the vehicle in one sum. In car leasing, there are three parties involved: the car seller, the leasing bank and the lessee. The leasing contract states that the lessee has a car at his disposal for which he has to pay a regular amount. the lessor remains the legal owner of the vehicle. For the lessee, the focus is on the use of the car. The lease agreement contains several important disclosures. This includes the exact amount of the leasing rate and the duration of the so-called basic leasing period. The basic leasing period is the period during which the lessee must pay the leasing rate in any case. During this period the lessee has no right to terminate the leasing contract.

Some lessors specify in the lease agreement how often the leased vehicle must be serviced or what other care and maintenance agreements the lessee must comply with. In most contracts, the parties involved agree whether the vehicle will be sold to the lessee at the end of the basic lease term, whether the lessee will extend the lease, or whether the self-employed person will return the car and lease a new one.

Close-up of man in suit with car keys in hand

For car leasing the businessman must pay interest, the amount of which is determined by the leasing bank. the leasing rate is made up of the value of the vehicle, the term of the leasing contract, the agreed mileage and the interest rate. The cost of wear and tear on the vehicle, management fees charged by the leasing bank and a profit margin charged by the car seller are other components of the leasing rate. Some contracts also include car insurance, the premiums for which are also included in the monthly rate. As a rule, the lessors insist on the conclusion of a fully comprehensive insurance policy. The lessor can also insist in the leasing contract on the use of certain contract workshops for repair work or maintenance of the vehicle.

What are the differences between car leasing and car rental??

In a car rental, there are only two parties involved, the landlord and the tenant, while in a leasing contract a credit institution is the third party involved. Thus, a lessee has only one contact person in case of queries or problems with the vehicle. In the case of a leased car, the lessee must ask whom to contact. If a rental car has a technical defect, the lessee returns the vehicle and receives another car as a replacement. He can therefore be sure to always have a functional truck at his disposal.

In the case of a leased car, the lessee must pay for all repairs himself. The lessee is also responsible for enforcing warranty claims against the car dealer or the manufacturer of the vehicle. The cost of a loaned car during the repair period is also borne by the self-employed person. Nevertheless, it is generally not worthwhile for a self-employed person to use a rental car as a company vehicle. The rental agreements are intended for short periods only. If a car is rented for a longer period of time, the rental costs are considerably higher than for a car lease.

The differences between car financing and car leasing

A self-employed person can either finance a company car on credit or he leases the vehicle. With both forms of financing, the company’s liquidity is preserved, since the company does not have to pay the purchase price for the car all at once. Instead, the businessman agrees to pay a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual installment. The biggest difference between a loan and a lease is that a financed vehicle becomes the borrower’s property once the final installment has been paid. With car leasing, on the other hand, the car is either returned or the lessee buys the car at a previously agreed price.

Since car financing is based on the full purchase price, the loan installment is higher than a leasing installment. Both the lease payment and the loan payment constitute a regular operating expense. the businessman must ensure that he can afford the installment. Especially for a newly established company, the lower leasing rate is often the better alternative. Car leasing also ensures that a company regularly receives a new vehicle. This makes a better impression on the business partners than driving up with a car that is already several years old and shows visible signs of wear and tear.

a major financial difference between car financing and car leasing is the tax treatment. In the case of financing, the purchase price of the company car cannot be claimed immediately and in full as a business expense for tax purposes. Instead, the self-employed person must declare the vehicle as a fixed asset over several years in the tax return in accordance with the rules on depreciation for wear and tear (afa). The leasing rates, on the other hand, are immediately a deductible operating expense. A self-employed person should discuss the exact tax benefits with a tax advisor, as the calculation is relatively complicated.

Tax advantages of car leasing

The regular leasing installment is a business expense for tax purposes, which has a tax-reducing effect. It does not matter whether the self-employed person prepares a balance sheet or whether he calculates his annual operating profit with the help of the surplus income statement (EuR). In both cases, the leasing rate reduces the company’s profit. Thus, the company has to pay less income tax as well as less corporate income tax and trade tax. However, the self-employed person must bear in mind that he can only deduct the full amount of the leasing rate if he uses the vehicle exclusively for business purposes.

As soon as private use is added, the businessman must pay tax on the private portion as a pecuniary benefit. For this purpose, he has the choice between the list price method or the keeping of a logbook. Under the one percent rule, as the list price method is also called, the taxpayer must pay tax on one percent of the gross list price as a non-cash benefit. The self-employed person must pay income tax on this amount.

In addition, the tax office multiplies 0.03% of the gross list price by the distance kilometers for the journey from the place of residence to the place of work and deducts the distance allowance of 0.30 euros per kilometer from the result. As a self-employed person, you also have to pay income tax on the amount determined in this way. Alternatively, the entrepreneur can keep a complete logbook to determine exactly what proportion of the journeys he has to pay tax on privately. Here, too, it is advisable to consult a tax advisor who can calculate the various options and recommend the best solution.

Different types of leasing

In the case of car leasing, a self-employed person has the choice between different leasing types. For example, some car manufacturers offer direct leasing, which is limited exclusively to their own make of car. With indirect leasing, on the other hand, a businessman can choose between different vehicles from different manufacturers through a leasing company. In the case of car leasing with residual value settlement, the lessee makes a special payment at the beginning of the contract. The lessor calculates a residual value of the vehicle at the inception of the lease. If the actual value of the car at the end of the contract is less than the residual value, the lessee must make an additional payment. In the case of vehicle leasing with mileage invoicing, an annual mileage is agreed upon.

If the mileage is exceeded, the lessee must make an additional payment. With car leasing with right of tender, a residual value of the car is also agreed at the beginning of the contract. At the end of the leasing period, the lessor can demand that the lessee buys the car at the specified residual value. However, there is no legal right of the lessee to purchase the car at the residual value in any case.

Conclusion

Car leasing is a good alternative to buying a car for many self-employed people. The lower leasing rate is not as much of a burden on liquidity as a credit rate would be. As a business expense, the leasing rate has a tax-reducing effect. The value of the vehicle is not recorded in the balance sheet. In the case of a purchase, however, the equity ratio of the company is reduced.

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Latest valuations for car leasing

1. Service after new purchase

Last year I bought a new car here in the dealership, very smooth process. Now the first service was due, again a super service, very nice team, I’m very satisfied, will definitely remain a customer in this dealership

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I have once again bought a car in wiesbaden. my salesman, mr. manuel braum was very nice, courteous and competent. the colleague werner stormann, with whom i dealt, also helped me very well. Very good and friendly advice. I can highly recommend the car dealership. The staff at the reception desk are also very nice to their customers.

Hymer gand canyon cr.

Hymer gand canyon crossover competent advice, friendly communication, pickup at the agreed time. This is how a car purchase should be. Everything top, gladly again!

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