Topic Thread

1.  Vehicle Leasing Companies Recommendations

Posted 14 days ago
As a newer company I am trying to keep my cash close to home, at the same time I need to get a couple of service vehicles with shelving and ready to go. Any ideas for me?

Thank you for the help

Karl Ferry
PayLess Services HVAC & Refrigeration
Houston TX

2.  RE: Vehicle Leasing Companies Recommendations

Posted 13 days ago
Enterprise has worked for us in the past.  The overall costs were more than if we had paid for the vehicle ourselves but at the time, it was what we needed.  Also check with your preferred dealer to see if they may have a program.  Manufacturers have realized that people are wanting programs like Enterprise and are providing similar products.

Michael Brown
Technical Advisor
J.R. Hobbs Co.
Lawrenceville GA
(770) 231-8742

3.  RE: Vehicle Leasing Companies Recommendations

Posted 12 days ago
Myself I am not a big fan of leasing (its just another layer of someone else making money) as it will cost more in the long run and you should be able to find money out there for under 3% . Just depends if you want to expense it or depreciate it.
We carry a line of credit just to put vehicles on it for under 3%. When buying make sure you use the discounts if you belong to NHBA, ABC, AGC or other contractor groups. The other discounts you need to look at is the CAPs program most manufactures such as Trane, Carrier have for there dealers. These usually include a bin package. Some dealers make you order from factory and some can apply it ti in stock vehicles.

Randy Hastings
R & R Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.
Spokane WA
(509) 484-1405

4.  RE: Vehicle Leasing Companies Recommendations

Posted 13 days ago
I leased 2 vehicles through Enterprise a few months back to try it out and had a poor experience.  Since then I have purchased 3 more vehicles and will continue to do so in the future.

Leasing experience:
-- Told I would pay much less on front end in vehicle and wrap, which turned out to be true but had terrible quality.  The van that was supposed to be the same as what I purchased had no center console, all 110v outlets removed, and a few other small details stripped down.  The wrap, which was $800 cheaper than I usually pay was terrible installed and began to have bubbles under it within 2 weeks.
-- Their maintenance management was sold as a big value to us, however my service director was always holding their hands throughout process; and so she said that she would prefer to manage it in-house.

Purchasing Vehicles:
-- Money is cheap to borrow right now, so do not be afraid to purchase vehicles with 0% down as you watch your cash.  We currently put down 25%, but as we were starting to grow I did 0% down.
-- As for rigging the vehicle out, I would encourage you to get it fully done so that it is in your note.  This is much better than going to aftermarket and coming out of pocket $3k-$5k on boxes and rig.
-- I currently have 25  vehicles on the road and have had the most success with the Nissan NV vans.  My Chevrolets often had problems around 125k miles, and the couple of Fords that I had were lemons (although I hear new transit is nice).  With the Nissan NVs, they will through in an HVAC toolbox package for free, and it comes with 100k mile warranty.  I have a friend with 30 on the road and he gets 300k miles on them without a problem.

Hope this helps!

Joshua Davis
AccuTemp Services, LLC
Baton Rouge LA

5.  RE: Vehicle Leasing Companies Recommendations

Posted 13 days ago
Congratulations - you have cash to protect and a growing business! You must be doing a lot of the right things.

Many, many years ago I attended a workshop run by a CPA entitled, "How to start and operate a profitable small business." I'll never forget what he said Day 1:

Never buy what you can rent.
Never rent what you can borrow.
Never borrow what you can steal.

His point was that cash flow should be a primary concern. Having worked for a very large, very old company, I will offer that's true even long after you're no longer "newer." The bigger you get, the greater your fixed costs, and your cash flow scenarios just have more 0s.

There are plenty of good leasing programs out there. We've used Enterprise for years with relatively large fleets, and it's been great. There are cheaper options, but we like their level of service. As for shelving and wraps or any other after-market modifications, you can pick your own providers and bundle the expenses into the lease cost. Noone likes to do it, but they will do it.

There's another great reason not to own your vehicles: liability. You don't want to have assets others can seize.  If you think you have enough cash to buy and you really, really don't want to lease, consider taking out the cash and setting up your own leasing company. You can lease the vehicles to your contracting company and have greater asset protection for your core business. An attorney who specializes in asset protection can advise you.

Feel free to reach out if you have any specific questions.

Linda Couch
Chief Operating Officer
Parrish Services
Manassas VA

6.  RE: Vehicle Leasing Companies Recommendations

Posted 11 days ago
We have been using Enterprise for 2 years and have been very happy with the software portal and the concept overall. Execution has been spotty in terms of delivering vehicles outfitted to our specs. So we've spent more time managing the process than we had hoped in order to make sure we get what we expected.

I would say if you have a 10-100 truck fleet and you are trying to grow your business leasing is definitely the way to go. I've had new business opportunities come my way and all it takes is one phone call and a few followup emails to get new trucks delivered to my office within 4 weeks. (ordering off the lot rather than factory).

Above 100 trucks you are probably going to be ordering frequently enough that you could have an internal staff member handle it and maybe there is some money to save there. We aren't there yet so can't say for sure. I sounds like Linda in the post above can speak more to that and I find her comments interesting.

Nick Rohan
RESSAC Climate Control Technologies
Glendale CA
(800) 273-7710