Buying, Renting or Leasing a Flatbed Trailer

There are many types of semi-trailers on the market now, dry van trailers, dump trailers, lowboy trailers, flatbed trailers, and so on. Among them, the most widely used are dry van trailers and flatbed trailers. If the load is not fixed and cannot be transported by pallet, then the flatbed trailer is the best choice.

After you have decided on the type of trailer, you also need to consider an important issue: buying, renting, or leasing a flatbed trailer.

The difference between them

Leasing and renting work similarly in that you do not own the flatbed trailer. And after purchase, the flatbed will belong to you. So, what is the difference between a lease and renting?

Renting a flatbed trailer

Renting a flatbed trailer is a short-term option because it does not require a deposit. For some people with bad credit, renting is the easiest way to get the use of a trailer. This will be a temporary agreement between you and the leasing company.

During this time, you only pay the rent and do not maintain or service the trailer. Fees are usually paid on a monthly basis and are very flexible.

Leasing a flatbed trailer

If you need to use a semi-trailer for a long time and don’t want to buy one, then a lease is the best option. However, leasing a trailer requires a deposit in advance and the lease is usually for three to five years.

In a lease agreement, you are responsible for the repair, maintenance, and insurance of the trailer.

Buying a flatbed trailer

When you purchase a semi-trailer, the right to use the trailer will be yours in perpetuity. You are also responsible for the repair, maintenance, and insurance of the trailer yourself, or, of course, you can lease the trailer to someone else.

Pros and cons

Renting a flatbed trailer

It can meet seasonal needs or short-term needs. No one would want to buy a product that is only used two months out of the year.

Pros
  • No credit score is required. Renting would be a great option for people who have received restrictions in the past due to poor credit.
  • Does not require a large upfront investment. Renting is an ideal option for people who are short on funds.
  • No routine maintenance is required. When renting a flatbed, the rental company will take care of maintenance and repairs.
  • Get newer equipment. For some people who need cutting-edge technology but don’t want to buy a trailer too often, renting allows them to experience new technology without a huge investment.
Cons
  • The price is more expensive. Compared to leasing or buying, the price of renting will be higher. So, if used for a long time, this will be a significant cost.
  • Rental terms and conditions may have restrictions. Some rental companies may not allow us to drive unlimited miles.
renting a trailer

Leasing a flatbed trailer

The terms of the lease are more flexible. Sometimes the leasing company will stipulate that you can purchase the trailer at a discount or replace it with a newer model at the end of the lease term. This would be a good option for some people who want to be able to use a flatbed more often.

Pros
  • Leasing can keep money released. Because in the future this trailer can be purchased at a lower price, or leased for a newer model.
  • Covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Flatbed trailers used for leasing are usually newer models and therefore come with extensive warranties.
  • Lower price. Compared to leasing, leasing is less expensive, so it would be an ideal option for someone who needs to use it for a long time but does not have enough money to buy it.
Cons
  • A down payment is required. This can be a hurdle if you’re strapped for cash. And usually, leasing requires a certain credit score to qualify.
  • You will be responsible for the cost of insurance, repairs, and maintenance
  • Monthly payments must be made. This is an unnecessary financial drain if you only plan to use it for a short period of time.

Buying a flatbed trailer

Buying a trailer is the best decision for a long-term investment.

Pros
  • Increase equity. When you purchase a trailer, you have free reign to sell, lease or rent it and you will get a return on your initial investment.
  • Cheaper in the long run. There are tax benefits to purchasing, and they may be long-term benefits, not just available only in the year of purchase.
  • Ready to use. With the purchase of a trailer, you will not be bound by a lease agreement or other restrictions and will be able to save time and have more flexibility in arranging the transportation of your cargo.
Cons
  • Higher upfront investment. It takes a large sum of money to buy a trailer, and without enough money, you will not be able to buy a better-quality trailer. However, this is not without a solution. Three Horses Trailer’s semi-trailers are usually less expensive but of good quality.
  • Need to be responsible for your own insurance and maintenance.
  • Unable to upgrade the trailer often.
buying a trailer

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