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In North America, how do you finance your car fleet?

Financing your fleet vehicles in North America (the United States and Canada) differs from its southern neighbors (Latin America). Much of this is due to the more significant number of options, lower interest rates, and willingness to take on residual risk in North America. While the benchmark interest rate in the US and Canada is only 0.25 percent, the best rate in the leading vehicle markets down south is 3 percent in Colombia.

Expect a few more percentage points to be put on top of these to account for bank margins, and keep in mind that rates in North America are likely to rise this year (2022) due to inflationary pressures. Unlike their southern neighbors, pickup trucks are pretty popular in both the United States and Canada when it comes to brands that are available for financing.

While Toyota, Ford, Chevrolet, Honda, and Nissan are the top-selling brands in the United States, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, and Chevrolet are the top-selling brands in Canada.

Ford F-Series pickup trucks are the most popular in both the United States and Canada (mainly Ford-150). In the United States, the Ram Pickup, Chevrolet Silverado, Toyota RAV4, and Honda CR-V are the most popular. The Ram Pickup, Toyota RAV4, GMC Sierra, and Chevrolet Silverado are the most popular in Canada.

Aside from the region’s largest banks, such as Ally Bank, Wells Fargo, Chase, and Capital One in the United States, and Royal Bank Canada, Toronto Dominion, and Scotiabank in Canada, Ford Motor Credit, Toyota Financial Services, Nissan Infinity Financial Services, Honda Financial Services, and Chrysler Capital in Canada, some of the region’s most active OEM financers are Ford Motor Credit, Toyota Financial Services, Nissan Infinity Financial Services, Honda Financial Services, and Chrysler Capital.

Subscription

Shorter-term subscription (month-to-month) services are one method to keep an eye on today, especially if cash flow is tight and you don’t have the finances for auto financing down payments go to bridgepayday.com.

This choice usually saves you money on car maintenance and liability insurance and provides you with 24-hour roadside support. However, before making such a decision, make sure you properly assess TCO (total cost of ownership), which can be decreased through multi-month contracts.

A subscription might cost between US$600 and US$800 per month, depending on the vehicle, and allow for 2,000 miles of driving. Boston Consulting Group predicts a multibillion-dollar market in the United States by 2030, accounting for roughly 15% of total new car sales (BCG).

In addition to OEMs, long-term vehicle leasing firms and shorter-term rent-a-car services in North America now provide subscriptions. ARI, Donlen, Element Fleet Management, Wheels Inc, LeasePlan, Enterprise Fleet Management, Hertz, Sixt, and others are among the major participants.

Leasing

Meanwhile, another car purchasing alternative is to hire a vehicle from a vehicle leasing firm for an extended period. There are numerous players in the region, and most of them now offer fleet management services.

Outsourcing management services frees up time to focus on your core business and eliminates the need to deal with car maintenance, insurance, and tax constraints. Finally, if you locate the perfect partner, that is, a leasing company with multi-country leverage and local experience, you can save a lot of money.

In terms of regional best practices, open-end agreements are more typical in North America than closed-end leases, which are more common in Europe.

While many fleet managers in North America prefer open-end leases because they offer greater flexibility, procurement specialists may select closed-end leases since they eliminate the danger of vehicle depreciation. This is very dependent on the current state of the market.

Another thing to remember in North America is that fleet vehicles, such as pickup trucks and vans, are primarily utilized for work. There is a fleet of benefit automobiles, but it is much less than in other parts, such as Europe.

In terms of flexibility, North America is, for the most part, business-friendly, which aligns with today’s shifting corporate needs. Aside from more people working from home, the market is experiencing a shortage of resources (raw materials, semiconductors, and car models). Therefore flexibility is essential.

Some fleet managers are considering having a substitute automobile or additional mobility services, or even a pay-per-use model, in addition to adjusting mileage (kilometer) limitations and contract duration (extending or early termination).

Renting

Finally, another flexible alternative is hiring a vehicle for a shorter time to try out new powertrains such as electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids. While month-to-month contracts are an option, several companies offer weekly, daily, or even per-minute rental choices, unique ways to get a feel for electric vehicles.

Autonomy, Fair, Borrow, Steer, Free2Move, and others are among the newer companies in North America that provide this type of service — many of them are online and mobile app-based.