Is car lease option can save employee Tax ? How it works ?
Car leasing is the process in which an individual uses a vehicle for a predetermined period of time in exchange for timely payment of rentals. Here, the user does not have ownership over the vehicle. Once the lease period is over, the vehicle must be returned to the lessor (the owner of the asset). If you think buying a new car is expensive, you may consider leasing it for a specific period. Here, you pay only for the time period you use the vehicle and minimize the impact of maintenance and depreciation costs.
The lease amount you pay for a vehicle is eligible for tax relief. Leasing a vehicle could help you save as much as 30% on your taxes. This is applicable for self-employed as well as salaried professionals.
Car Lease Terms And Conditions
Before you sign up for a car lease, you need to understand the terms and conditions associated with the process. Here is how leasing works in India:
- When you lease a car, you can drive a vehicle for a fixed period without actually owning it.
- You need to make regular lease payments for using the vehicle during the lease period.
- At the end of the leasing period, the lessor may allow the user to purchase the vehicle at the prevailing market price. This condition may vary across the market.
- Depending upon the plan you choose, all vehicle maintenance costs and costs of accessories are included in the lease instalment.
- There are no additional costs for insurance and taxes apart from the lease amount charged by the lessor.
- There is no need to make a down payment when you lease a car.
- The lease term may vary from two years to five years depending upon the type of leasing contract you choose.
Features And Benefits Of Leasing A Car
Some of the notable features and benefits of leasing a car are as follows:
- Maintenance benefits: Vehicle owners typically spend a fortune on maintenance costs. When you lease a vehicle, the maintenance of the vehicle is done by the company that owns the vehicle. You don’t have to spend anything extra on regular vehicle maintenance and repairs.
- Pay for usage: Car leasing follows the pay for usage model where you pay only for the period during which you use the car. Here, the period of usage is pre-determined and agreed upon by the lessor as well as the lessee. Once the usage period is over, you can surrender the vehicle to the owner and stop paying your instalments.
- No down payment: This is one of the major advantages of car leasing. Here, you can start using the vehicle without making any down payment. In the case of vehicle loans , you will be expected to pay a significant amount as a down payment to the dealer. In car leasing, you pay only your monthly instalments.
- Best value from a car: One of the notable advantages of leasing is that you get to drive a vehicle that is brand new and in good condition. When a car is brand new, it provides great performance. You can enjoy the best value of a car for a fixed monthly payment. This is ideal for people who like to change their cars frequently.
- Hassle-free deal: When it comes to car leasing, the terms and conditions are laid out clearly by the lessor before the deal is finalised. You can drive your favourite car without going through any hassles. Since the maintenance aspect of the vehicle is taken care of by the lessor, lessees can enjoy the vehicle without any stress.
- Comprehensive insurance coverage: The instalment amount you pay for leasing a car includes insurance charges. You can get comprehensive insurance coverage against all kinds of repairs, accidents, thefts, etc. With leasing, you can enjoy all these benefits without worrying about the insurance renewal date or additional expenses.
- Tax benefit: The lease amount you pay for a vehicle is eligible for tax relief. Leasing a vehicle could help you save as much as 30% on your taxes. This is applicable for self-employed as well as salaried professionals.
Car Lease Approval Process
The process involved in leasing a car is very simple. The first and foremost thing involved in leasing a car is finding the right vehicle and dealer. Research the market to find the best vehicle suitable for your needs. You need to do your research based on the various aspects including price, mileage, affordability, car safety features, rating, etc. Once you have chosen the vehicle and dealership, you can visit the dealership and submit an application for leasing a particular model.
- The dealer will provide the options available for leasing a vehicle.
- You need to check out the terms and conditions before you sign up for leasing a car.
- You also need to choose the car lease tenure for your vehicle. Some dealers provide flexible terms, while others have a fixed term for leasing a car.
- Once you have finalised the terms, you can proceed with the leasing process.
- The dealer will check your credit score and ask you to submit the necessary documents. This typically involves identity proof, address proof, income proof, age proof, etc.
- Once the documentation is complete, you can take out the brand-new vehicle on lease.
Corporate Car Lease
Car lease is a relatively niche concept in India. Though it is not very common among individuals, leasing is a popular option among corporates who provide vehicles for their employees. Here, companies can sign up for a lease program with a specific dealer and provide vehicles on lease for their employees. Here, the employer is the primary lessee and the employee is the secondary lessee. The vehicle will be leased in the name of the company. The cost of the lease is calculated based on various factors like car lease tenure, vehicle model, price, maintenance charges, insurance costs, etc.
Corporates typically use the leasing service for a variety of vehicles including employee cars, light commercial vehicles, heavy duty trucks, etc. This requirement is likely to vary from one company to another.
Leasing can benefit companies in multiple ways. The most important advantage is that they can have a fleet of vehicles for a fixed amount without worrying about additional expenses for maintenance and repairs. Once the car lease tenure is over, corporates have the option of buying the vehicle at the residual price.
Things To Note Before You Lease A Car
Before you decide to sign up for leasing a car, you need to consider the following factors:
- When you lease a car, you need to pay your lease instalments periodically (typically every month) without fail. Make sure you can afford this payment every month.
- In India, leasing is not a popular option among customers. You need to scan the market and shop around to find the best deal for your needs.
- You can get good deals on car leases if you have a great credit score. Before you sign up for a lease, check your credit score and get your credit report.
- Do the math and work out the calculation for the costs involved in leasing a car. You need to make sure that leasing is a cheaper option than taking a loan to buy a new car.
- Check out the tax benefits available for you in leasing a vehicle. However, it is not a good idea to opt for a lease only on the basis of tax benefits.
FAQs on Car Leasing
- Is leasing cheaper than a car loan?
This varies from one model to another. You need to check the value of the car along with the monthly EMI payments for car lease and car loan. You need to calculate your payments and compare them before deciding. Considering the tax benefits and lack of maintenance charges, leasing may be cheaper than taking a car loan. However, you need to do the math just to be sure of this.
- Can I end my lease tenure early?
Car lease contracts typically come with fixed terms. It may not be easy to end this contract early. Most of the dealers include a specific clause for ending the lease tenure early. This may involve additional charges. You need to check your lease document to understand the expenses involved in terminating this agreement.
- Is it possible to change cars during the lease tenure?
No. The lease contract is for the vehicle you have chosen. You cannot change your vehicle in the middle of the tenure.
- Are there any limits on the mileage of the car?
Yes. Most of the dealers set a mileage limit on a leased car. This limit will be mentioned clearly in the car lease document. If the vehicle exceeds this limit by the end of the tenure, you may have to pay some additional charges.
- Can I lease a car for just 6 months?
No. Most dealers in the market have a minimum lease tenure of at least two years. You can research the market and enquire with the lessors directly before taking a car on lease.
Yes! Car lease options are a part of FBP that is being offered to employees. They are part of tax saving and majority of the expenses can be reimbursed / exempted too.
And every city has different tax benefits, so that an employee can choose the right one for tax savings.