Savvy Canadian business owners and financial managers know that leasing is not always about price, it often should focus on issues such as structure, terms, covenants, etc. However, having said that, how does the business owner ensure that he is in fact getting a rate that is very competitive, if not ‘the best ‘that his firm can achieve?
Let’s look at the factors that affect lease pricing. Lease financing in Canada is a specialized industry, and we encourage clients to ensure they seek out and work with a trusted, credible, and experienced lease financing advisor in this area of acquisition financing.
So what factors affect your lease rates – first and foremost it is overall credit quality. But let’s review some of the inherent math of leasing to ensure you can make that overall credit quality work for you.
The overall amount of the asset you are financing affects the rate in many cases – larger transactions with higher credit quality also play a large component in the overall final rate. Lease financing in Canada can range from five thousand dollars to 50 million dollars and of course everything in between. The other key factor you should realize is that the term of the lease (in other words the length or amortization of the lease) is also a critical factor in final lease pricing. Longer terms tend to drive better rates. Why is that? Simply because the lease firm is locking in a guaranteed yield on the transaction, and when that yield is even longer in term that affects you’re pricing – usually for the better.
Realize though that in certain cases your overall credit quality of your financial may necessitate a shorter term being offered or approved. In that case lease pricing tends to go up. So a Canadian business who thinks they can get the best rate for a 2 year lease is often mistaken – lessors in Canada tend to prefer lease terms of three to five years.
Many of our clients are unsophisticated financially, so when it comes to lease financing and pricing them also do not fully understand how some structuring features in leasing affects their pricing. When you are asked to provide a lessor with either a down payment or a security deposit this increases the overall yield to the lessor – so you are laying out cash and financing less, therefore driving the rate up.
Utilizing a financial calculator (not a regular calculator) will allow you to exactly determine the exact rate you are being quote. By simply entering values for:
– value of your deal financing
– monthly payment quoted
– end of term obligation
Will allow you determine the exact rate you are being quoted.
If you think the rate is too high you of course have the option of calling every lease company in Canada, revealing your financial information, and negotiating a rate. By the way, we don’t recommend that! The best solution is to work with an experienced leasing specialist to ensure he or she feels you have a ‘competitive ‘best rate. The dangers of doing that on your own are that your financial condition is quickly spread all across the industry, and secondly credit reports on yourself and your firm are potentially drawn and lowering your overall credit scores for your firm and yourself as a potential guarantor
We also advise clients that working with larger more established firms will generally drive the best rate for your transaction. Why is this? Simply because these firms themselves are funded in a more cost effective manner than small firms who are capitalized from private type sources.
In summary: rate of course isn’t everything, but it’s important. Understand the key elements of how a lease price is calculated; work with a trusted advisor to ensure you understand how your firm’s credit quality will be adjudicated. We also note that the type of asset and its overall collateral value play a role in your best lease pricing.