business vehicle fleet

Getting a car loan for your business

No matter the size of your business, a range of creditors are available to help finance your work and business vehicles. Whether bank, credit union or financier, you’re going to need to have some specific documents ready for the lender that help prove you’re loanworthy and that you’re going to be able to consistently make payments.

Ownership

Not just any employee from your business can walk up to a lender and ask for a commercial auto loan -- it will have to be the owner or one of the owners.

Simply prove your ownership stake in the business, with a minimum of 20% ownership for a corporation. For other business types, you’ll likely have to show a partnership agreement, liability documents or a business license.

Next, you may be required to provide your business’s tax information.

Business documents

For small businesses, most banks will want you to have completed at least two years of operation. You can do this through two years of business tax receipts and cash flow statements that prove your ability to pay off the loan. Positive cash flow will be essential to your loan application.

Down payments and plans for the vehicle may also be requested from the lender.

Personal information

If you’re the sole proprietor of your business and it’s attached to your Social Insurance Number, your own personal credit and identification qualifications will be assessed by the lender.

If you’re looking for a vehicle for your corporation or separate entity then the lender will have to go into your business’s information and make you or another executive the guarantor.

Guarantors are responsible for paying the car loan off if the business folds. The lender will look into your debt-to-income ratio, so beware of any personal debt that might disqualify you as a guarantor.

Collateral

Since vehicles are depreciating assets, most lenders won’t allow you to finance a car that’s more than seven years old. You’ll also need to prove that the vehicle you’re intending to purchase suits the needs of your business.

Typical business vehicles include delivery vans or sedans for your sales team. Banks can usually finance the ownership of up to five vehicles registered to your business based on the financial strength of your company.  

It's not a business loan

The type of loan is called a ‘commercial auto loan’ and can be separated from your personal financing obligations, where applicable. If all qualifications are met, you can borrow up to $250,000 to fund your fleet with flexible interest rates between 1.75% to 18%, according to Value Penguin.

If you or your business has bad credit, you can expect to receive higher interest rates and financial penalties should you default.