Are Novated Leases Worth It?

This is a question that we receive every month and so in this article we will explain why Novated Leases are worth it and include a couple of examples of novated leases compared to Car Loans.

Let start the explanation of whether a novated lease is worth it by looking at a Car Loan and then we will compare it to financing via a novated lease.

Car Loans

At the time of writing this article, August 2019, this is what we know about financing a car via a “secured car Loan” from one of the BIG 4 banks …. we call them the FAT 4 😊

FAT4 Rates and Fees

The typical minimum requirements for applying for a loan with one of the FAT 4 is as follows:

  • Aged 18 years and over
  • Permanent resident or Australian citizen
  • Have a regular permanent income
  • Hold a driver licence
  • Loan is for personal use

There are normally also restrictions on the car being financed and the amount borrowed:

  • Imported by the manufacturer (no grey imports)
  • Less than 7 years old
  • Loan amount not to exceed the market value of the car
  • Car has not been written off
  • Loan amount of a minimum of $10,000
  • Car to be comprehensively insured during the loan term
  • No balloon at end of the term

Such loans are generally 12 to 60 months (1 to 5 years) in term.  You may be required to put down a deposit.

If the loan amount is less than $10,000 and / or the car is older than 7 years, then the FAT 4 will require you to apply for an unsecured personal loan which attracts a higher interest rate.

Also as the loan is for personal use of the motor vehicle it is unlikely that a tax deduction will be available to you.

Novated Leases

A novated lease is a different way to acquire and run a car compared with a car loan.  The finance and running costs are normally outsourced to a salary packaging provider. The major features and benefits of a novated lease are as follows:

  • The salary packaging provider can assist with sourcing a new or used car at better than retail pricing
  • A novated lease is tax effective in that part of the finance and running costs are deducted from your income before tax (“pre-tax”) and thus reduce the income tax you pay
  • Pre-tax deductions are exclusive of GST so you save on the GST
  • The car can be 100% personal use and still get a tax deduction
  • Via a salary packaging arrangement, you can budget the costs of fuel, servicing, annual registration, CTP, insurance, roadside assistance and even car washes to maximise the tax benefits
  • Deductions from your salary for the finance and running costs match your pay cycle – weekly, fortnight or monthly. This way you avoid the big annual costs of registration, CTP, servicing and comprehensive insurance
  • You will receive a fuel card(s) for the payment of fuel, servicing, maintenance, tyre replacements and roadside assistance
  • No deposit is required (nor allowed under tax rules)
  • Terms can be arranged for between 12 to 60 months
  • A residual in due at the end of the lease – which is normally paid by selling the car privately or trading it in on another car
  • You will have a massive cash flow benefit in your salary each week, fortnight or month

Comparison of a Car Loan to a Novated Lease

Let’s show you an example of a car loan compared with a novated lease and the huge cash flow savings you will retain with a novated lease.

We will assume that you earn $60,000 per year before income tax (excluding superannuation) and have no other forms of income or special tax arrangements.  The car is a Mazda 3 Neo Hatchback – $23,490 drive away price and you travel 15,000 kilometres per annum.

Example: 36 Month Term

36Mth Car Loan V Novated Lease

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