The best novated leasing companies in Canberra

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Ian and Maria Lindgren from Alliance Leasing can help find the right novated lease for you. Photo: Region Media.

If you’re an ACT or Commonwealth Government employee in Canberra, chances are you’re eligible for novated car leasing. It’s an ATO-approved way to pay for one or more cars using money direct from your salary before it is taxed.

Novated leasing is often the most cost-effective way to operate a motor vehicle regardless of your salary. In almost every circumstance, so long as you pay tax, you save money with a novated lease.

But what do you need to know about novated car leases, and how do you go about arranging one in the ACT? Let’s find out.

Common questions about novated car leases in Canberra

  • How much money can I save with a novated car lease? This will depend on factors such as your salary and type of car leased. Areas of savings beyond tax include discounts off a car’s sale price (novated leasing companies deal directly with manufacturers, so a discount of $3,000 on a $25,000 car isn’t uncommon). GST is not paid on leased cars, so that is a $5,000 saving on a $25,000 car. If the fuel costs for a car were $100 per week, then the same car under a novated lease would have fuel costs to you of $75 per week which is a saving of $25 a week or $1,300 a year.
  • Do I have to use the car for work? Your car can be 100 percent for personal use. Many people with novated car leases take out one for their partner and another to provide a safe first car for their children. If you do use the car for work, those considerations can further increase your savings.
  • Does my employer need to approve the lease? A novated lease requires employer approval. You’ll get the most benefit when running costs such as fuel, services, insurances and registration etc are included in the lease.
  • How is a novated lease arranged? Once you have selected a car and agreed on a quote, a three-way agreement between you, your employer, and the novated leasing provider is arranged. Your employer deducts your payments before you pay tax, and pays this directly to the lease provider. These payments include your running costs, so when you need a service you can either pay for it and have that amount reimbursed, or the leasing company will pay the invoice for you.
  • Is it safe? Extensive regulation protects novated lease consumers, so novated car leases are generally safe if you go through a reputable company.
  • Do I have to pay fringe benefits tax? No FBT is payable provided a small portion of repayments are made in after tax dollars.
  • Why would my employer offer novated leasing? Many choose to offer novated leasing to remain your employer of choice. Others offer you use of your work car after hours instead of leaving it garaged at work each night.

What to look for in a novated car lease provider

There are several novated leasing companies supplying ACT employees, including one Canberra-based business. We recommend keeping the following in mind when making your decision.

  • Experience and qualifications. Novated leasing laws are always changing, so look at companies that have been providing these services for a long time and – perhaps most importantly – have qualified staff.
  • Integrity. Your chosen provider should have your best interests at heart.
  • Fees. There’s not much use in getting a novated car lease if the fees outstrip your benefits, so do your research into fees before committing.
  • Immediate payments. Ensure your provider pays all reimbursements the day you provide the receipt, and pay car service centres on the same day that your car is serviced – not six weeks later.
  • Local. When it comes to salary sacrificing, local can be better. Canberra is too small a place to burn bridges so local companies work hard to protect their reputations. National companies can sell their services elsewhere.

The top novated car lease providers in Canberra according to you

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 19 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

Alliance Leasing

Alliance Leasing

Alliance Leasing is the ACT’s only local novated leasing company, making it a safe bet for Canberrans that want to salary package a car lease. It promises no set up, exit or monthly financier fees; a simple and easy to understand process; market leading lenders and fleet pricing.  The team boasts the ability to answer all calls within three rings; they pay your car dealer’s service invoices the day you have your car serviced, and anything that you pay for yourself is reimbursed overnight.

Alliance Leasing is part of the PayMe Group, operated by local business owners Ian and Maria Lindgren. It has its head office in Deakin and second office in Brisbane. It is on the ACT Government novated leasing panel and supplies cars throughout Australia as one of the six suppliers to the largest car leasing/salary packaging panel in the southern hemisphere.

All Alliance Leasing’s consultants have novated leases with their employer, so they back the product they talk to you about. Best of all, Alliance Leasing is competitively priced. Its everyday novated leasing quote will beat any quote in Australia so long as the other quote is given without knowledge that it will be compared to Alliance.

As Steve Gray reviewed on Google, “Dealt with Guy Ewin, absolutely great to deal with – very helpful with the whole process from start to finish and offered up lots of ways to improve the value of the lease proposition that other companies didn’t.”

Suite 5, 18 Napier Close
Deakin ACT 2600

Smartleasing

Sydney-based Smartleasing is the specialist car leasing division of salary packaging firm Smartsalary. It manages the novated lease arrangements for over 35,000 employees across Australia.

Smartleasing has simplified processes like lodging claims, registering your car and arranging a service. It also provides award-winning customer service with the ability to get in touch when and how suits you best.

Easi

Easi offers simple, straightforward novated car leasing solutions that could save you thousands. It’s a national company with many customers in Canberra.

Customer Clinton left this glowing review on Easi’s Facebook page: “I have used Easifleet twice now and they are brilliant. Darren provides exceptional service accompanied by great knowledge of products. I would highly recommend that if anyone was thinking about a novated lease or any other salary packaging give them a call and they will provide you with all the details you need in order to make the decision that is right for you.”

Automotive Lease Packaging

Automotive Lease Packaging (ALP) has serviced over 20,000 customers across Australia since 2004. Part of its appeal is how hard its team works to get you the best deal. Every customer gets a dedicated ALP consultant to negotiate with dealers and help secure the lowest car purchase price – even if that means speaking to up to 15 different dealerships. Fleet discounts are also available, even if you’re purchasing a single vehicle.

Customer Dan shared his experience in a website testimonial: “My friend was jealous because I paid $5000 less for my Prado buying it through ALP and I believe he will use your company for his next vehicle.”

Fleetcare

Fleetcare is an Australia-wide fleet management and leasing solutions businesses with a strong presence in Canberra. With over 30 years in the business, Fleetcare’s supplier bargaining power means that you get exclusive discounts on your vehicle purchase price and ongoing running costs.

ACT Government employees also have their own account manager who actively works to ensure your leasing package is tailored to suit your life.

Customer Melissa shared her experience with Fleetcare in Canberra as a website testimonial: “I will recommend your company, and you personally to my friends and colleagues in the future, based purely on your outstanding customer service.”

Your experience with novated car lease providers in Canberra

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the novated car lease providers listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.

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39 Responses to The best novated leasing companies in Canberra
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Autovate Autovate 2:34 pm 25 Mar 13

If I buy a 5 year old vehicle and do a 4 year lease, am I able to roll the lease over past the 10 year mark (ie I’ve been leasing since it was in policy), or is the 10 year threshold inviolable?

If you purchase a 5 year old vehicle and do a 4 year lease you will only be able to do a further 1 year lease on the same car. The 10 year rule will apply in most cases. Phil Harvey – Autovate

Autovate Autovate 2:29 pm 25 Mar 13

So what fits under the definition of ‘commercial vehicle’? If I were to novate anything in the near future, it’d be a duel-cab 4WD ute (Ford Ranger / VW Amarok style vehicle). What do the ATO class that type of vehicle as?

The ATO consider any vehicle with over a one tonne carrying capacity a commercial vehicle, so when you look to do a lease make sure the vehcile you choose complies with this. Most manufacturers websites will show this or give the Autovate office a call and we will find this out for you. Phil Harvey – Autovate

Autovate Autovate 12:20 pm 21 Mar 13


….what if you buy your cars up front in cash (like a freak, I know).”

Does novated leasing have any benefits then?”

Of course not. Leasing is more or less another type of financing. If you can afford to pay cash you are always going to be better off

This is not necessarily correct in that the savings on a novated lease may well exceed the interest cost on the lease contract. It also allows you to use your cash to make you money (interest etc.) as opposed to putting it all into a rapidly depreciating item.

You should investigate both options before paying cash for a car. Phil Harvey – Autovate

Autovate Autovate 12:17 pm 21 Mar 13

but unless something bad happens, why would you break the lease early?”

there is also likely to be an early termination fee for a personal loan as well.”

So you can guarantee that in the next five years you will not:

* Change jobs to an employer who doesn’t provide fringe benefits
* Become unemployed for any period of time
* Have any change in personal circumstances that makes your current car unsuitable
* Have any change in your finances for better (spare cash) or worse (need cash).

The early termination fee for a lease is usually the amount of interest you would have paid over the remainder of the lease plus an admin fee. There is usually no financial benefit in breaking a lease. At least with a personal loan you can sell the car, pay out the loan, and save the remaining interest.

A novated lease contract is transferable between employers and only requires the preparation of a new novated deed to allow this to occur. If you change jobs you just simply transfer the lease from one employer top the next. If you lose your job you can pay the lease yourself until you become employed again and then transfer the lease to your new employer. Autovate offers this service to please contact our office on 1300766617 if you ever need help in this area. Phil Harvey – Autovate

Autovate Autovate 12:12 pm 21 Mar 13

I’m thinking about novated leasing at the moment so the timing of this topic is good. Is there a ready reckoner spreadsheet available that can help you work out all the benefits and costs of novated leasing versus all the benefits and costs of other purchasing a car through a personal loan?
How do lessees typically deal with the residual value obligation at the end of the lease?
How big is the risk that the market value of the car at the end of the lease is less than the residual value?

A couple of good questions here.
Firstly the issue of a ready reckoner is best as follows, ring your bank and get a quote for a personal loan for the vehicle you wish to purchase then add to the monthly loan repayment the cost of all of the running costs of the car that you expect to pay. Fuel, service, maintenance, registration, insurance, tyres etc. Calculate the total cost on a monthly basis so you now know what the car is going to cost you. Next get a quote from the Autovate calculator http://www.autovate.com.au or call the office on 1300766617 and get a formal quote so you can now compare the costs of both.

In regards to the residual value your choice of vehicle will determine if there is any future risk. Most people, if advised properly, will profit from the sale of the vehicle at lease end. Note that any profit is tax free. Not all cars have the same future value % so your leasing copmpany should assist you in this area. Phil Harvey – Autovate

JC JC 7:25 am 20 Mar 13

arescarti42 said :

….what if you buy your cars up front in cash (like a freak, I know).

Does novated leasing have any benefits then?

Of course not. Leasing is more or less another type of financing. If you can afford to pay cash you are always going to be better off.

thebrownstreak69 thebrownstreak69 6:43 am 20 Mar 13

arescarti42 said :

….what if you buy your cars up front in cash (like a freak, I know).

Does novated leasing have any benefits then?

No. I tried this once, but to make it work the leasing company needed to buy the car off me, and wanted to charge a service of $600 to make this happen.

If you own your car outright, you may well be in a better position than if you lease. Don’t forget, you still need to pay the 20% FBT each year if you lease, but not if you own.

I’ve never leased, and bought my last new car for cash.

RedDogInCan RedDogInCan 10:54 pm 19 Mar 13

goggles13 said :

but unless something bad happens, why would you break the lease early?

there is also likely to be an early termination fee for a personal loan as well.

So you can guarantee that in the next five years you will not:

* Change jobs to an employer who doesn’t provide fringe benefits
* Become unemployed for any period of time
* Have any change in personal circumstances that makes your current car unsuitable
* Have any change in your finances for better (spare cash) or worse (need cash).

The early termination fee for a lease is usually the amount of interest you would have paid over the remainder of the lease plus an admin fee. There is usually no financial benefit in breaking a lease. At least with a personal loan you can sell the car, pay out the loan, and save the remaining interest.

arescarti42 arescarti42 9:44 pm 19 Mar 13

….what if you buy your cars up front in cash (like a freak, I know).

Does novated leasing have any benefits then?

thebrownstreak69 thebrownstreak69 7:35 pm 19 Mar 13

Autovate said :

Why can’t we lease older vehicles?

The age restriction is predominantly as a result of the lease financiers policies. The older the vehicle the less likelihood that the vehicle will fit within the amount financed and security parameters. Phil Harvey – Autovate

Makes sense I guess. Most vehicles older than 10 years are probably worth close to bugger all anyway (so insufficient profit to justify the administrative overhead), and may be quite variable in price, meaning increased risk for the financiers.

If I buy a 5 year old vehicle and do a 4 year lease, am I able to roll the lease over past the 10 year mark (ie I’ve been leasing since it was in policy), or is the 10 year threshold inviolable?

thatsnotme thatsnotme 7:07 pm 19 Mar 13

Autovate said :

” So, do they do bikes?”

There are differing opinions on fdoing a novated lease on a motor bike.

The ATO states that you can novate a motor vehicle and neither a motor bike or commercial vehicle fall under the definition of motor vehicle. As a result you are doing a novated lease in name only and because it is not a relevant vehicle you are not able to claim the private use just the business use.
Better to finance it normally and claim any business use on your tax. Phil Harvey – Autovate

So what fits under the definition of ‘commercial vehicle’? If I were to novate anything in the near future, it’d be a duel-cab 4WD ute (Ford Ranger / VW Amarok style vehicle). What do the ATO class that type of vehicle as?

xcskier xcskier 6:39 pm 19 Mar 13

I’m thinking about novated leasing at the moment so the timing of this topic is good. Is there a ready reckoner spreadsheet available that can help you work out all the benefits and costs of novated leasing versus all the benefits and costs of other purchasing a car through a personal loan?
How do lessees typically deal with the residual value obligation at the end of the lease?
How big is the risk that the market value of the car at the end of the lease is less than the residual value?

Autovate Autovate 6:15 pm 19 Mar 13

” So, do they do bikes?”

There are differing opinions on fdoing a novated lease on a motor bike.

The ATO states that you can novate a motor vehicle and neither a motor bike or commercial vehicle fall under the definition of motor vehicle. As a result you are doing a novated lease in name only and because it is not a relevant vehicle you are not able to claim the private use just the business use.
Better to finance it normally and claim any business use on your tax. Phil Harvey – Autovate

devils_advocate devils_advocate 5:58 pm 19 Mar 13

Solidarity said :

You sound like someone who is allergic to parties and will never own a cool car anyway, so my point is moot when it comes to you

Au contraire, I love old cars, powerful cars, and even cars that are old and have been made to be powerful. I’ve owned plenty and worked on plenty more. I know the unique pleasure of plastigauging a newly ground crank, and the pain of rescuing a patient from the tinworm.

There are plenty of reasons to own, drive and restore classic, vintage and muscle cars, but financial ain’t one of them.

p1 p1 5:17 pm 19 Mar 13

Sandman said :

poetix said :

So, do they do bikes?

I’ve looked into that and Yes, some companies do bikes. There’s a major catch however, you can only use it for work related trips. No personal use allowed at all which makes it kind of pointless as the smaller purchase price has little effect on your taxable income when spread out over 3 or 5 years.

Really? Why would that be the case? It isn’t for cars?

And by “work related trips” do you mean going to and from work, or does this only work for posties?

Autovate Autovate 5:12 pm 19 Mar 13

Why can’t we lease older vehicles?

The age restriction is predominantly as a result of the lease financiers policies. The older the vehicle the less likelihood that the vehicle will fit within the amount financed and security parameters. Phil Harvey – Autovate

Solidarity Solidarity 4:50 pm 19 Mar 13

devils_advocate said :

Autovate said :

By far the best way to do it is to buy a car that is over 40 years old.

1) They won’t depreciate, so that saves money
2) Keeping an old car on the road means one less new car needs to be built, saving the environment tons, takes a lot of energy to make a new car
3) Much less moving parts, so much less to go wrong

Makes sense really

Age restrictions on Novated Lease vehicles allow you to lease a used vehicle that will be no older than 10 years at the end of the lease. This means you can do a 5 year old vehicle over a 5 year lease.
Unfortunately 40 year old vehicles exceed the age restriction. Phil Harvey – Autovate

Other advantages of cars that are over 40 years old:
1) they use technologies that no-one knows how to work on any more, so if something goes wrong you have to either fix it yourself or deal with it
2) they use parts that are often NLA, so if something goes wrong you have to either fabricate the part yourself of deal with it
3) rust
4) no, seriously, rust.
5) ceteris paribus, cars from the 70’s predated sophisticated engine management (or really any engine management at all – mostly carbs at that time); predated good cylinder head design (and often used single valve entry and exhaust) and predated fuel quality allowing for decent static compression ratios; so the engines use more fuel and produce less power. Unless they’ve suffered the usual wear and tear, in which case they’ll use a shitton more fuel and produce almost no power.

Where do I sign up?

You sound like someone who is allergic to parties and will never own a cool car anyway, so my point is moot when it comes to you

thebrownstreak69 thebrownstreak69 4:28 pm 19 Mar 13

Why can’t we lease older vehicles?

Autovate Autovate 4:14 pm 19 Mar 13

I’ve been sucked in by the bright lights and tinsel of a novated lease through work and I was thinking of that old chestnut, if it looks too good to be true, it is. And now I’ve found the catch. I could get a three year old WRX or XR6T for $28k and I’d be paying about $380 per fortnight with a residual of $8,200.00 in 2018. Sounds great………………………so long as you don’t want to break the lease. Break a lease early and the payout figure could be more than the initial price of the car!!! Jeez, they almost had me too.

You are 100% correct in that the breaking of a lease early can be financially disadvantageous. It should be an area covered by your lease provider up-front when going through the pros and cons of the leasing arrangement.It would be a rare occurence (first 9 months) that the payout would exceed the amount financed but like any finance contract there will be penalties for breaking your arrangement. You must weigh up the substantial savings against any potebtial pitfalls before entering a novated lease contract. Phil Harvey – Autovate

farnarkler farnarkler 8:53 pm 18 Mar 13

goggles13 who knows what could happen in 5 years but I’m not about to take the chance. As for a personal loan, I’ve had one that has no penalty for early payout.

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