What are the benefits of a novated lease?
Throughout the many years I have been involved in the salary packaging industry, this is the question that I’m asked most often. On the whole, novated leases are becoming increasingly popular in Australia, especially when buying a new car.
If you are going to buy a new car, there are four key points to be aware of:
- You should be able to access fleet discounts when buying the car.
- You will save GST on the purchase price and finance the car net of GST.
- You will save GST on all the running costs of the car.
- You should shave approximately $3,000 per year in PAYG tax, which over a five-year term is $15,000.
Novated lease explained — a case study
Novate@bility recently had the pleasure of assisting a client to buy an Isuzu D-Max. It is important to point out that in order to package a ute, it needs to have a carrying capacity under 1 tonne. The D-Max has a carrying capacity of 1029kg and the client fitted a steel bulbar, which reduced the carrying capacity under 1 tonne. I always suggest that you get a letter from the dealer confirming the carrying capacity is under 1 tonne.
Is a novated lease worth it?
We managed to obtain a fleet discount of $5,654.13 on the vehicle and by novating the vehicle, GST was also saved. The result? $46,794 was financed, as opposed to $57,365. This satisfies the first and second key points. In this case I would say yes, a novated lease is certainly worth it.
Is a novated car lease right for me?
Meeting these prerequisites will allow you to make the most out of novated leasing.
- A salary of $100,000 per year.
- The vehicle will travel 25,000 km per year.
- If the vehicle is not packaged, it will be bought through an offset account with a mortgage rate of 4%.
- The finance rate for the novated car lease is a higher rate of 6.4%.
- A residual will apply in both scenarios of $14,812 for comparative purposes.
Using fleet buying power to access discounts and GST savings resulted in the ute being cheaper to novate, even at the higher interest rate. This poses an interesting question — is it better to buy the car through an offset account or personal loan as opposed to novating? In this case it is clearly cheaper to novate.
Ongoing running costs
Saving GST on the ongoing running costs of the vehicle instantly makes it 10% cheaper. In addition, part of the running costs are also paid for from pre-tax salary. This client had a marginal tax rate of 32.5% which meant that for the costs that were pre-tax, he saved a additional 32.5%. If you consider fuel costs, he saved an additional $35.80, with fuel costing $74.35 as opposed to $121.17. This satisfies our third key point.
Annual tax savings
By novating the vehicle, an additional $3,337 is saved per year in PAYG tax with a whopping $16,685 saved over the term of the lease, satisfying the requirement at point four. With significant tax savings like this, it is understandable why so many people are deciding to novate.
It is important to note that there is a residual value on a novated car lease. In allowing novated leases, the ATO has required that the residual be close to the true market value of the novated lease, at the end of the lease term and pre-defined the following residual percentages
Novate@bility can help you set up a novated car lease and save you thousands each year.As you can see, there is value in the vehicle at the end of the lease. If the entire vehicle is paid off, a tax-free profit can be made on the sale of the vehicle. In most cases, unless you option up the vehicle and buy thousands in accessories, you should be able to sell the car for a higher value than the residual. What many people do is lease the vehicle for four years and then roll it over for another two years, giving a total of six years. In general terms, the older a car gets the more it costs to repair the car and you get to a point where it is cheaper to buy a new car.