FAQ

Vehicle Lease (auto lease) in general

  • Q

    What is a car lease (auto lease)?

    • A

      In a vehicle lease (auto lease), the lease company purchases the car that the customer wants in place of the customer, then leases the car to the customer for a fixed lease fee for an extended period. Customers can use cars "just as if they own them."
      * The owner of the vehicle on the automobile inspection certificate is the lease company.

      【Click the following for details】

      Car lease system and types

  • Q

    What is the difference between a rental car and a leased car?

    • A

      In the case of rental cars, in general, users select a car that a rental car company has prepared and rents it for a short period. In the case of a vehicle lease (auto lease), the model, grade, color, and other specifics can be to the customer's liking and the customer uses the car for an extended period.

      Leased vehicle Rental car
      Period Extended period (in years, two or more years) Short period (hours, days, weeks, months)
      Ownership Lease company Rental car company (there are cases when the owner is a lease company)
      User name Contracted party (customer) Rental car company
      User Specific (contracted party) A number of unspecified users
      License plates Regular Start with the Japanese character "wa" ("re" in Hokkaido)
      Usage fees Monthly fees are cheaper Monthly fees are higher
      Options As per the customer's choices In principle, options are not available
  • Q

    What is the difference between a vehicle lease (auto lease) and an auto loan?

    • A

      With a loan the user borrows money for a purchase, whereas with a lease the user borrows the car itself.
      In the case of a vehicle lease (auto lease), the lease company that is the owner of the car adds various value.

  • Q

    What is the difference between purchasing and leasing?

    • A

      Please see the illustration comparing a purchase (owned by the customer company) and a lease.
      【Click the following for details】

      vehicle lease system and types > Vehicle ease system

      Note that introducing leased vehicles will make it possible to eliminate vehicle management work. Therefore, when such indirect costs are considered, leases have an advantage because they can make work much more efficient.

  • Q

    Can any kind of vehicle be leased?

    • A

      The customer can choose any model. Vehicle lease (auto leases) are applicable to any kind of vehicle, including domestic and foreign passenger cars, trucks, vans, buses and other vehicles used for logistics, special and large vehicles such as specially-equipped vehicles, forklifts, refrigerated trucks, etc. Users can also specify the colors, the options, and even add their logos and company names.
      【Click the following for details】

      Trucks, buses, taxis

During the period from the introduction of a vehicle lease (auto lease) agreement to its termination

  • Q

    Can we convert our ownership of a car into a lease agreement?

    • A

      When the "leaseback system" is used, we will purchase any of the vehicles you own at their book value and then you can continue to use them as leased vehicles.

  • Q

    Can the lease period be selected?

    • A

      Customers can choose a period that is economically efficient for them according to their internal regulations, the model, use and number of years a vehicle has been used, and the automobile inspection cycle.
      * However, there are some limitations mandated by tax law.

  • Q

    What happens when the lease period ends?

    • A

      A customer can continue to use a car after entering a re-lease agreement for one or two years, or switch to a new car by entering a new lease agreement. If a car is no longer necessary, then when the auto lease period ends, the customer returns the car to our company.

  • Q

    What are the precautions in returning vehicles when the lease period ends?

    • A

      • When a car is returned, in principle, the dealer delivering a loaner car or a transport company will pick the car up.
      • After checking that the automobile inspection certificate, compulsory auto liability insurance certificate, maintenance notebook, jack, and spare tire are in the car, hand the car over to the transport company.
      • In the case that a contracted vehicle includes studless tires (winter tires), please load the stored radial tires (summer tires) or studless tires (winter tires) into the vehicle upon its return. However, if a special provision for tire storage is included, then we will dispose of the stored tires when the lease is completed or prematurely terminated.
      • Please be careful of leaving gasoline cards, business cards, or any other items behind. It will be very difficult to find such items after a vehicle is returned.
      • Leased vehicles must be returned in good condition without any damage.
  • Q

    Can a lease agreement be terminated before it ends?

    • A

      In principle, customers cannot prematurely terminate agreements.
      However, if a car is a total loss because of an accident or on any other unavoidable grounds, then an agreement can be terminated by having the customer pay a premature termination fee.

Lease fees

  • Q

    How are the lease fees determined for vehicle leases (auto lease)?

    • A

      Lease fees are calculated according to the vehicle type, special specifications, options, insurance contents (insurance premiums, discounts, etc.), and maintenance contents, and also according to the industry of the company, the purpose of using the vehicle, and the effect on the remaining value of the vehicle after the intended use. The final amount is reached together with the customer after considering many other conditions, such as the length of the lease agreement, the lease agreement type (if it is a maintenance lease or a finance lease), etc. Therefore, it can be said that there is no fixed price for a lease since the lease fee is calculated in each instance from the conditions set by the customer, and the lease fee may differ even if the same model of car is leased for the same period.

  • Q

    Can lease fees be changed during the lease period?

    • A

      We will not change the lease fee for reasons of our own.
      However, if an additional fee is expected because of any of the following reasons, we will send an invoice for the difference.

      • If a vehicle is modified or items are added for reasons required by the customer and we have authorized those changes.
      • If there is a significant change to the costs that make up the lease fee due to changes in specifications, maintenance, need for additional parts, etc. because of changes in laws.
      • When there are changes to the initial maintenance items within a maintenance agreement.
      • When there are changes to the initial agreement conditions, such as regarding automobile taxes, automobile insurance, compulsory auto liability insurance, etc.
      • When the lease agreement period is changed.
  • Q

    How are lease fees determined when re-leasing?

    • A

      The various costs involved in a re-lease will be the foundation for calculating the re-lease fee.
      Specifically, the following are some of the items that come into consideration.

      • Vehicle value at the time of re-leasing (remaining value on the previous contract - the remaining value on the re-leasing contract).
      • Various automobile taxes during the re-leasing period.
      • Automobile insurance fees
      • Maintenance and management expenses

      Note that because maintenance and management expenses generally increase with the age of a vehicle, there are instances when the lease fee is lower for a new vehicle.

Contract procedures and changing contents

  • Q

    Are there any special requirements when changing the location where a leased vehicle is used?

    • A

      Please contact us beforehand because changes will have to be made to the lease agreement contents and maintenance workshop in charge of the vehicle. Moreover, because of the Parking Space Act and Road Transport Vehicle Act, the user will have to secure a new parking space and change the registration address in the automobile inspection certificate.
      【Click the following for details】

      Transport and Registration Modification Services

  • Q

    When entering a lease agreement, is a parking space certificate required?

    • A

      As is the case with a normal purchase, when leasing a vehicle with a vehicle lease (auto lease), a parking space certificate is required when registering the vehicle. We ask that customers secure an appropriate parking space.

Maintenance and handling accidents

  • Q

    Who should be contacted about maintenance and questions about accidents?

  • Q

    Where should we have leased vehicles inspected?

    • A

      Vehicles for which a maintenance lease agreement was signed will be inspected at the maintenance workshop that has been assigned in the agreement. Customers simply have to deliver their vehicle lease (auto lease) vehicle to the shop for inspections covered in maintenance agreements. With respect to finance lease agreement vehicles, customers will have to arrange for their own inspections.

  • Q

    If we enter a maintenance lease agreement, which maintenance workshop can be used?

    • A

      We will introduce customers to recommended maintenance workshop that meet our standards after considering the location where the car is used, the type of vehicle, etc.

  • Q

    What should we do when there is a vehicle break down or an accident at a remote location, on a Saturday, holiday, or at night?

    • A

      Customers who have signed a maintenance lease agreement should call the toll-free service number when there is an emergency.
      We will direct them to an maintenance workshop, dealer garage, road service, or another service that is nearby.
      For emergencies on highways, please use the dedicated emergency telephones and follow the directions of the operator.

  • Q

    Does the maintenance service include supplying loaner vehicles?

    • A

      The conditions for providing a loaner vehicle depend on the contents of the agreement.
      We have a huge loaner vehicle menu that can meet our customers' needs.
      【Click the following for details】

      Composition of Maintenance Services

  • Q

    Can we have off-season tires stored?

    • A

      We have a special provision for tire storage services. When it is time for a change, the tires will be delivered to the maintenance workshop in charge of your leased vehicle. This service helps customers to have less tire management work and lower tire storage costs.
      (* This service is a special provision of the Maintenance Lease Service or Maintenance Management Service.)
      【Click the following for details】

      Tire Storage Service

  • Q

    Are there any ways to reduce the number of traffic accidents which our vehicles are involved in ?

    • A

      In order to establish a safe driving management system and achieve effective results that meet the accident conditions of a customer, we will analyze the current management system. We will provide comprehensive accident reducing support by providing the best of a wide range of solution tools.
      【Click the following for details】

      Security and Safety Services

Insurance

  • Q

    If we switch to a lease agreement, what happens to our existing insurance company and insurance agent?

    • A

      We recommend using the insurance agents that we designate because they are able to rapidly cope with the creation of accident reducing plans and they have an organization that can handle accidents nationwide. However, we will be flexible for any individual needs.

  • Q

    Are car insurance superior discounts and non-fleet class rates still applicable after switching to a lease agreement?

    • A

      For fleet agreements, any superior discounts that are currently applied will be applied even when switching to leased vehicles. Even if a lease company becomes the insured party, the customer that is contracted with us will have their superior discount applied.
      In the case of non-fleet vehicles, when switching to a leased vehicle, in principle, currently applied non-fleet class rates will be applied if the new vehicle is used for the same purpose and is the same model.

Miscellaneous

  • Q

    Can you take the existing vehicles that we own off our hands?

    • A

      We will buy any surplus vehicles that a customer does not need. We will resell them after removing any company names, logos, etc. After completing such transactions, we will provide a copy of the automobile inspection certificate after the ownership has been transferred.
      【Click the following for details】

      Preowned Car Buying Service

  • Q

    Can forklifts also be leased?

    • A

      We also lease forklifts. Forklifts require inspection specified by the Industrial Safety and Health Act and operating licenses so that it is necessary to create a management system that is just as strict as that for cars. We were the first company in our industry to make a support system that is similar to that for vehicle leases (auto leases). We also have made an maintenance workshop network with manufacturer sales companies throughout Japan.
      【Click the following for details】

      Forklift Maintenance Lease

  • Q

    We would like to start a vehicle lease (auto lease) business. How should we start?

    • A

      Sumitomo Mitsui Auto Service is recruiting agents throughout Japan. We will help you start your vehicle lease (auto lease) business with a complete support system and help back up your operations.
      【Click the following for details】

      Starting a Lease Agency

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