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How to Lease an RV

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How to Lease an RV
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Perhaps you’re interested in RV ownership, but want to try before you buy. You can’t lease an RV the same way you can lease a sedan, but you can rent one. Although auto rentals are usually short-term, it’s possible to rent all types of recreational vehicles — motor homes to pop-up trailers to camper trucks — for months. Renting an RV, long or short term, may be a great idea as RV prices and ownership tend to be high. But you should be aware that RV rental costs vary and you may have to plunk down a deposit before going on a road trip.

Why can you rent but not lease an RV?

Depreciation is the wrench that stops RV leasing from being feasible. Like most passenger vehicles, RVs lose about 20% of their value in the first year. Unlike most passenger vehicles, motorized RVs have an average price around $100,000, which makes that 20% depreciation add up to a lot of money.

Depreciation slows after the first year, so the RV may have lost a total of 28-40% of its value by the time it’s three years old. For a $100,000 RV, a 30% depreciation means you would have paid $30,000 in three years to lease it, plus taxes, which could put your monthly payment around $900, and you’d walk away with no equity.

Some of the reasons RVs depreciate so sharply include:

  • Short warranties. Some RV companies only offer a one-year warranty on their products.
  • Wear and tear. Both living in and driving an RV around might make a new RV feel used quickly.
  • Low resale price. This is what really determines depreciation; something is only worth as much as people will pay for it.

Why rent an RV?

Renting an RV may be a great option to only pay for an RV when you use it, rather than buying it and using it occasionally or buying it only to find out it doesn’t suit your needs.

Cost-efficiency
RVs typically cost a pretty penny. The average price of a towable RV is around $35,000 with motor homes running around $100,000, according to Kevin Broom, spokesperson for the RV Industry Association. And besides the sticker price, you’ll have to pay for maintenance, insurance and, most likely, taxes and registration fees. So if you know you’ll only use an RV for a couple weeks out of the year, why pay to have an RV for the whole year or multiple years? Rather than committing to thousands of dollars, you’ll probably commit a few hundred by renting an RV.

Experimentation
There are dozens of RV types and brands, along with tons of layouts and styles. If you are new to the RV lifestyle and don’t know if you’d rather drive or tow one, how much room you need for your family, how well you can handle driving a large or small one or you just want to experiment with a new model, renting may be a smart option so you can figure out what you like before you consider buying one.

What’s the cheapest way to rent an RV?

The absolute cheapest way to rent an RV is to do a relocation rental, which is when an RV rental company needs to transfer inventory and rather than pay a professional driver, they are willing to rent it out for close to dirt-cheap so you could drive it to the new location for them.

What are the pros of RV relocation rentals?
You could net some serious savings doing an RV relocation rental rather than doing a regular RV rental.

  • Price. While a price around $120 a night is normal for typical RV renting, RV relocation rental prices trend at $1 a night.
  • Fuel allowance. Some relocation deals have a $100 fuel allowance to offset what you spend on gas or diesel.
  • Popular sites. The RV rental company is probably transferring inventory to a popular location, which may mean that your route has some noteworthy vistas and stops along the way or at the destination itself.

What are the cons of RV relocation rentals?
There’s no such thing as a free lunch, so the saying goes. The cheapest way to rent an RV does have its downsides.

  • One-way trips. Unless you find a second RV relocation deal that lets you go back the way you came within the window of time that you’ll be at the drop-off point, you’ll need to find your own way home.
  • Additional costs. You will probably have to pay out of pocket for things like transportation to and from the RV pickup and drop-off sites, as well as extra mileage fees, campsite fees, extra insurance and add-ons such as linen kits.
  • Short notice. Many of the best deals are only posted a few days ahead of when you would need to take your RV vacation, which could make it harder to plan.
  • Limited time. Of course, the RV needs to reach its destination in time. Depending on the deal you choose, you may or may not have any extra days built into the time in which you have to transfer the RV.

What are other RV rental considerations?

Where could I find an RV rental service?
RV rental companies that offer both regular RV rentals and relocation RV rental deals include Imoova, Apollo, Jucy, Road Bear and Cruise America. You could also check out peer-to-peer sites, such as RVshare, where private owners rent out their rigs. Kampgrounds of America, the world’s largest system of public campgrounds, offers a directory of RV rentals by state.

When should I look for an RV rental?
The most popular time for RV rentals is in the summer. If you are considering a traditional RV rental, that’s when prices will probably be at their highest due to demand. If you are considering doing an RV relocation rental, that’s probably when there will be the most opportunities.

What should I consider when renting an RV?
Whether you do a relocation rental or not, here are some things you should think about when selecting an RV to rent.

Size. Depending on how many people are traveling with you, you may only need an RV that can sleep two or an RV that can sleep six.
Drivers. How many people will drive the RV? Will a couple of drivers take turns? If more than one person will drive, there may be an extra fee. And some RV rental companies require that all drivers be above 21 or 25 years old.
Pets. Check to see if you are allowed to bring your pet along with you on your RV trip. If you are allowed, an extra cleaning fee may apply for any mess caused by the pet. If not, you may need to find a pet boarding service or a pet sitter while you are away.
Campsites. Do you want to pay to use an RV campsite that could offer full hookups and Wi-Fi or will you boondock and depend solely on the RV’s resources like the water reservoir and electrical generator? If you want to boondock, you need to make sure the RV you select is capable of it. If you plan to stay at an RV campsite or park, you’ll probably want to make reservations ahead of time.
Add-ons. Will you bring your own things from cookware and sheets and towels to RV-friendly toilet paper, or will you need to pay for them as add-ons to your rental?

Is a long-term or short-term RV rental better?
The more time you spend in an RV, the more it’s going to cost, of course. RV rental companies and campsites typically charge per day. But the answer to this really depends on your budget and where you want to go. If you have never used an RV before, we would suggest a shorter trip of a few days before you sign on and spend the money to use an RV for a few months.

What’s the cheapest way to buy an RV?

If you think RV ownership is a better bet, but still aren’t ready to commit to a big sticker price, the cheapest way to buy an RV is to buy used. And if you need an RV loan, you should shop around for the loan, just as would shop around for the RV. Potential lenders could include your bank, credit union or online lender. It does not hurt your credit to apply to multiple lenders for a loan any more than it would to apply to one, as long as you do so within a 14-day window.

The bottom line

Leasing an RV is not an option, but there are plenty of ways to rent one. The cheapest way to rent an RV is to sign up for a relocation rental as daily fees are extremely low and possible added incentives like fuel reimbursement. When choosing an RV rental, keep in mind of additional costs, such as transportation to and from the RV pickup and drop-off sites. If you’re ready to buy an RV, do your research and shop around for an RV loan so you get the best deal.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Jenn Jones
Jenn Jones |

Jenn Jones is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Jenn at [email protected]

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Auto Loan, Reviews

Review: Wells Fargo Auto Loan

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Wells Fargo Auto Loan

If it’s time to get a new or used car, it’s time to do your research. Perhaps you’ve picked out the car of your dreams and you want to figure out the best way to pay for it.

When it comes to financing a vehicle, you have a ton of choices. Wells Fargo, founded in 1852, is one of many places to consider getting an auto loan from.

Wells Fargo Auto, a division of Wells Fargo Bank, serves more than 3 million auto loan customers throughout the United States.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo offers new and used vehicle financing through its network of 11,000 active car dealerships, but it’s possible to apply with the bank directly if you’re interested in financing outside of the dealership or refinancing an existing auto loan. You could also use a Wells Fargo personal line of credit or loan to buy a car from a private seller or buy out your leased vehicle, but you may have to pay an annual fee or origination fee. A home equity loan or line of credit is another possibility but puts your home at risk should you default on your car payments.

It’s worth noting that Wells Fargo continues to compensate auto loan customers who were charged for insurance they didn’t need or add-ons after their car loans were repaid or their vehicles repossessed. The bank’s redress program came after a December 2018 settlement with attorneys general from all 50 states calling for $422 million to be repaid to auto loan customers.

Wells Fargo: At a glance

  • Loan terms up to 72 months
  • Loan amounts between $5,000 and $100,000 for new and used auto loans.

Because a majority of Wells Fargo’s loans are through dealerships, what’s known as indirect lending, you may not know your exact rate or terms until you apply through a dealership. A Wells Fargo spokesperson said rates are based on a number of factors, including the borrower’s credit history. While the best rates and terms tend to go to those with the best credit, it’s possible to be approved with less-than-stellar scores at Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo also offers loans for those looking for specialty vehicles like motorcycles or recreational vehicles. Existing customers may be eligible for a discount if they use autopay to make their vehicle payments from a Wells Fargo consumer checking account.

A closer look at Wells Fargo auto loans

Highlights of Wells Fargo auto loans

  • Multiple ways to pay: You could make your car payment through the bank’s online eServices function, automatic loan payments or at any Wells Fargo branch.
  • APR discount: Wells Fargo offers a 0.25% discount for existing customers who use a consumer checking account to make automatic payments on its car loans.

Lowlights of a Wells Fargo auto loan

  • Mix of direct and indirect loans: While it’s possible to apply directly through Wells Fargo for an auto loan, most of its auto lending is through dealerships.
  • Negative press: In addition to fines Wells Fargo has had to pay in regards to its auto loan customers, it has been fined for the way it treated mortgage customers as well. In all, the bank has agreed to pay billions in settlements and consent orders.

How to apply

As we’ve already mentioned, most customers apply through one of 11,000 dealerships in the Wells Fargo network. But applying outside of the dealership is possible — a Wells Fargo spokesperson said customers may call or visit a branch for more options. It’s possible to apply for a refinance loan online, in person or by calling 800-289-8004. We’ll talk more about refinance loans in more detail, below.

Here’s what the bank will want to know about you and your car:

  • Personal information: Address, contact information, date of birth and Social Security number.
  • Country of citizenship information
  • Marital status (Wisconsin only)
  • Housing information: Whether you rent or own and for how much as well as information about previous recent addresses
  • Income information: Your occupation, gross monthly income and previous employer
  • Information about your car: Year, VIN, mileage and remaining loan balance. You can find out your remaining loan balance by calling your current lender.

The fine print on an auto refinance loan

The only way to make sure you’re getting the best deal on a loan for a new car or to refinance the one you have is to shop around. Make sure a refinance really is in your best interest and that you understand Wells Fargo’s criteria before you sign:

  • Minimum loan amount of $7,500
  • Co-signers allowed
  • Not offered in Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, North Dakota or Washington, D.C.
  • May be difficult to get approved if your vehicle has more than 100,000 miles or is 8 years or older.

Once you have applied, Wells Fargo will contact you by phone, mail or email. You’ll have the option of signing and returning the loan package by mail or finishing the process online.

Who is a Wells Fargo auto loan best for?

Wells Fargo auto loans can be a good fit for those in the market for a new or used vehicle, or folks looking to refinance a current loan. It may be the best option for existing Wells Fargo customers looking to refinance — it’s possible to apply directly through the bank, online and, if you’re willing to make auto payments, you may score a lower interest rate.

A Wells Fargo auto loan might be good for anyone shopping for a new or used car as well, but the only way to make sure you’re getting the best rate, particularly if it’s one offered through the dealership, is by comparing it with your preapproval offer from another bank, credit union or online lender.

A Wells Fargo auto loan is not a good fit for anyone interested in a private party auto loan. For those, look to competitors such as Lightstream, Bank of America or a credit union.

Lindsay Martell contributed to this report.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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Have a question to ask or a story to share? Contact the MagnifyMoney team at [email protected]

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Auto Loan, Reviews

Review: Bank of America Auto Loan

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Bank of America Auto Loan

The history of Bank of America dates back to more than two centuries, but that doesn’t mean its banking services are stuck in the past. In recent years, Bank of America has modernized its service offers by adding mobile auto lending services that allows buyers to choose a car and a car loan in one place. Yes, you can apply for its loans in person at a branch or over the phone, but it’s hard to beat the speed and convenience of applying from home or anywhere you use your smartphone.

According to Bank of America, you could receive a loan decision within 60 seconds of applying, which is about as fast an approval as you can get from any lender, whether in person or online. But don’t be so quick to gloss over the details. While you may get approval decision within a minute, you might not be getting your lowest rates. Bank of America offers competitive rates for new car financing and a discount for certain customers, but other lenders may be able to beat Bank of America when it comes to used car loans and refinancing.

About Bank of America

Bank of America’s online auto buying experience starts when you submit an electronic application through its website where you have the option to use your loan approval to shop for and buy your car through Bank of America’s network of participating dealerships. Once you get your loan approval you can visit the Bank of America website or use the banking app to search a national inventory of more than one million cars, then visit dealerships for test drives and to finish the paperwork.

You can also use a Bank of America loan to buy a vehicle outside of the network. The bank offers loans for:

For specific rates for used and new cars as well as loans you could use to refinance your existing car or to buy out your leased vehicle, see the chart below.

Bank of America: At a glance

  • Loan amounts starting at $7,500
  • Terms between 12 and 60 months

Bank of America offers a wide variety of loans, but its loans aren’t available for specialty vehicles such as motorcycles or RVs. Financing is available to residents of all 50 U.S. states who borrow a minimum of $7,500 ($8,000 in Minnesota), but it can’t be used to buy cars that are over 10 years old or with more than 125,000 miles.

Advertised rates for new car loans are comparatively low, but to find the lowest APR for your loan you’ll need to do some comparison shopping. Rates vary depending on what kind of purchase you’re making, where you shop and the condition of your credit, with the lowest rates available for buyers with excellent credit when they purchase a new car from a dealer. Bank of America advertises much higher rates for private party purchases.

Compare Auto Loans
 New from dealerUsed from dealerUsed from private party*RefinanceLease buyout*
Bank of America3.19%3.39%5.99%3.99%4.19%
Chase4.24%4.24%N/A4.89%N/A
LightStream3.99%3.99%4.99%3.99%4.99%
*Bank of America lease buyout and private party loan rates are current as of Sept. 18, 2019.

If you bank with Bank of America or have an investment account with its wealth management subsidiary, Merrill, you may be eligible for lower rates. Preferred Rewards members get a rate discount at 0.25% for Gold members, 0.35% for Platinum members and 0.50% for Platinum Honors members.

Your eligibility for Preferred Rewards is based on the average asset balances held by Bank of America and/or Merrill over the three months prior to your application, with a minimum average balance requirement of $20,000. You can enroll for free to see if you’re eligible.

A closer look at Bank of America auto loans

Advantages of Bank of America auto loans

  • Loan approval offers lock in your terms for 30 days. That gives you time to shop around and find the car you want.
  • No application or origination fees, unlike some other lenders.
  • No prepayment penalty, meaning you can pay off your loan early and potentially save on interest charges without being penalized.

Disadvantages of Bank of America auto loan

  • Other lenders’ rate discounts may be easier to qualify for than the Preferred Rewards’ discount. PenFed Credit Union, for example, offers a discount to customers who use its car buying service, which can mean new car loan rates as low as 1.49%*.
  • Loan preapproval isn’t available. That means you’ll likely have to take a hard inquiry into your credit, and possibly lose a few points from your credit scores, just to see the loan terms you’re being offered. However, it’s always a good idea to compare auto loan rates and applying to multiple lenders doesn’t hurt your credit any more than it does to apply to one, as long as you do so within a 14-day window.

How to apply for a Bank of America auto loan

Completing an application online is a straightforward process, and if you’re already a bank member you can choose to have some of the application prefilled. Whether you apply online, in person or over the phone by calling 844-892-6002, you’ll need to submit the following information to complete an application:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Social Security number
  • Employment information
  • Income
  • U.S. citizenship status
  • Email address

You may be asked to submit some of the following information to complete your application, if applicable:

  • Purchase agreement/bill of sale
  • Registration
  • Title
  • Vehicle make, model and year
  • Mileage
  • VIN number
  • Lease buyout instructions
  • Proof of income
  • Federal tax returns
  • W-2s

To apply in person, you can make an appointment through the website or walk into a bank branch and talk to a representative. Setting an appointment allows you to avoid waiting and helps ensure a specialist will be prepared with the information you need.

Once you’ve submitted your application, loan decisions are quick. Even if further review is needed after you submit your application, you’ll receive an email with your decision by the end of the following business day.

The fine print

  • Loans are only for cars purchased through franchise dealerships or private parties, which does not include independent dealerships except for CarMax, Hertz Car Sales, Enterprise Car Sales and Carvana.
  • If you apply online, you’ll get the details of your approval via email. Make sure to look them over, including interest rates and repayment terms for new versus used car purchases, before you begin car shopping.
  • Loans are available with payment terms lasting up to 60 months. While a longer term can lower your monthly payment, it can cost a lot more in interest charges. Make sure to do the math before agreeing to a long-term repayment.

Who is a Bank of America auto loan best for?

Savvy car shoppers know that using bank or credit union-backed financing for an auto purchase is generally a better option than going through a dealership. But it can be difficult to arrange bank financing and complete a car purchase without putting in the time to contact several different lenders and visit multiple lots.

If you want the security of financing with a large bank with branches around the country, or even from your pre-existing Bank of America account profile, Bank of America auto loans might be the solution for you. They offer some of the same perks as dealership financing, allowing you to apply for a loan and shop for a car, all within the same platform.

But some extra legwork usually pays off: Comparing rates with other banks, plus credit unions and online lenders is the only way to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.

*Rate and offer current as of June 1, 2019 and are subject to change. Promotional rate is not available to refinance existing PenFed car loans. Terms apply.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Sarah Brady
Sarah Brady |

Sarah Brady is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Sarah here