Key takeaways

  • Semi trucks can cost as much as $200,000, making it hard for some businesses to purchase one without a loan
  • The terms of a semi-truck loan depend on the type of lender, your creditworthiness and the type of truck
  • Semi-truck financing interest rates often range from 7 percent to 35 percent

Semi trucks are one of the most effective ways to move goods from one place to another, but they can be incredibly expensive. Whether you’re starting a commercial shipping company, buying a semi truck so you can take on jobs for other companies or buying a truck to move your own business’s goods, paying cash for one could be difficult.

That’s why many people use semi-truck financing to help them afford the expense. If you’re considering taking out a loan, here’s a look at the factors that will play a role in how much you pay.

Semi-truck costs

The price you pay for a semi truck will depend on a few factors. Like any vehicle, semi trucks are made by different companies, and you can purchase standard or high-end models. There are also used semi trucks available for purchase.

On the low end, you can expect to spend about $70,000 for a new semi truck. You could spend $155,000 to $200,000 or more to get a high-end model from a well-known brand.

Buying used can help you save money, but you’ll need to do your due diligence to ensure the truck is in good shape and has been properly maintained. You can find used trucks for about half the price of new ones, depending on their age.

Lease vs. own

Another consideration for people who need a semi truck is whether they should lease or own their vehicle.

Semi-truck loans are a type of equipment loan used to purchase a commercial vehicle. Leasing involves renting a truck from another company. You’ll pay a monthly fee to use the vehicle. Usually, that fee will be less than you’d pay to buy it. You also may not be responsible for the full maintenance of the truck. But depending on the type of semi-truck lease, you’ll have to give the truck back once the lease ends and you don’t build any equity in the vehicle.

How much is a semi-truck monthly payment?

Buying a truck means higher monthly payments, but eventually, you’ll pay the truck loan off and own it. That means you can continue using it without a monthly payment. You can also sell it to recoup some of the cost. The cost of your monthly semi-truck payment will depend on the terms of your loan. You can use a business loan calculator to estimate how much your monthly payment will be. 

Leasing a new truck can cost between $1,600 and $2,500 a month, while leasing used trucks costs about half that much. Leases may also come with mileage limits. You’ll pay a per-mile fee if you exceed the limit, which is often around 12,000 to 15,000 miles a year.

Age of semi truck

If you’re buying a used semi truck, the vehicle’s age can greatly impact its price. Generally, older trucks will cost less than newer ones. But older vehicles are more likely to have maintenance and repair issues and won’t last as long.

Additionally, some lenders won’t offer loans if you’re looking at a truck that’s too old. Some may only offer loans on trucks less than ten years old.

In addition to their lower price, used trucks have the benefit of losing less value soon after purchase than new vehicles, which depreciate quickly. They also cost less to insure, and there may be more data on whether they’re reliable.


As with any loan, your credit score will impact your ability to finance a truck and how much the financing will cost.

If you have strong credit, you’ll have little trouble finding a lender and can secure the lowest rates, usually around 6%. Business owners with lower credit scores will have to pay more: Interest rates can reach 30% or higher to finance a truck. Semi-truck financing for startups can also have higher costs since new businesses haven’t had enough time to build business credit.

Bad credit business loans also come with more or higher loan fees. Factors outside of your credit score, such as your income and current debt, will also play a role in your ability to find a loan.

Can you finance a semi truck with bad credit?

Yes, it’s possible to finance a semi truck, even if you have bad credit. One of the primary reasons for this is that semi-truck financing is a type of secured loan. The truck you purchase serves as collateral for the loan, reducing the lender’s risk. If you default on the loan, the lender can repossess the truck to recoup its losses.

To finance a semi truck with bad credit, use these tips:

Offer a larger down payment The more cash you put down, the less risk the lender takes, making qualifying easier.
Offer more collateral If you have other assets, you can offer those as collateral in addition to the truck.
Get a co-signer If someone with good credit offers to cosign on your loan, that can help improve your application’s chances.
Buy from a dealer Dealers are usually more willing to work with people that have bad credit than lenders.

Loan term

The term of your semi truck loan will impact how much the loan costs. Typical semi-truck loans last anywhere from one to five years, but it’s possible to find lenders offering term lengths of seven years or longer.

Shorter terms mean higher monthly payments but will be cheaper in the long run because there’s less time for interest to accrue. Conversely, long terms mean lower monthly payments, which can make the loan more manageable, but the tradeoff is higher overall costs.

Banks and traditional lenders often offer long-term loans, while online lenders tend to offer shorter terms. 

Shorter terms mean higher monthly payments but will be cheaper in the long run because there’s less time for interest to accrue. Conversely, long terms mean lower monthly payments, which can make the loan more manageable, but the tradeoff is higher overall costs.

Bankrate insight
Some of the best semi-truck financing comes from online lenders and direct lenders. Your options include: 




Semi-truck financing average interest rates range from 7 percent to 35 percent. That said, the interest rate may exceed 35 percent, depending on your credit score, time in business and the lender you select. 

Some semi-truck loans have factor rates instead of interest rates. While interest rates are expressed as a percentage, factor rates are expressed as a decimal. Factor rates are charged upfront, so early repayment will not impact the amount you owe. For example, a loan of $10,000 with a 1.25 factor rate would result in a total repayment amount of $12,500. Factor rates are more common in alternative lending. 


Like many loans, semi-truck financing often comes with fees. These fees may seem small, but the more fees added to a loan, the bigger the impact on your business’s bottom line. Here’s a look at some common business loan fees to watch out for.

Origination fee A fee charged when the lender disburses the loan funds, usually 0.5% to 8% of the loan amount.
Application fee A fee charged when you apply for the loan. May cost $0 to $50.
Credit check fee A fee for checking your credit. May cost $0 to $75.
Appraisal fee The cost to appraise the truck or other collateral and make sure it is sufficient to secure the loan.
Underwriting fee This fee covers the cost of determining whether to approve your loan.
Sales tax This is a tax charged by your local government and will depend on where you live.
Registration fee This is a fee paid to register your vehicle in your home state. This can range from a few hundred to a bit over $1,000.

Down payment

When you get a loan to buy a semi truck, many lenders require a down payment of 10 percent to 20 percent. This is an amount that you pay upfront when buying a truck. For example, if you’re purchasing a $100,000 vehicle, you might offer a 20 percent down payment, or $20,000, and borrow $80,000 to pay for the rest.

Higher down payments can make it easier to qualify for a loan and help reduce the cost of borrowing. Of course, higher down payments also mean you need more cash upfront.

Bottom line

The best semi-truck loan offers a convenient way to buy a necessity for your business while preserving cash flow. Consider your options, such as buying a used truck or leasing, to see if one of those lower-cost options makes more sense. Then, take the time to shop around and compare lenders to make sure you get the best possible deal.

Frequently asked questions

  • There are pros and cons to financing versus paying cash. It’s all about choosing what makes sense for you. Financing is more expensive but lets you buy the truck sooner or keep more cash on hand for other purchases. Paying cash will save you money and help you avoid adding a monthly payment to your budget, but you have to have a lot of cash to buy a truck outright.
  • Semi-truck financing terms usually range from 1 to 5 years, though some lenders will finance for seven or more years for trucks.
  • Some lenders will let you finance a truck without a commercial driver’s license, while others will require you to have a CDL and some experience in driving trucks.