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Best commercial vehicles

Learn more about the best brands of commercial vehicles and find out how you can finance one.

There is no single commercial vehicle that fits all business needs. The choice you make will ultimately depend on what’s best for your industry and financial situation. Find out more about some of the best commercial vehicles on the market, and learn how you can finance one to meet your business needs.

What is a commercial vehicle?

A commercial vehicle is any vehicle that you use for business purposes. This can include activities such as moving goods, delivering food, transporting passengers, meeting clients, travelling to business events or using your vehicle for other commercial functions.

You can rent, purchase or lease a commercial vehicle. There are many types of commercial vehicles and financing available, depending on your business needs.

What types of commercial vehicles can I get?

You can get several types of commercial vehicles depending on what you need for your business. These include light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles.

Examples of light-duty commercial vehicles

  • Car
  • Pick-up truck
  • Van
  • Taxi

Examples of heavy-duty commercial vehicles

  • Semi
  • Dump truck
  • Cement truck
  • Tow truck
  • Food truck
  • Loader
  • Flatbed truck
  • Trailer

What are the best commercial vehicles in 2021?

The following models and brands are known for being some of the best commercial vehicles in 2021:

Best light-duty commercial vehicles (model)
  • Best for fuel efficiency: Honda Insight or Toyota Corolla
  • Best for safety rating: Mazda 3 or Honda Insight
  • Best for large storage capacity: Honda HR-V LX or Mazda CX-5
  • Best for rideshare services: Honda Civic or BMW 5-Series
  • Best for fuel efficiency: Ford Ranger or RAM 1500
  • Best for safety rating: Honda Ridgeline or Ford F-150
  • Best for off-roading: Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro or Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
  • Best for towing capacity: Ford Super Duty F-450 or GMC Sierra 3500HD
  • Best for fuel efficiency: Chrysler Pacifica or Honda Odyssey
  • Best for safety rating: Toyota Sienna or Chrysler Voyager
  • Best for large storage capacity: Toyota Sienna or Honda Odyssey
  • Best for rideshare services: Toyota Sienna or Ford Transit 150
Best heavy-duty commercial vehicles (brands)
Semis, dump trucks and flatbed trucks
  • Freightliner
  • Peterbilt
  • Kenworth
  • Volvo
  • International
  • GMC
Tow trucks
  • Century
  • Holmes
  • Vulcan
  • Challenger
  • Chevron
  • Champion
Loaders and other heavy equipment
  • Caterpillar
  • John Deere
  • Volvo

What are my commercial vehicle financing options?

There are many different types of commercial vehicle financing available depending on what you want:

1. Financing for light-duty commercial vehicles

Commercial car loan

  • How it works: A commercial car loan uses your vehicle as collateral to secure your loan.
  • How much can I borrow: You’ll usually be able to borrow the full amount of your commercial vehicle.
  • Best for: Good fit for borrowers who want to use their vehicle as collateral to secure their loan.

Unsecured loan

  • How it works: Unsecured loans let you borrow a lump sum of money without collateral. They usually require a decent credit score and regular income.
  • How much can I borrow: You may be able to borrow anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000, depending on what type of commercial vehicle you want.
  • Best for: People who have decent credit and want to borrow less than $50,000.

Commercial line of credit

  • How it works: Your lender will give you a “wallet” of money to spend from and you’ll only pay commercial vehicle finance interest rates on what you take out.
  • How much can I borrow: You may be able to borrow anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000 to pay for all or a portion of your commercial vehicle.
  • Best for: Borrowers who want a rotating pool of funds to cover cheaper commercial vehicles such as a used car or truck.

2. Financing for heavy-duty commercial vehicles

Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBFP) loans

  • How it works: CSBFP loans let you borrow money that’s backed by the Canadian government to buy a commercial vehicle.
  • How much can I borrow: You may be eligible to borrow up to $350,000.
  • Best for: Suitable for people who need to borrow larger amounts to pay for commercial fleets of vehicles or heavy duty vehicles such as loaders, semis or flatbed trucks.

Heavy vehicle loans

  • How it works: This type of financing lets you borrow money specifically to pay for large trucks and other heavy equipment.
  • How much can I borrow: You can borrow up to 80% of your truck or equipment’s value, sometimes more.
  • Best for: Solid option for business owners who want to borrow money to purchase large equipment such as semis, trucks, loaders, trailers or food trucks.

Asset-based loans

  • How it works: These loans let you use your business assets as collateral to secure the money you borrow to buy commercial vehicles.
  • How much can I borrow: A lender may grant up to 90% of the face value of your assets to fund your commercial vehicle loan.
  • Best for: Best for business owners who already own equipment, vehicles or commercial real estate that they can borrow against.

Compare business loans to purchase a commercial vehicle

1 - 3 of 3
Name Product Interest Rate Loan Amount Loan Term Minimum Revenue Minimum Time in Business Loans Offered
OnDeck Business Loan
8.00% – 29.00%
$5,000 - $300,000
6 - 18 months
6+ months
Secured Term, Line of Credit, Merchant Cash Advance
To be eligible, you must have been in business for at least 6 months with a minimum annual gross revenue of $100,000.

OnDeck offers fast and simple financing. Apply in less than 10 minutes with your basic business information and see your loan offers without hurting your credit score. Get approved within 1 business day, and choose your term, amount and payback schedule once approved.
Loans Canada Business Loan
6.60% - 29.00%
$4,000 - $500,000
3 - 60 months
over $10,000/month
100 days
Unsecured Term
To be eligible, you must have been in business for at least 100 days, have a Canadian business bank account and show a minimum of $10,000 in monthly deposits ($120,000/year).

Loans Canada connects Canadian small business owners to lenders offering financing up to $500,000. Complete one simple online application and get matched with your loan options.
Merchant Growth Business Loan
12.99% - 39.99%
$5,000 - $500,000
3 - 12 months
$10,000 /month
6 months
Unsecured Term, Line of Credit, Merchant Cash Advance
To be eligible, you must have been in business for at least 6 months and have a minimum of $10,000 in monthly sales.

Merchant Growth offers financing tailored to business needs. It specializes in providing capital based on future cash flows, but it also offers fixed solutions. Fill out an application within 5 minutes and get your funds within 24 hours.

Can I get commercial vehicle financing with bad credit?

You can get commercial vehicle financing with bad credit, but you’ll need to be ready to accept interest rates that are extremely high in some cases. Your ability to qualify may also depend on personal factors such as your business revenue, personal income and business assets.

Can I lease a commercial vehicle instead of financing?

If you’re not sure about buying a commercial vehicle, you may want to consider leasing. Leasing lets you make payments to “rent” a vehicle in the long-term. You’ll usually agree to take the lease over for a certain period of time (typically 3-5 years).

You’ll make payments on the lease as if it were a loan, but you’ll return the vehicle to the dealership at the end of your lease instead of owning it. This may be a good option if you plan to continuously update your commercial vehicles or equipment.

Buying vs leasing a commercial vehicle

Buying a vehicleLeasing a vehicle
Typical initial costUsually requires a down payment of around 10% to 20% of the cost of the vehicle.May require you to make a deposit of the first month’s payment.
OwnershipYou own the car as soon as you pay for it using commercial vehicle financing.Your business may be able to buy the car after your lease is up for a large balloon payment.
Tax benefitsYou’ll usually be able to claim your commercial vehicle expenses on your taxes.Your business can deduct part of what was paid to lease and use the vehicle.
MaintenanceYou’ll be responsible for paying for your routine and emergency vehicle maintenance.You’ll need to pay for routine maintenance but you may be able to get coverage from your dealer for emergency repairs.

How can I find the best vehicle financing for my needs?

  • Term. The amount of time you take to pay back your commercial vehicle financing will affect how big your monthly payments are. Choose a shorter term if you can afford higher monthly payments and you want to pay less interest over time. Choose a longer term if you want smaller payments.
  • Interest rates. You can get commercial vehicle finance interest rates that are fixed or variable. Fixed rates give you consistent monthly payments while variable rates fluctuate over time. You’ll usually want to try to keep your commercial vehicle finance interest rates below 15% on average.
  • Repayment options. Most commercial vehicle financing options will require you to make regular monthly payments on your loan through automatic withdrawals from your bank account. Make sure you choose a loan amount and term that gives you payments that you can afford.
  • Tax requirements. You may be able to write off depreciation deductions and vehicle maintenance/operation costs to offset your overall expenses. You should speak to a tax professional to find out more about what you can claim.
  • Fees and charges. Keep an eye on additional fees and expenses that may come with your commercial vehicle financing. These can include fees for setting up your account or for making early/late payments.

Best features for commercial vehicles

You might benefit from driving commercial vehicles with the following features:

  • Low maintenance. Efficient for small businesses and startups.
  • Strong engine. Top horsepower for pulling heavy loads.
  • 4WD. Off-road power for construction, research or nonprofit work.
  • V6 or V8 cylinders. Fuel efficiency for long-distance travellers.
  • Large seating capacity. 5 or more seats for construction or real estate.
  • Cheap car insurance. Cost-effective for saving on business overhead.
  • High safety ratings. Quality airbags, braking and impact resistance for safety for long hauls and in big cities or dangerous work zones.

Bottom line

There are many types of commercial vehicles to choose from depending on your industry. These vehicles are split up into light and heavy duty vehicle classifications. You’ll be able to get different types of commercial vehicle financing to help you purchase your commercial vehicle depending on personal factors such as your credit score and what type of vehicle you want.

Frequently asked questions

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