Difference between operational, private and financial lease

Differences and benefits explained per lease form

There are major differences between operational, private and financial lease. With a financial lease you are the direct economic owner of the vehicle. Financial lease is therefore similar to buying or paying off. This is not the case with the other forms of leasing. With both an operational lease and a private lease, you are not the direct owner of a vehicle, but you are in fact only renting this vehicle for a longer period.

What is the difference?

With operational lease (only for companies) and private lease (only for private individuals) you pay a fixed monthly amount for the use of a predominantly new vehicle. The only additional costs are those for fuel, car wash, parking and any fines. There is also a maximum number of kilometers per year that you can drive with these types of leasing. If you go above that, the amount of the monthly installment will be higher.

With a financial lease , which is mainly used by companies, you are the direct economic owner of the vehicle. The monthly amount to be paid consists of principal and interest. The costs for maintenance and use are therefore not included. You can usually just trade in your old vehicle, make a possible down payment and agree on a final installment. The term of the lease contract can be agreed in consultation. It doesn't matter how much you drive. View the chart below for the differences.

Financial Lease Operational Lease Private Lease
Direct economic owner Yes no no
Owner at the end of the term Yes no no
Monthly amount Consists mainly of principal and interest Is purely for car use Is purely for car use
Kilometers per year Unlimited Limited Limited
Additional costs Insurance, motor vehicle tax, maintenance and all running costs All usage costs such as fuel, car wash, parking and fines All usage costs such as fuel, car wash, parking and fines
Trade-in possible Yes no no
Terminate the contract early Accelerated redemption possible in many cases Almost never without high costs (redemption fee) Almost never without high costs (redemption fee)
Maintenance To be carried out at your own discretion Included in lease price Included in lease price
Interest deductible Only for companies N/A N/A
VAT refundable Exclusively from purchase amount Only from monthly amount N/A
Investment deduction Commercial vehicles only no no
Depreciation in accounting Yes no no