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How the lease works?

What Is A Novated Lease?

A Novated lease is the most common way of ‘salary packaging’ a vehicle. It involves a three way agreement between an employer, employee and financier. Through Inovation the employee arranges a finance lease and the employer agrees to take on the employee’s obligations under the lease.

The vehicle’s operating expenses are deducted from the employee’s pre-tax income. Operating expenses which can be packaged include:
* Fuel and oil
* Service, maintenance and tyres
* Registration and CTP insurance
* Comprehensive insurance and accident management

Under this arrangement, the employer pays the monthly lease rentals on behalf of the employee and provides the vehicle for the employee to use as part of their salary packaging.

If employment ceases for any reason or the lease agreement is finalised, the novation agreement ceases and the obligations assumed by the employer revert back to the employee. The novation agreement is fully transferable to new employers, assuming both new employer and employee are happy to enter such an agreement.

What are the benefits of a Novated lease?

* Substantial reduction in the net cost of owning and operating your motor vehicle of choice.
* Equity in the vehicle including ownership at lease.
* Your car of choice with options to suit for personal use requirements.

What Is A Salary Sacrifice?

A salary sacrifice is where an employee (with the agreement of the employer) takes either goods or services as a benefit rather than cash salary. Salary sacrifice will usually result in the employer incurring a Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) liability.

How Long Can A Lease Be?

Typically, a lease is either 36 or 48 months as these periods will normally provide the best balance between cost and benefit to the lessee. It is however possible to nominate any lease period between 6 and 60 months with approval from the financier.

Can I Pre-pay My Lease Payments?

It is possible to pre-pay lease payments, but it provides no financial or taxation benefit either to the individual or to the employer.

What Is The Residual Value And How Is It Calculated?

The residual value is the amount of money left owing at the end of the lease term which the lessee is obliged to pay to the financier. This is sometimes referred to as the Balloon payment when dealing with Hire Purchase Agreements. The residual value is usually calculated as a percentage of the purchase price of the vehicle excluding GST.

Because it is possible to profit from the sale of a Novated Lease vehicle once the lease has expired, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) has nominated minimum residual value percentages determined by the term of the lease period. Conversely the Financier will typically set upper limits for residual value percentages to ensure their security interest in the vehicle is protected. In some circumstances such as when there is particularly high KM usage or adverse operating conditions, the residual value can be reduced below the existing ATO guidelines.

What Happens At The End Of The Lease?

At the end of the lease period you are obliged to make the residual payment to the financier and take ownership of the car or to refinance the residual value owing on the vehicle with the existing financier for an additional lease term.

If you choose to take ownership of the vehicle, it can be done in a number of ways;
* Payout the full amount owing to the financier
* Trade-in the vehicle to a dealer and have them use the trade value to payout the amount owing to the financier
* Sell the vehicle to a private third party and arrange for them to payout the amount owing to the financier (refer “Can I Sell My Car Privately?)

Can I Salary Sacrifice The Payout Figure?

In theory this is not possible as with a Novated Lease, once the monthly lease payment obligations are finalised, the Novation Agreement ceases to have effect and therefore your employer is not permitted to payout the lease on your behalf.

Can I Use My Management Account Funds To Pay Out The Lease?

Money that has been accrued directly from the employer for vehicle maintenance expenses is considered to be un-taxed income to the individual. In order for it to be used for any purpose other than the operational cost of the vehicle (fuel, tyres, etc) it would be subject to usual income tax obligations.

Can I Hand My Car Back At Lease End?

No, you have an obligation to payout the vehicle at lease end. If you choose to surrender the vehicle to the financier and not make the final residual payment, you are contractually obliged to pay any negative difference between the sale price and the agreed residual value.

What Else Can I Salary Sacrifice?

Apart from motor vehicles you can technically salary sacrifice anything, however only some items including motor vehicles are beneficial. Some examples are; superannuation, some occupation-related educational expenses, some office supplies and in certain circumstances laptops

Getting Started.

How much will it cost?

You will need to contact Inovation direct, at that time we will try to comprehensively answer all the questions you may have relating to Novated leasing, including how much it will cost, the process to make it happen and even share our knowledge on your car preferences.

How Do I Apply?

An application form is available from the download section on this website. Alternatively, you can contact our office on 03 9890 1555 to discuss and we will email/post you one as required.

What’s The Approval Process?

Once we have your completed application returned, we process this with the financier along with the details of the vehicle you are looking to purchase. Your application will be assessed with necessary checks complete.

The approval process will usually only take 2-3 hours. If there are any questions or issues regarding your application, i Novation will call you to discuss.

Do I Need Approval From My Employer To Take A Novated Lease?

Yes, the employer’s role is implicit within a Novated Lease arrangement and you cannot proceed without their consent.

Things I should Consider.

How Do I Get Out Of The Lease?

Once you have entered into the lease agreement, you have an obligation to meet the repayments on a monthly basis until the end of the lease term, or you can payout your lease early.

Can I Trade My Car In?

Upon the expiry of a Novated Lease term, you are able to trade your vehicle in against a new one, with the new vehicle dealer making the final residual payout to the financier. However, you are not able to reduce the purchase price of your new vehicle by off-setting the trade value against it. Any positive difference between the trade-in value given and the payout value owed to the financier will be returned to you from the new vehicle dealer.

Can I Transfer The Lease To Someone Else?

Yes, you are able to transfer the lease to another party, however that party must undergo a credit assessment by the financier and sign relevant documentation. Please note, you will always remain the primary lessee and therefore you will remain obligated to guarantee the lease payments in the event that the assignee defaults.

Can I Have More Than One Lease?

Yes, there are no legal limitations on how many leases you can have. It will depend on your ability to service the monthly lease repayments and also any employment policy restrictions your employer may have in place.

How do I Payout The Lease Early?

To exit the financial component of the Novated Lease prior to it’s natural expiry, you will need to obtain a payout value via i Novation and then determine whether you wish to pay it out. The payout valuation will be the original residual value plus a reduced balance of the remaining lease payments.

What If I Lose Or Change My Job?

If you lose or change your employment, you are able to transfer your lease to a new employer with their agreement. There is usually a small administration fee and supporting documentation will be required. For the period between employers, you are obligated to continue to make the monthly lease payments to the financier yourself. The maintenance / operating cost component of your novated lease can be suspended until you commence with a new employer.

The Car.

What Kind Of Car Can I Have?

You can have any type of car that you wish – new or used. Generally speaking, the vehicle cannot be over 4 years of age if it is a used car. You also need to ensure that the vehicle complies with any employer policies that are in place.

Will Inovation Find or Buy the car for me ?

Yes, Inovation are able to use our industry relationships to assist in finding your new car of choice and also in many instances ensure you obtain the best available price for your new car.

How Long Does It Take To Get The Car?

The application and lease documentation process does not normally extend to more than a few days. So, the time taken to get the vehicle will usually depend on the availability of the car from the dealer.

Can I Choose The Dealer We Use?

Yes, you are entitled to choose any licensed vehicle dealership.

Does It Have To Be A New Car?

No, used cars are acceptable, however the vehicle cannot be over 8 years of age at the end of the agreed lease term.

Can I Buy From An Auction House?

Yes, most auction houses within Australia are aware of the process required for Novated Leases. You will need to provide the auction deposit yourself and this would be returned to you upon settlement of the vehicle lease.

Can I Buy A “Grey Import” Vehicle?

Generally speaking “Grey” Imports are vehicles that are Used vehicles imported privately and not supported by local manufacturers. Grey Imports can be purchased under a Novated Lease, however additional restrictions and approval criteria are applied by the financier. One restriction in particular is that the vehicle must be Australian Compliant with the compliance plate affixed to the vehicle.

Can I Have A Motor Bike?

Yes, you can have a motor bike on a Novated Lease, however, there are different rules and regulations which apply with regards to FBT. This will be explained further upon application.

Can I Buy A Car From A Private Seller?

Your vehicle can come from a private seller, however there are additional restrictions and documentation requirements with relation to the identification and condition of the vehicle and there is an increased administration fee charged by the financier.

Can I Re-Lease The Same Car?

You can re-lease the same car providing that the residual payout value is more than $10,000 and that the car will still be less than 8 years old at the end of the new lease term.

Is There Any Limitation On The Use Of The Car?

Depending on how your FBT has been calculated, there is no limitation between business and private usage. Naturally, the vehicle should be used within the relevant rules and regulations of your State or Territory.

Can I Sell My Car Privately?

Once the vehicle lease with the financier has been paid out, you own the vehicle and you are able to sell it to whomever you like. However, if you wish to sell the vehicle privately prior to paying out the lease, you must be aware that the vehicle is encumbered to the financier and ownership cannot be transferred until the lease has been paid out.

The Running Cost.

How Is The Operating Cost Budget Established?

i Novation calculates budgeted operating costs by taking into account the following variables;
* Expected annual kilometres
* Vehicle type
* Vehicle usage
* Vehicle age
* Inovation then use their knowledge and expertise in the field of motor vehicle management to calculate the expected monthly operating costs of running the vehicle.

How Do I Change My Budget?

If you believe that you are likely to significantly increase or decrease your operating costs or if the history of your vehicle usage has shown that the budgeted costs have been over/under estimated, then simply contact iNovation and we will talk through your expected future requirements. We can then make whatever adjustments are required to have your management account running effectively for you.

How Does The Fleet Management And Fuel Card System Work?

When your vehicle requires service or maintenance, simply take your vehicle to the nearest franchised dealer and book the vehicle for the required work to be carried out. You will need to advise the repairer that the vehicle’s service or repairs are managed by Leaseplan Australia. The repairer will then arrange to charge the costs of the repairs back to your iNovation vehicle management account.

You will be issued with at least 2 of the 3 major fuel cards which are currently available shortly after the commencement of your lease (usually within 7 days). These cards will allow you to purchase fuel at the designated fuel outlet with all costs being charged directly back to iNovation and will be offset against your operating cost budget. At the point of fuel purchase, you will be asked for your current odometer reading – please provide an accurate reading as this information is passed back to iNovation and is used for fleet management and FBT purposes.

How Do I Check My Management Account Balance?

You can view your account status at the following website; www.inovation.com.au

Simply enter your username and password (provided to you at lease inception) and navigate to account summary.

If you have forgotten or misplaced your login information, please contact iNovation at; customer.service@inovation.com.au

Can I Add Roadside Assist And Other Services?

Most vehicles are covered under a manufacturer’s road side assistance scheme, but where this is not the case or you wish to include additional services to your road side assistance, you are certainly entitled to claim these as genuine operating costs.

Can I Change The Number Of Budgeted Kilometres During The Lease?

Yes, it is possible to recalculate your annual kilometres in a similar manner to recalculating your operating cost budget. Just contact iNovation and we will go through your requirements and put the appropriate changes in place.

How Often Is My Management Account Updated?

Management accounts are updated on a monthly basis, however the delay in receiving data from some suppliers means that some transactions may only be visible up to 30 days in arrears.

What Happens If I Spend More Than I Have Budgeted?

If your expenses exceed the budgeted value by a significant amount or on a regular basis, then iNovation will contact you and discuss options for recalculating the budget to reflect the likely future expenditures. i Novation will allow the account to fall into a credit situation providing it is considered to be an irregular occurrence and that the balance returns to a positive position within a reasonable amount of time.

Fines And Infringements?

Under a Novated Lease the vehicle is registered in your name, therefore fines, infringements and toll notices will be directed to your registered address by the relevant statutory authority. It will be your responsibility to attend to those infringements in accordance with the relevant regulations.

As the ATO does not consider these to be a Vehicle Operating Expense, you cannot use the funds in your vehicle management budget to pay for them. This is also the case with road toll charges.

Can I Use My Own Insurance?

i Novation can provide a fleet-based policy which in most circumstances is competitively priced and offers some product enhancement that is not typically available in retail motor vehicle policies. If however, you have a pre-existing insurer or in your particular circumstances you can obtain a cheaper alternative, iNovation will pay for these insurance policies on your behalf or reimburse you for the annual cost from your vehicle management budget.

What Other Costs Can I Package With The Car?

The ATO will allow you to package expenses that are directly related to the running of the vehicle. eg. fuel, maintenance, tyres, registration, insurance and reasonable cleaning expenses.

The ATO does not consider fines, infringements and road toll charges to be a Vehicle Operating Expense and therefore you cannot use the funds in your vehicle management budget to pay for them.


What Is FBT?

FBT (Fringe Benefits Tax) is a tax usually levied against an employer when they provide the employee with a benefit outside of taxable income. In respect of a Novated Lease, which is paid for from your pre-tax salary, this is considered by the ATO to be a benefit provided by your employer and therefore your employer becomes liable to pay FBT. In effect in this instance, FBT is a substitute for the income tax that you would ordinarily pay on your salary.

It is important to note that unlike many other benefits that the employer may provide, motor vehicles are entitled to concessional FBT treatment, which effectively means that you get a greater value from salary sacrificing a motor vehicle than you may do on other items

How Is FBT Calculated?

For a motor vehicle benefit (Novated Lease), FBT can be calculated using two different methods as follows;
1. Statutory Cost Method – this considers the value of the car and the annual kilometres that you travel and is not related to the amount of business or private use of the vehicle. The calculation for FBT is as follows;
FBT Base Value x Statutory Fraction x 2.1463 x 0.49
Note that you do not have to have any business use under this method of calculation.

2. Operating Cost Method – this is based solely on your business use component as a percentage of total kilometers traveled. Under this method, FBT is calculated using the total GST Inclusive costs of both lease and operating expenses for the vehicle multiplied by the private use component. The calculation for FBT in this instance is as follows;
(Lease Cost + Operating Expenses) x Private Use Percentage x 2.1463 x 0.49.

Can I Choose The FBT Method Used?

Employer FBT liability can be calculated by the most cost efficient method using either of the above choices for each individual FBT year. Therefore, they can change methods year to year to achieve the cheaper outcome.

What Is An FBT Base Value?

The FBT base value for a new or used car is calculated by taking the GST inclusive purchase price of the car and excluding the Stamp Duty and Registration costs.

What Is The FBT Year?

The FBT year spans the period April 1st to March 31st.

What Is The Statutory Fraction?

Statutory Fraction (used in calculating FBT) is a percentage value nominated by the ATO which varies according to the annual kilometers that you drive. Historically the Statutory Fraction has been directly related to the number of kilometers travelled per annum. In May 2011 the federal government altered the statutory fraction formula so that all new leases started from that date would have annual progressive increases in statutory fraction until all were a flat 20% by April 1st 2014.
Tables of the new Statutory Fractions both pre and post May 10th 2012 follows: Enter Alt Text Here

What Does “Days Available” And “Days Held” Mean In FBT?

Days Held are the number of days in any given FBT year which you have had the vehicle under lease. eg. if you have a vehicle lease from 1st April to 30th May, then your days held for the FBT year would be 61. Whereas, if you had leased the vehicle for the whole FBT year, the days held would be 365 (in most years).

Days Available is the sum of total days held less “non-use days”. “Non-use days” are generally described as days when the vehicle or the keys to the vehicle are not available to either the employee, work associates, friends or family. Usually this would mean that the vehicle is in for repair or maintenance for multiple days at a time.

What Is A Log Book?

Log Books are used to determine the business versus private use of a vehicle, typically in conjunction with the operating cost method for calculating FBT. For the purpose of calculating business/private use percentage, a valid log book must be completed for 12 continuous weeks, once every 5 years.

A log book must contain the following information for each trip that you take in the car;
* Date
* Time Start
* Time Finish
* Odometer reading start
* Odometer reading finish
* Brief description of trip
* Nomination of Business or Private use

Why Is There An After Tax Contribution?

An employee after tax contribution (commonly referred to as an employee contribution or a personal contribution) is a payment usually made back to the employer in “after-tax” dollars. It is designed to reduce the employer’s FBT liability and will often provide the employee with a financial benefit as the income tax rate that is applied to their salary is less than the calculated FBT rate (currently 46.5%).

What Does ‘After tax’ or ‘Post tax’ Cost Mean?

The after or post tax salary is often referred to as take home pay. It is the physical amount of money that is paid to you after all taxes and salary sacrifices have been deducted from your wage.

What Is Luxury Car Tax?

Luxury car tax is a Federal Government Tax applied to passenger vehicles over a certain value. The 2012 Luxury Car Tax Threshold (LCT) is $57,465.98 and this will typically increase slightly from year to year. For each dollar of the vehicle’s purchase price which is over the LCT threshold the amount of tax applied adds 30 cents.

For example;
A car costing $58,465.98 ($1,000 over the LCT) excluding stamp duty, registration and GST will have $300.00 in LCT levied against it. Therefore, the true cost of the car to the purchaser will be $58,765.98 plus GST, Stamp Duty and Registration. NB: for vehicles that comply with the Luxury Car Tax fuel-efficient "green" car limit the LCT for the 2012 year is $75,375.

What Do I Do At Tax Time?

A Novated Lease is considered to be a salary sacrifice and will be displayed on your Group Certificate. Therefore, in most instances you do not have to add or apply any additional information to your Tax Return.

As a Novated Lease is considered to be an untaxed benefit you are usually not entitled to make any subsequent claims for vehicle related tax deductibility when completing your annual Tax Return.


GST is typically payable by your employer on both the lease payment and the operating costs budget. In most situations your employer would be entitled to claim back the GST paid so your salary sacrifice deductions will reflect the GST exclusive cost to your employer. i.e. this means your motor vehicle lease costs and operating cost expenses are all processed excluding GST thereby saving you around 10% off the lease, fuel and maintenance costs.

A notable exception to this is the Residual payment or Lease payout value upon early termination of lease. As the Novated agreements effectively end at the point of lease payout your employer is not able to make the residual or lease payout on your behalf, therefore you are not entitled to a GST credit on this payment.

My Employer.

Who Should I Talk To About Getting Approval For Novated Lease?

Generally you should speak with your Human Resources and/or Payroll department to discuss your employer’s Novated Lease policy.
A Novated Lease can only exist with the consent of your employer.

+ What Happens If I Leave My Current Employer Or Change To A New Employer?

In the event of an employment separation, your original employer will no longer have responsibility of the payment of your Novated lease or operating costs.

Following the employment separation, your options are as follows;

* You can continue to make payments for the lease rentals direct to the financier from your personal accounts for as long as required. This may or may not, at your discretion, include the continuation of the fleet management and budgeted operating costs of the vehicle to i Novation.
* With the consent of your new employer, you are able to transfer the novation agreement forward to them with minimal inconvenience and continue to receive the benefits that flow. The lease agreement with the financier remains unchanged and your new employer will then make the payments on your behalf for both the lease and operating costs.
* You are entitled to payout the lease and terminate the management and budgeted operating costs at any time.

Who Should Sign The Novation Agreement For The Company?

The Novation Agreement can be signed by any person authorised by your employer to sign such documentation. Usually this is someone from Payroll or Human Resources or at least senior management.

The Financier.

What Does The Financier Do?

The financier physically pays for the vehicle and ultimately owns the vehicle until such time all repayments and residual value payment have been made.

Novated lease vehicles are usually funded by a third party financier (bank) in which case the lease component of the novated agreement exists between yourself and the bank. Your lease payments will ultimately be paid to the bank either directly or through the novation (your employer).

What Other Finance Options Are There?

Outside of a Novated Lease, you may be able to finance the vehicle via a fully maintained Operating Lease (companies only), Commerical Hire Purchase.

Who Should I Call?

In the first instance, always contact iNovation Pty Ltd and we will address any questions you may have in relation to your finance arrangements. If necessary, we can then direct you to the relevant contact within the financier’s organisation for further information.

i Novation.

What Does I Novation Do?

iNovation provide the following services to their customers in respect to Novated Leasing;

* Information and advice on the benefits and risks
* Calculations and costings including the effects of salary packaging on your income
* Vehicle pricing and purchase
* Implementation of the finance approval and payments
* Ongoing management of operating costs of the vehicle (fuel, maintenance, tyres, registration, insurance, etc)
* Online reporting and cost management
* FBT reporting

What Does iNovation Insurance Cover?

iNovation’s fleet insurance cover is underwritten by Allianz Australia. It provides for standard comprehensive insurance cover with some additional benefits including; 1 windscreen replacement per year, 28 days of hire-vehicle provided during repair process and no age or inexperienced driver excess or penalties.

What Methods Of Payment Can I Choose From?

Payments for your Novated Lease are usually handled by your employer and are typically made via a Direct Debit agreement or from time to time an EFT arrangement can be put in place.

If for some reason you are paying direct as an individual, it must be via a Direct Debit agreement.

Can I Pay By Credit Card?

Credit Card payments are not an option for either your lease payments to the financier or your maintenance payments to iNovation Pty Ltd.