French Leasing

French Leasing – The Progressive Way to Finance a Yacht

Let’s start with the best part: with the French leasing, the French value-added tax (VAT) on the lease instalments is cut in half. The leased yacht is E.U. VAT paid from the beginning. French VAT rules apply since the lessor is a French based company and the yacht is supplied to the lessee at the beginning of the lease in France. The legal basis of the French leasing - unlike some forms of leasing – French leasing is not a legal loophole but based on E.U. Directives and French law. For German clients, the leasing contract will be subject to German consumer law and will require that the yacht is registered with German flag.

The French leasing is flexible: down payment of between 30% and 50% of the purchase price incl. VAT and durations between 5 - 12 years are possible. Only consumers are eligible as clients.

The following yachts may be leased:

Since the appeal of the French leasing is based on the attractive VAT rate, only yachts which have no E.U. VAT paid status are eligible. These include new boats or charter yachts. Also the yacht has to be able to leave E.U. waters, being moored close to the coast and equipped accordingly. For example a motor boat being moored in Kiel or Hamburg equipped with a life-raft, may be subject to a French leasing. For the same boat moored on the Rhein without life-raft, only a loan would be suitable.

The yacht has to be put at the disposal of the lessee in France. The presence of the lessee in France will be verified by a French bailiff. Only once the delivery as described has taken place will the lessor pay for the yacht. The yacht may then be transported to its berth. The lessor will require a general annual statement confirming that the yacht has left E.U. waters. There is no obligation to prove single journeys.

The French leasing is strictly speaking a “lease with purchase option”, because the lessee may purchase the yacht during or at the end of the lease. Also, at the request of the lessee and with the agreement of the lessor, the leasing contract may be transferred to a third party. The lessor will need to undertake the usual client checks and ascertain the creditworthiness of the new lessee prior to giving its approval.


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