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Buying new vs. used trucks, a quick guide to make the right choice.

Acquiring a used truck can be the ideal solution for companies with tight budgets. According to the Truck Purchase and Lease Survey published by Overdrive.com, approximately 60% of owner-operators acquire Class 8 trucks that are second-hand. However, opting for a used truck may not always be the most suitable decision; therefore, it is crucial to carefully analyze the pros and cons before making a decision.

The initial decision to acquire a used commercial vehicle may be based on considerations as simple as cost, lifecycle, or asset control. Opting for a used vehicle in good condition, capable of performing the required task, can result in significant savings for a company.

A crucial step is to dedicate time to research and explore the options available in the market. Avoiding the impulsive purchase of the first vehicle can lead to significant benefits. Another seller might offer the same vehicle at a more favorable price, with lower mileage or downtime, or better maintenance.

Buying New vs. Used Trucks

Both new and used vehicles offer advantages for businesses. The choice between them depends on the available budget and the intended use for the truck. There is no wrong option; however, the advantages of each are detailed below to help make a decision that best suits the specific needs of the company.

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1. Budget

The initial investment is a crucial factor in the debate. For those with limited budgets, opting for a used truck can be highly beneficial. Compared to a new truck, a used vehicle is considerably more affordable, as new vehicles tend to lose 50% of their value in the first five years. With approximately half the cost of a new truck, it is possible to find a used truck in good condition.

2. Maintenance

As the vehicle ages, maintenance costs tend to increase due to the wear and tear of various parts, in addition to regular check-ups. This additional factor could lead to the dismissal of the idea of acquiring a used vehicle. However, this aspect can be addressed by purchasing low-maintenance brands with readily available parts in the market. It all depends on the initial quality of the vehicle.

3. Lower Financial Risk

When the initial investment is lower, there is greater flexibility to change course and reconsider the purchase. In case the acquired truck does not meet expectations, there is the option to sell it and reconsider other choices. This is because a used truck tends to depreciate at a slower rate compared to a new one. This slower depreciation provides a financial advantage, allowing easier and more cost-effective adjustments if circumstances or needs change.

4. Value for Money

The quality of a used truck is directly related to the amount one is willing to invest. However, this decision comes with risks, such as potential high maintenance costs and increased operational expenses. Additionally, there is the possibility of internal wear due to the previous owner’s driving habits, as well as uncertainty associated with an unknown or altered history that could conceal prior damage. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of these factors when considering the purchase of a used truck.

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New does not always mean better; the success of buying a used truck lies in informed decisions leading to the selection of a specific vehicle. An excellent maintenance program can extend the lifespan, maximize uptime, and ultimately yield dividends for the company.

Whether buying a used or new truck, the priority is the growth of the company and the benefits it will derive from the final decision.

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