You want to add a new truck to your fleet, but what should you go with – new or used? This is a never-ending debate, but it doesn’t have to leave you paralyzed. The best move for you will depend on your individual circumstances. Here’s how to figure out which way you should turn.
This article covers a lot of the pros of buying used. And, there are indeed a lot of lessons you can learn from Walmart. For example –
Used is great when you have a scheduled maintenance program in place. All vehicles need maintenance.
Fuel economy can be improved on older vehicles with low rolling resistance tires. While Walmart doesn’t come right out and say it, one of the ways you can improve your fleet’s gas mileage on an older vehicle is to get low rolling resistance tires. These are special tires that minimize wasted energy as the tire rolls. The effect? Higher energy efficiency and reduced fuel costs.
Negotiating repairs on older vehicles can be done through independent shops cost-effectively. Independent shops love fleet business because it’s regular income. They have an incentive to do right by you. With older vehicles, you aren’t as inclined to take them to a dealer, either, because there’s no warranty to be concerned about. The bottom line is that you end up with significant savings both from going with an independent mechanic and from the quantity discount.
Take advantage of EPA emissions laws and newer vehicle efficiencies. If you can score a really old vehicle that’s still in good shape, you might be able to avoid some of the more expensive emissions tests done of vehicle post 1996. Even if you can’t find an older vehicle, you may still benefit from improved efficiency on newer model vehicles.
Good selection of late model vehicles ensures you pay once for the vehicle, and depreciation doesn’t kill you. With a used vehicle, you aren’t paying the depreciation costs. Someone else has already done that for you. That’s good business and it saves you money.
Of course, it’s not always rainbows and unicorns. There are some cons to going with used. Used trucks can hide all manner of problems that you’ll never find out about until you’re out there on the road. From compromised CV joints to weakened head gaskets, wear parts love to wear out on you when you need them the most.
If you’re buying a vehicle in the north, be aware that rust is a major problem in states like NY, NJ, and VT, because local and state governments heavily salt and sand the roads. It’s not uncommon to experience a rusted gas or brake line within a year or two of buying a used vehicle.
Newer trucks just don’t have the maintenance that older trucks have. Sure, they have maintenance, but it’s a different kind of maintenance. You do take a hit on the depreciation, but you also have a warranty and low mileage, which can help keep extemporaneous costs down.
What Should You Buy?
If you’re looking to save money, and you can find a solid used vehicle with all its maintenance records, buy used. If you absolutely must have a low-mileage vehicle, you’re financing a large fleet, or you’re overly concerned about maintenance costs, buy new.
Keith Kofsky, Esq., is a 30-year veteran in the personal injury field. He has worked hard to protect accident victims of all ages. You can find his illuminating articles on many blogs and websites online.