There’s plenty to think about when purchasing a truck, but one of the earliest considerations to make after budget and financing, as well as the type of truck needed for the job, is whether to go new or second-hand. Both have their pros and cons, but used trucks can outshine new models in several areas.
Just because a truck is used, doesn’t mean it’s used up. Yes, there will be wear and tear on a second-hand truck, but constant improvements in construction, as well as engine, transmission, braking and suspension technology means older trucks are lasting longer than they ever did and many are still at work all over the country.
With pressures on business and household budgets coming from all directions, the savings to be had with second-hand trucks make them an increasingly attractive option, with the positives they offer outweighing the negatives for many buyers.
Here are some of the key positives with buying a used truck.
Compared to a new truck of the same make, model and type, a used example will almost always be cheaper. This is the biggest and most obvious benefit when buying used over new.
Like new cars, all new trucks lose value the moment they’re driven out of the dealership, so buying second-hand eliminates much of that initial depreciation. And as the depreciation has already been worn by the first owner, you’ll most likely get more of your money back when it comes time to sell a second-hand truck than you would with a new one.
Used trucks also don’t attract dealer delivery fees and on-road costs. That’s not to say you shouldn’t buy a used truck from a dealer, as the warranty dealers offer provides peace of mind.
And don’t forget that, when you sell a second-hand truck, you can claim GST credit if the truck costs more than $300. This credit can also apply if you purchase a truck from someone that isn’t GST registered. Check with your accountant or the ATO for details, as rules around this may change.
Finally, the older the truck is, the more likely it’ll be of higher mileage and may need more extensive or frequent maintenance. This needs to be weighed up against the lower purchase price. In some cases, even when paying more for repair and servicing, a second-hand truck comes out cheaper
2. More Choices
Choosing a used truck means there are more options available compared to a new truck. For example, there may only be one or two variants of the 2023-model bonneted prime mover from a particular manufacturer, but going back past the current model year, options open up tremendously.
As general availability opens up when you’re not limited to one year in your buying decision, the same can apply to specs and features. For example, if you’re after a specific make of tray truck with a particular engine and transmission combination, that may no longer be offered on the current model, but could still be available through the second-hand market.
3. Reduced Complexity
New trucks may have more bells and whistles, but do you really need features like power windows, power folding mirrors, sat nav and a heated driver’s seat? All these features add to a new truck’s purchase price, even if it isn’t explicitly stated.
If you’re spending a lot of time in the cabin, more features may be worth the extra outlay, but what you save on a less opulently fitted-out truck can be put into other areas, like fuel or tyres, that are more important.
Also, the more complex a truck is, the more expensive it’ll potentially be to service and repair, especially in areas like electrics and electronic systems. Go for an older, simpler “analogue” truck and servicing can be much easier and cheaper.
4. Cheaper Parts
As a used truck is cheaper than a new one, parts are generally cheaper for second-hand trucks, too. A truck’s high popularity in the market translates to greater availability of parts, which usually translates to lower prices.
There is a narrow window for this, though. Once a truck gets too old, parts become harder to find and more expensive, so do your research and pick the age of your truck carefully before purchasing. If you’re seeing many examples of the same make/model from the same era in the marketplace, it’s a safe bet that parts to suit that make/model are readily available and affordable.
Beyond the usual dealer parts departments and truck parts retailers, parts will also be available through truck wreckers, which can be cheaper again, especially if a model has been in circulation for some time.
Ultimately, you need to do your homework and not only study the market, but your business and its needs, before determining if it’s better to go for a new or used truck.
For a range of used trucks for sale, contact Maryborough Machinery on (03) 5464 2387, call in to their yard at 4126 Pyrenees Highway, Flagstaff (Maryborough), or visit their website HERE to see the latest stock.