Unless you’re buying a farm truck to run in the demolition derby, buying a truck is a large expense. Any vehicle will cost you some cash up front, and then cost more as time marches on. Insurance, repairs, and gas are constants and will never go away. When you decide to make a purchase, the first real decision is, what kind of truck will you buy? Ford vs. Chevy, gas vs. diesel, full size vs. sport, and on and on. Then, you have to decide if you want a new or used one. That decision can be the toughest to make. There’s a lot to consider when buying a new truck vs. a used truck. When buying a used truck, there are different things to watch out for that don’t exist with a new one. We lay out some of the pros and cons for you here.
There’s a Huge Cost Difference
Obviously, the biggest difference between new and used is the price. For most people, that is the only factor that matters. New trucks right off the lot can start at $30,000 and go up from there, depending on the options you get. That’s a lot of money for the average person to put down for a truck. Buying used, you can save money and still find a quality truck with minimal problems. New car lots recycle their leased trucks and sell them with low miles, so there are deals out there.
You Aren’t Buying a Problem
Buying anything brand new—not just trucks—eliminates problems. A brand-new truck won’t have any mechanical problems, it’ll run great, and you know it’s never been in an accident. With any used truck, you risk buying a huge money pit of a problem that someone dumps on you. There are research sites you can run a VIN on to find out, but if the truck wasn’t loaded to the site by the mechanic that fixed it, you’ll never find it on a report.
There’s Less Depreciation
Any automobile will depreciate the minute you buy it. Unless you’re buying and selling classic collector cars, they all lose value. New cars lose a huge chunk of their value the second you drive it off the lot. Even if you drove across the street, another dealer wouldn’t buy it for the same price you did. The price of a used truck can increase if you put some TLC into it and make it look and run better.
You Can Negotiate
New or used, you can negotiate the truck’s price. Never pay what they’re asking for. Prices are always inflated in anticipation of getting a lowball offer right off the bat. Play the game and offer the seller a ridiculous number and see if he bites, because he’s doing the same to you. Negotiating is a time-honored art, so do the dance and hammer out a better deal for yourself.