Buy a new truck, or a used truck?


Well-Known Member
I am still a company driver, and will be for a while, but as I save up and consider buying my own truck, I am not sure which is the best route to go?

Get a new truck and not have to worry about repair expenses, or spend less money up front and buy a used truck?

What factors should I be thinking about here?
I'm split 50/50 on this dude. While it would be really really nice to have your truck spec'd the way you want, I am sure I could find what I wanted in the used market. It's federal law for maintenance records to be kept on these trucks, and with a good look over, a dyno test a used truck can be just as good as a new truck. Engines now a days are designed to go a million miles. And the ones that are taken care of probably go a few hundred thousand beyond that. I'm a die hard KW owner, but if I could get a a 780 Volvo, autoshift, and the other right parts I would quickly make the switch.
Think about how important a couple things are to you. Money, and the Trucking Lifestyle. If it is purely from a business standpoint, and you are looking for maximum profit, get a used truck that still has some warranty on it, and purchase an extended warranty.

Have the truck looked over thouroghly, get the maintenance/repair history, and have the information downloaded from the computer to let you know things like what kind of fuel economy the truck has been getting.

As for a new truck, don't do it unless you know 100% that you will be doing this job long term (long enough to put over a million miles on the truck), and also only if you have the money to purchase most of it up front, otherwise the interest eats too much into your profits. You don't want to purchase a new truck and end up having to sell it 3 years down the road.
Thanks for the info. This site is always great for giving me a reality check....

I will continue to save up, when I have enough money to buy a good used truck, I will decide whether I want to go that route, or continue saving for a new one.
Also make sure that once you purchase that truck that you have enough money in your savings account for maintenance and any downtime you may have. :eek:
I would get a used truck, if it were me. Let someone else smell the new smell and pay the new truck depreciation.

Pay as much as you can on the truck up front as well, I would suggest simply buying one outright, and financing none of it.
One more thing.

Even though there is a high amount of negative talk about lease purchases, it might not be a bad idea once you have a little more experience to do a lease with a company for a year or so to get first hand experience on what is involved with running the trucking business. Just choose the company wisely, as there are some really shady lease purchase deals out there.

If you don't want to do that, at least start keeping records in your "company truck". Find out what the costs would be for plates and permits, then track your fuel costs, and what maintenance would be costing. Also pay attention to what it costs to unload your freight. If your company has contracts with the lumper services, ask what they are charging, or ask other drivers on the dock what it is costing.

Just don't go into the responsibility of truck ownership without knowing what to expect. Many new owner operators fail because of this.
look around for a deal. they are out there. few and far in between. friend of mine just got a '06 international , 131,xxx miles for 41,000$ with 2 years to pay it off. good deal if you ask me. and it's a nice looking truck.
We have some dealerships in houston that lease trucks new and used for a good rate some for less than 1000 a month. I was thinking about the same thing you was. and with a lease you can trade it in at the end of your contract for a better one and plus it is cover in a warranty that you will not have to pay extra for.

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