Why should you buy a used vehicle?
When it’s time to buy a vehicle, whether it’s for personal use or for your business, you’ll have a wide variety of options to choose from. It’s often tempting to buy a new vehicle; they tend to have the latest and greatest technologies, a shiny new visual appearance, impressive designs, and some of the best possible upgrades.
However, it’s often advantageous to buy a used vehicle instead of a new one. There are many benefits to buying used vehicles, no matter what your long-term goals are.
Special considerations for semi-trucks
First, if you’re buying semi-trucks for your trucking business, there are some additional advantages to consider – and some important questions to ask before buying a used semi-truck. Buying used can help your company remain profitable and secure a reliable fleet, but you need to make sure you’re getting a good deal.
For example, you’ll want to ensure the truck has rear lock-ups, inspect the engine’s history, and determine whether the truck has a pre-emissions gate.
Why buy used?
So what are the other advantages of buying used?
- A greater selection. First, you’ll have a greater selection of vehicles. There are currently more than 1.2 billion vehicles on the road around the world, yet only about 80-100 million are produced each year. If you only consider new vehicles, you’ll be limiting yourself in terms of options. Shopping used could introduce you to a model that’s no longer in production, or at least expand your range of possible selections.
- Immediate cost savings. One of the most obvious advantages of buying used is that you’ll enjoy immediate cost savings over buying new. If a new vehicle costs $25,000, a used version of that same vehicle might go for $15,000 or even less. There are many factors that can influence the cost discrepancy between a new vehicle and its used counterpart, including the age of the vehicle, number of miles driven, its current condition, the motivations of the seller, the reliability of the model, and many, many more. However, in nearly all cases, you’ll enjoy a much lower cost of entry – which is especially important if you’re working with a budget.
- Less depreciation. Vehicles are notorious for depreciation, dropping in value quickly after they’re bought new. In fact, that’s why you can often score a great deal on a used vehicle instead of a new one. When you drive a brand new car off the lot, the car will immediately lose between 9 and 11 percent of its value; if your car was $20,000, that’s an immediate value loss of $2,000 or more. After just a year of driving, you’ll see a drop in valuation of about 20 percent, and after 5 years, you’ll see drops of between 15 and 20 percent per year. At just 5 years old, a car will lose 60 percent of its value. If you’re buying used, you won’t have to worry about suffering from this depreciation; it’s already happened.
- Proof of reliability. New vehicles aren’t always more reliable than used vehicles. When you buy a new model, you’ll be driving a car that’s practically untested. You don’t know what potential issues the vehicle may face, and you can’t be certain that you’re not going to run into major problems. Used vehicles that have already been on the road for years have proven some degree of reliability; they’ve also already encountered some major issues which have, presumably, been corrected. You can also do research to learn what owners of this specific model have encountered in their many years of ownership.
- Certifications and warranties. Though not always a given, many used vehicle dealers are willing to issue certifications and warranties to demonstrate reliability and confidence in their selection. If you purchase a used vehicle with one of these optional additions, you can get protection in the event that something goes wrong.
- Access to vehicle history. These days, it’s easy to pull up any vehicle’s history. You can learn about how it was maintained, how long it’s been owned (and by whom), and whether it’s been in any significant accidents. It’s a great way to verify the integrity of your purchase.
- Better insurance rates. In many cases, you’ll be able to get better insurance rates by purchasing a used vehicle instead of new – it’s a great added cost-saving bonus.
Buying a used vehicle isn’t always the best option, but it does offer a lot of advantages to those willing to pursue it. Always exercise caution when buying a used vehicle; buy from a vendor you trust, understand the risks associated with the specific makes and models you’re examining, and always conduct thorough inspections to ensure the vehicle works the way you expect it to.