“Should I buy a new or a used rig?” If you’re an owner-operator or small fleet manager you’ve probably asked yourself this question at least once. Sure, we’d all love a brand new, shiny truck, but we sure as heck wouldn’t love the price. When it comes to buying a big rig new versus used, there are a number of things to take into account. So, we compiled a list of pointers and main considerations for buying a big rig so you can decide if a new or a used truck is better for you.
Buying a Big Rig – New vs. Old
Advantages of Buying a New Rig
If money were no object, I’m sure we’d all prefer a new truck over a used one. At the end of the day, the decision of whether to buy a new or a used truck is primarily a matter of expense. However, are the expenses worth it if you’re walking away with a brand new truck? Here are some of the main advantages to buying a new rig:
- Great warranty. Most new rigs come with a lengthy warranty that covers any damages or issues that occur to your truck. So, buying a new rig may save you money on repairs and damages. Additionally, since you’ll be covered under a warranty, you’ll probably have some peace of mind and won’t be paranoid about getting in an accident.
- You know the truck’s history. With used rigs, there’s always going to be some uncertainty surrounding the truck’s “past life.” However, buying a new truck gives you complete control. No one has ever had the truck before you and, if you take good care of it, the truck will run for a long time.
Some truckers argue that, while buying a new rig is much more expensive, the money that you save on maintenance and repairs makes up for it. Buying a used truck can be a bit of a crapshoot, but let’s take a look at some of the advantages.
Advantages of Buying a Used Rig
Buying a used truck is very popular, especially for owner-operators. Some of the key benefits of buying a big rig used are the following:
- It’s A LOT cheaper. Obviously, buying a used rig is significantly less expensive than buying a new one. A truck that costs $200,000 new could be sold for $150,000 after just a few years. Typically, the older the truck, the cheaper it will be.
- Used doesn’t equal old. Just because a truck is used doesn’t mean that it’s in bad condition. If you have knowledge of a truck’s past ownership and you’re confident that it’s in good shape, it could be almost the same quality as a new truck.
- There’s less of a commitment. Since used rigs cost less than new ones, the payments on it won’t be nearly as high. Buying a new truck is a huge investment, and it’s much harder to change jobs or careers if you’d need to.
Like we said, buying a used truck can be a bit of a risk since there’s no way of knowing the vehicle’s complete history. However, provided that you do your research before buying the rig, you shouldn’t have a problem.
So, Which One Should You Buy?
If you’re an experienced owner-operator and plan on sticking with trucking for a long time, buying a new truck may make more sense. However, if you’re a new owner-operator or you’re unsure of how long you’re going to stay in the trucking business, buying used is probably the way to go. Either way, be sure to think through your decision thoroughly; you don’t want to end up regretting it down the road!
Do you have any experience with buying a big rig? Did you buy new or used? Let us know in the comments section below!