A career as an owner-operator can be very rewarding and quite lucrative — once you get those wheels turning and start hauling loads, of course. The biggest downside to this career path is the cost of entry. A fresh, off-the-line semi-truck can cost upwards of $150,000.
Most new owner-operators or aspiring trucking business owners don’t have that sort of cash lying around, especially considering that they will need a trailer as well. And good luck getting financing for tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment before you have made even a penny from your new business venture.
Fortunately, you can still get the equipment you need by shopping for buy here pay here semi-trucks. To help jumpstart your efforts, here is a list of the top buy here pay here semi-truck dealers across the nation.
Quicklook: Best Buy Here Pay Here Semi-Trucks
- Best for Top Quality Used Trucks: Volvo
- Best for State-of-the-Art Design Features: International
- Best for Fuel Efficiency: Mack
- Best for Classic Look: Peterbilt
- Best for Integrated Technologies: Kenworth
- Best for All-Around Reliability: Freightliner
6 Best Buy Here Pay Here Semi-Trucks
All of the buy here pay here semi-truck dealers on this list are also truck manufacturers. The following premiere manufacturers made the cut.
Volvo is known for making high-quality trucks that perform reliably for the entire duration of their service life. The company’s buy here pay here semi-trucks are inspected by the manufacturer with care before they are listed for sale. This inspection means you can buy with confidence, knowing you are getting a well-maintained vehicle.
Best For: Top Quality Used Trucks
- Phone Number: (336) 393-2000
- Email: email@example.com
- Volvo Certified inspection process
- 12- to 24-month warranty
- Connectivity upgrades available
- Warranty on used trucks
- Easy purchasing process
- Well-built and durable trucks
- Can be quite expensive
International has an exceptional reputation within the semi-truck manufacturing industry. The company produces trucks that feature cutting-edge design and safety features that optimize vehicle performance. It also happens to have a great buy here pay here program.
Best For: State-of-the-Art Design Features
- Phone Number: (888) 381-7438
- Email: Contact Us form
- Huge nationwide inventory
- Financing available
- Warranties available
- Flexible financing options and terms
- Condition reports provided to the buyer
- Somewhat restrictive warranty policy
Mack is one of the top-selling semi-truck buy here pay here brands in the nation. The company produces fuel-efficient vehicles that boast a rugged appearance and common sense design. They are also packed with modern safety features.
Best For: Fuel Efficiency
- Phone Number: (800) 866-1177
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Flexible financing
- Finance bundling
- Fuel efficient trucks
- Unique financing for parts and insurance
- Streamlined purchasing process
- Expensive trucks
Peterbilt trucks are immediately recognizable with their classic design and long hood profile. The manufacturer has a more modernized line, known as Model 579 trucks, but it also sells those timeless, square-nosed trucks as part of their Model 389 line. This company’s financing department has a knack for getting deals done, which can help you land your first truck with ease.
Best For: Classic Look
- Phone Number: (940) 591-4000
- Email: Peterbilt.Info@paccar.com
- Ergonomic cabins
- Good selection of used trucks for sale
- Customer-oriented sales team
- Wide range of options
- Simple and efficient sales process
- Concerning aluminum body when hauling overweight loads
Much like Peterbilt, Kenworth has combined classical design features with cutting-edge technologies to create great trucks that last. Even Kenworth trucks that are a few years old feature many sought-after convenience and safety features. This similarity is unsurprising, as both Peterbilt and Kenworth are owned by Paccar International.
Best For: Integrated Convenience Technologies
- Phone Number: (425) 828-5000
- Email: email@example.com
- Several truck lines, including medium-duty and vocational
- Electric trucks available
- Driver assistance technologies
- Extensive inventory
- Reasonable loan terms
- Bulky models in some cases
- Less fuel efficient than other brands
Freightliner is the top-selling truck manufacturer in the nation. The reputation that Freightliner has comes as no surprise because the brand has a dynamic lineup of new and used trucks that are available to all. These vehicles are incredibly reliable and offer a good mix of modern features.
Best For: Reliability
- Phone Number: (800) 385-4357
- Email: Submit a Contact Request
- Plenty of model and design options
- Industry-leading reputation
- Nationwide network of service providers
- Fuel efficient
- Power-packed engines
- Top features are add-ons, not standard
What Are Buy Here Pay Here Semi-Trucks?
Despite the name, you don’t actually drop your payments off at the dealership where you bought your truck. The term buy here pay here simply means that the dealer provides in-house financing.
Instead of getting the funds from a third party, they’ll sell you the truck, and you’ll pay them directly at the agreed-upon terms. Many dealers offer buy here pay here straight trucks in addition to semi-trucks.
Straight trucks are more commonly referred to as box trucks. They are used for making quick deliveries and hauling smaller amounts of freight.
How Do Buy Here Pay Here Semi-Trucks Work?
Semi-truck purchases conducted through buy here pay here dealers work much like deals at regular dealerships. You’ll shop around for the semi-truck you want, find one that offers the right combination of value and features and let the sales team know you want to buy it.
Then you will have to fill out about the same amount of paperwork as you would when financing a purchase through a lender. The major difference is the buy here pay here dealer will probably not run a credit check like a dealer who does a short-term lease might.
If the dealer does decide to run a credit check and you have poor credit, they can still decide to take on the risk of selling you the vehicle. They are not at the mercy of a third-party lender, as they are handling everything in-house.
The downside to buy here pay here semi-trucks is that the loan terms might not be as favorable as traditional financing or a closed-end or short-term lease.
Charging a higher interest rate offsets some of the risks that the dealer is absorbing by selling you the vehicle directly. However, once your credit improves and you start generating some revenue with your truck, refinancing might be an option.
Buy Here Pay Here Semi-Trucks: Buyer Beware or Business Savvy Move?
Buy here pay here semi-trucks are not something to be fearful of. However, you should carefully research and inspect a used semi-truck before you make that leap. Any older truck with a fair amount of mileage is going to need more frequent maintenance, but these vehicles can still serve you reliably for many years when well cared for.
When searching for your next semi-truck, do your research and weigh all of your options. If you would like to learn more about the popular alternative to buy here pay here financing, check out this list of the best zero-down lease purchase trucking companies.
Leasing a semi-truck gives you the freedom to upgrade in a few years. However, the downside is that lease agreements can be complicated, and you might end up paying more than if you had just bought a truck outright.
Florida and Texas have some of the cheapest fees, so you may want to start your search there. However, shop around until you find the right truck for the right price.
With proper maintenance, most semi-trucks will make it to 750,000 miles or so. Some can crack that one-million-mile milestone, but they will probably be pretty costly to maintain at that point.