If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, you’re probably wondering why are used trucks so expensive. The price difference between new and used is not considerable, making people wonder if it’s worth it to buy used or if they should just look for a new vehicle instead.
The average price for a 1- to 5-year-old vehicle was $34,199 in May 2022, slightly down from the month before but it certainly isn’t the relief car buyers are looking for. So what’s happening and should you just buy new? Here are the factors impacting used truck prices.
Is It Worth Buying a Used Truck?
Although prices are currently up on used trucks, they still cost less than buying a new truck. And you can often find trucks with more features at a better price than you would if you were to order one new with the same features.
The reality is, that once you drive a new truck off a lot, it depreciates quickly and then levels off after the first few years. So by buying a truck used, you’ve essentially cut off that initial depreciation time and bought in during the leveling-off period to where your investment should hold decently well.
Additionally, trucks are durable and reliable. Even if you’re looking at buying a model from 10 years ago, you’ll likely get good use out of it before it’s time to start shopping for a new vehicle again. When well cared for, trucks last an average of 200,000 miles compared to standard vehicles that last 100,000 miles.
Many used trucks are not yet out of warranty from the original manufacturer. If you’re weighing the cost of the vehicle, don’t forget to factor that in.
Benefits of Buying a Used Truck
As you evaluate potentially purchasing a used truck, consider these primary benefits.
- Cost savings, including lower taxes and fees upon purchase
- Avoid initial depreciation of a new vehicle
- Lower insurance costs compared to new vehicle
- Less expensive way to get added features and options
- Larger selection of models and years to choose from to get exactly what you want
Downside of Buying a Used Truck
While there are many great benefits to purchasing a used truck, there are some downsides as well.
- Not made to order, meaning you might not get all the features you want or your first choice for interior and exterior colors
- Limited or no warranty depending on vehicle age
- Possibly lower fuel efficiency compared with newer models
- More maintenance is required on aging vehicles
- Less financing options
- Vehicle could be equipped with older technology
Factors That Affect the Cost of Used Trucks
Understanding the factors affecting the cost of used trucks might help guide you in answering the question: what are the best used trucks to buy? The better you understand factors contributing to vehicle prices, the more confident you’ll be in your decision to purchase new or used vehicles.
Newer vehicles are equipped with better safety technologies. So if you’re in the market for a model built within the last couple of years, you’ll see less depreciation on these models since they are more desirable. With greater safety comes improved resale value. So if you want to experience greater cost savings by purchasing a used vehicle, consider going with an even older model that doesn’t have these advanced safety features. Trucks from before 2014 will have a significantly lower cost because that was before the latest technology advancements.
Higher Reliability Ratings
Trucks typically last longer than other vehicle types, which makes them more reliable throughout their lifetime. Vehicle owners appreciate only having to shop for a new vehicle after several years of driving their trusty truck. A truck’s reliability further increases its long-term value. Just be sure to do some searches for what used trucks to avoid before purchasing to ensure you’re getting a model with the greatest reliability.
Higher Quality Body Parts
To be capable of heavy towing and larger payload capacities, trucks need higher quality body parts than standard vehicles do. Additionally, larger vehicles require more materials than cars do to manufacture, which makes them pricier. Plus, those powerful engines and transmissions aren’t cheap.
High Tech Interior
Trucks used to be all about hauling and transporting goods. However, now they feature more luxurious interiors with more tech than they used to. With those touches of luxury comes improved resale value. Driving these vehicles for fun or family use is easier and more enjoyable than it used to be, which is expanding the use cases for trucks and therefore increasing their value.
Power and Capability
Trucks have far more power than SUVs and other vehicles on the road. Thanks to their towing and hauling capacity, trucks can do just about anything. But because trucks are more powerful and capable than other vehicles, they are naturally more expensive.
Trucks tend to hold their value longer than other types of vehicles. Because of that, you won’t see as large of a price difference between a new truck and a used one as you would between a new car and a used car. But the good news is that you won’t have to worry about losing your investment. The value of your used truck will hold well to provide good resale value should you choose to sell.
If you’re wondering where to buy used trucks, you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of purchasing from a dealership and getting a certified preowned model. While these models are pricier, they also often come with improved warranties and undergo scrutiny before going up for sale.
You can use a truck for everything from leisure to work. And because you can do more with trucks, consumers often seek out trucks to purchase. Some examples of truck versatility include being able to go off-road, hauling goods you couldn’t haul in a car, added cargo room for longer trips or more passengers, towing other vehicles, ease of grocery shopping and so much more.
Researching Your Used Truck Purchase
While the price of used vehicles has increased over the last year, purchasing a used truck is often still worth it to avoid the initial depreciation that happens when you drive a new vehicle off the dealer’s lot. You’ll just need to select the model and year carefully to ensure you get the most reliable long-term vehicle to make your investment worth it. Investing time in the process of finding the best model and being patient to wait until the model with the features you want goes up for sale will be the best way to avoid used truck buyer’s remorse.
The most reliable truck to buy used is the 2019 Nissan Titan, which gets a predicted reliability rating of 89/100, the highest of any used truck.
Gas trucks with 100,000 miles or more are often considered high mileage. For diesel engine trucks, high mileage is considered trucks with more than 200,000 miles.
Ideally, you should shop for a used truck with less than 100,000 miles on it.
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