View Full Version : New vs. Used Truck Purchase

02-20-2002, 05:08 PM
I need to purchase a truck for this upcoming season. It will be my daily driver, pull a 7 x 16 enclosed trailer and equipment, deliver mulch, rocks, topsoil, and whatever else when needed.

I need some input on purchasing a new vs. used truck.
Here is what I am considering.

2002 Chevy 2500 HD 4 x4
Trailer tow and snow plow prep package.
Retail Price: $29,000 (Does not include 6% sales tax)
My Price: $17,200 (After GM discount, 2002 rebate, Car trade-in, includes 6% sales tax)
Payments: $330.00 Aprrox. for 5 years.

Used 3/4 ton between $5-7,000
Paid off with sale of my car.
No Payments
No Warranty
Possibly someone elses headaches

Please help me decide. The pros and cons of both.

02-20-2002, 05:37 PM
How old is the used???
I have 4 used trucks and it is all the time something. Thank goodness they are not all at the same time.

If I had it to do over would have got newer used than all the worries

That's my 2 cents.

02-20-2002, 05:53 PM
I don't have a certain truck in mind. However, I have seen some in the $5-7,000 price range. Typically 1991 to 1995 depending on condition, mileage, options, etc.

My concern is I don't want to have to be fixing a used all the time. The down time would be a major issue for me. All though their is no gaurantees about the new one either. At least it is under warranty.

02-20-2002, 07:33 PM
The 91-95 route may work but you may end up spending $300 per month just fixing it at times, not to mention the days you dont have it because it is in the shop.... its your call but if it was me and it was my only truck new is the way to go.

02-20-2002, 07:36 PM
I know it's easy to "spend" someone else's money, and I'm actually someone who likes old trucks, but based on the info in your post I am inclined to say go with the new one.

I don't know how "into" working on trucks you are, or how you're equipped for tools/facilities, but even when they are kept up, older trucks will require minor "running repairs" that can add up to a lot of $$$ if a garage does 'em. Currently I'm building a frame to swap into my truck, anything short of major engine/trans overhaul work I prefer to do myself. Trucks are also a hobby for me though.

Sounds like downtime will be a big problem for you if it occurrs, less chance of that with the new one especially if it's a daily driver. Mine gets the summers off. A 1991 is over 10 years old now and that's starting to get up there, I got stuck doing some (expletive deleted) rust repair at work on a '90 Dodge van last week.

Obvious downside of the new one is the payments never stop even if the work does. You know best how things look for the next 5 years as far as your biz goes.

I still suggest the new one for your application.

02-20-2002, 07:57 PM
I'd go for the new as well. First off, with the used, you're buying someone elses truck that might be in great shape.. or it spent it's entire life plowing and is beat to $hit and has many hidden headaches. If you buy new, you know how you drive and will take great care of it from the very beginning. You'll know the vehicle history as well as have the pride of a new vehicle. If anything does go wrong with the new vehicle, you have the warranty. If something goes wrong with the used one, which you have no peace of mind when, where, or if anything will go wrong, it's all out of your pocket, your money and downtime.

Here in central NJ, the used car market is DEAD. With all of the financing incentives, 0% financing, etc etc new cars are flying and used car lots have no traffic. You might be able to pick up a great deal on a used car, but simply for your peace of mind, knowing the new vehicles history since you're the driver, I'd go for the new.

Just make sure that the new has every option or item on it that you DO want and doesn't have anything on it that you don't want.. Makes no sense to spend $330 a month for a new car, only to put $1500 on Visa for this. that, the other thing, this little mod, etc etc..


02-20-2002, 08:20 PM
Down time is a major issue. I have a full time job and lawn care part time. I am attempting to go full time lawn care hopefully in the next two years and part time at my current job.

If the truck goes into the shop, not only do I not mow, I don't go to my regular job.

I can do small repairs. (Oil changes, brakes, shocks, exhaust, etc.) However, I don't want to touch the major repairs. (Engine and tranny replace, etc.)

On the upside, If I purchase this new truck, I can sell it in the future for a profit will all the discounts included.

I think the best answer is to purchase the new truck, but I don't want to make the wrong choice and pay the piper.

I guess that is what being your own boss is all about. Decisions.

Thank you for the input.

02-20-2002, 09:24 PM
I think that buying a used truck has its good point and bad
1.Buying some one eleses headake
2.My have more things to start fixing if the miles are high.
3.don't know how the truck was maintained or driven.
4 but you will save on sales tax,exise tax and the the cost is much lower.

Buy new get what you want gas ,diesel,auto,stick.
have less mechanical problems and every thing is under warrenty
but payments are higher.

If your gonna get it to do rock ,soil,and mulch deliveries I would go with a dump truck from the start.A pickup is ok for pulling a trailer and doing small deliveries but loam and rock will kill it.If you gotta buy new a dump is not that much more but for an every day driver you might want to go with a pickup.

Five Star Lawn Care LLC
02-21-2002, 03:09 AM
when ever i buy a truck i look for dealerships who have trucks that have just come off executive leases. in the spring of 2000 i picked up a 99 ram 2500 4x4 4-door long bed with only 4000 miles on it for 24,999. the truckk stickered for 32,999. it had not bed plowed with and was in showroom condition. i would look around for something like that, i know that situation doesnt come along to often but keep your eyes open

02-21-2002, 06:27 PM
vandyke dodge has left over 2001 2500hd w/ plows for $27k out the door. i live right down the street and had my fiance's ram in there last week

02-24-2002, 05:50 PM
Originally posted by Big Bad Ram2500
when ever i buy a truck i look for dealerships who have trucks that have just come off executive leases. in the spring of 2000 i picked up a 99 ram 2500 4x4 4-door long bed with only 4000 miles on it for 24,999. the truckk stickered for 32,999. it had not bed plowed with and was in showroom condition. i would look around for something like that, i know that situation doesnt come along to often but keep your eyes open

I agree....buy a 2 or 3 year old truck that a homeowner used or off of a lease.....let the previous owner take the hit. I wouldn't consider anything with high mileage or from another contractor though. My last jeep I bought w/ 24,000 for $12k and sold it with 125,000 for $6500. That's not too bad. If I would have bought it new for $23-24k I still could have only got $6500 for it. My current truck I bought 3 years old with $36k and got at least $10k off the sticker of a new one.


02-24-2002, 06:39 PM
Buy a nearly new one! One that someone else cannot afford or trades every year because they have money to burn! Someone else takes the biggest hit on the "lot drive off" and you get a truck that is nearly new!
Just my .02

03-01-2002, 11:00 AM
Buy almost new, especially if you plan on putting a plow on. Get something that has less than 20k miles and is not older than two years old. That way, you know the plow hasn't been used much (this winter anyhow) and you should get a better price buying the truck and plow together rather than putting a plow on after you buy.

Another idea..... If your car runs well and gets good gas mileage, maybe you could take the savings and keep your car so that you don't have to drive the gas guzzling truck when you could save some $$ driving your car. Besides, it is significantly cheaper mile-for-mile to drive a car when you factor in the cost of repairs and gasoline for a truck. Drive your car into the ground and keep the truck with low miles and it will be dependable every day. Also, it would allow you to tell the IRS that your truck is strictly for work purposes and then you can deduct the full cost of operating, which is generally more than the standard deduction that IRS gives you ($0.33-0.34/mile - most trucks cost more than that to run). Works for me!

And as for the older used stuff, stay away from it! Your repair bills will be higher than the monthly payment, not to mention the truck will be out of service during those repairs. I learned that the hard way, paying $500-1000 for repairs on a regular basis for an older F250. Old stuff is junk, you want to be the guy selling your old stuff, not the other way aroound. Besides, repairs kill your cash flow.

03-01-2002, 12:29 PM
I agree with buying an almost new truck except, I believe I am getting just as good of a deal on a new truck. (GM discount, rebates, low interest rate = low payment).

In reference to buying one with a plow, I am not sure I am going to be able to plow next winter anyways. If it snows the day I have to be at my regular job, then customers are going to have to wait. I might sub this out for just that reason for know.

As for my car, it is a 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix Gt. The car is in excellent shape with 109,000 miles on it and gets 28 mpg. However, it is getting to the point where things are starting to go wrong with it, i.e tie rod ends, 3rd set of tires, brakes These are normal items that tend to fail after 100,000 miles. I would need to sell it in order to get the payments down on the truck. I also would have to keep insurance on both vehicles.

I appreciate the input.

03-01-2002, 12:35 PM
Also, two of the four days I work at my regular job, I can take my wife's car to save on the miles on the truck. It is only 9 miles one way for me to go to work.

03-08-2002, 05:35 PM
dudes, Gm employee discounts nullify the "off the lot depreciation" alot of employees drive the trucks and sell after a year and break even.

as far as mulch delivery and replacement, is it not best to shovel off truck into wheelbarrow for going over lawn? just a point I thought I would make but I think the dump body advice is worthy.

03-09-2002, 04:21 AM
trust me on this one. BUY NEW, i can repair almost anything and over the years it wears you down. if you only have 1 truck you are putting all your eggs in one basket. i own 3 new trucks and love it.your payment isn't to bad. if you are going to plow buy a 1 ton. the price isn't much different with your discount. the 1 ton has a better resale value.as for the plow buy a western or boss vee blade.good luck

03-09-2002, 09:55 AM
I always buy new and most times put em on order and get 18% gm employee discount on the trucks.
There is two options on the gm discount put it on order and get a straight 18% which is good if their arent any rebates.
The second is buy off lot for 5% and haggle price and also get rebates.
Back in the oct we opted for the 18% on the one we bought the truck didnt have any rebates when we bought .