Thinking about buying a commercial truck? Then you probably want tips from top mechanics to help you make the best choice.
Worldwide, more than 330 million commercial vehicles are in operation. In many different industries, it can be useful to have a vehicle for transporting staff, products, and more. Sometimes, a car won’t do the trick, and you need a commercial truck to do the heavy lifting.
However, this is a big investment, especially for small businesses with a tight budget. You’ll want to be sure you’re making the right choice.
You don’t need to find a mechanic to give you their tips – we’ve compiled the top mechanic’s tips for buying commercial vehicles here. Keep reading to learn how to buy a commercial truck!
1. Consider Financing
Before you start shopping for a truck, it’s wise to make a budget and think about your financing options. This will ensure that you only look at vehicles that are really in your price range.
If you’ll be paying for the truck without financing, using company funds, get an idea of how much you have to work with. If you’ll be using a loan instead, check with your lenders to find out how much you can get approved for. You don’t want to find a great commercial truck, only to discover that it’s out of your price range. Read more here about commercial vehicle financing.
2. Start Research Online
Even if you don’t buy online, the internet is a great place to start learning about types of trucks, and what they usually sell for.
You might find that prices are lower in an area near yours, for example, so it will be worth your time to travel to buy the vehicle. You can also read reviews of different models to find out which are reliable, and which are likely to cost a lot in repairs.
3. Choose Your Truck
After you’ve done some research, you can narrow down the right kind of make and model for your needs.
There are many different kinds of commercial trucks on the market. They also include different options, including safety features, that you’ll want to take into consideration. When you can narrow down exactly what your company needs, you’ll avoid paying extra for unnecessary bells and whistles.
If you don’t know how to decide, you can also ask other companies in your niche what kinds of vehicles they use. This can become an excellent source of recommendations.
4. Factor in Mileage
Among the many other considerations when choosing the right commercial vehicle, factoring in fuel mileage is one of the most important things to think about.
If everything else about a model sounds good, but its fuel mileage isn’t great, you might want to reconsider your choice. Commercial vehicles often rack up a lot of miles compared to personal vehicles. And the cost of all that fuel is going to come out of the company’s budget.
Even small differences in fuel mileage can add up to a lot over the years of use. Keep in mind whether the vehicle is going to be used mainly in the city or on the highway, since this will also affect the mileage.
5. Visit Local Dealerships
Once you know what you’re looking for and have looked it up online, start searching for it in local dealerships, too. You can compare the prices to what you find online, as well as see the model in person and maybe even give it a test drive.
Test driving is actually an important part of the process. If you’ll be driving the vehicle yourself, you want to be sure that it’s something you’ll be comfortable with. And if other people will be driving it, you still want to see if it seems like a good fit for the company.
More than likely, no matter where you buy it, you’ll want to opt for a used model. Used vehicles are much more cost effective than new ones, and can run just as well if they don’t have any serious issues.
6. Find the Right Model
Once you’ve compared different trucks, and looked around to find the best prices online and in person, you can finally target the right truck for your needs.
However, don’t jump ahead and buy it yet! There are still a few steps that need to be completed.
7. Have an Inspection
One of the top things any mechanic will recommend is that you get a vehicle inspected before you buy it. Unless you’re a trained mechanic, you won’t be able to inspect the truck for problems yourself.
Inspection helps make sure the condition of the truck actually matches what it was advertised as. This way, you won’t run into expensive, unexpected problems later on.
To get the truck inspected before purchase, find a mobile mechanic that you trust to come out and do a pre-purchase and safety inspection. If there’s anything wrong with the vehicle that you should know about, they’ll tell you.
8. Complete the Purchase
If the truck passes inspection, it’s time to buy!
Chances are good that you’ll want to negotiate prices with the seller before you actually buy. Sellers often set prices high, but you might be able to negotiate it to something more affordable.
This is when you can use the information about prices that you gathered online. IF the same or similar vehicles are selling for less, you can use that as part of your negotiation strategy.
After settling on a price, you just have to settle on a payment plan and fill out any other paperwork the seller requires. Congratulations – you’ve just bought a great commercial vehicle!
Will You Be Buying a Commercial Truck?
Buying a commercial truck can help you reach new business goals and operate more effectively. With these tips, you’ll be able to get the best vehicle for your budget.
Will you be using the truck to haul equipment? If so, make sure to read our equipment hauling checklist before you hit the road.