Buying a second hand vehicle is usually a frugal alternative to splashing out on a brand new model. This is down to the way that depreciation impacts all sorts of automobiles, meaning that the resale price falls off a cliff as soon as you collect a freshly minted car.
But things are a little different when you look at trucks, because even used units can come with steep sticker prices attached to them.
So what’s the reason behind the high cost of second hand trucks, and should this be enough to put you off making a purchase?
Practicality & versatility are important
Simply put, trucks of different types are an investment, because unlike everyday cars they can serve a range of practical and even entirely commercial purposes.
If you want to own and operate a truck professionally, such as a Peterbilt 579 used truck, and also use it for getting from A to B when you’ve got personal errands to run, then it is obviously going to be a valuable asset.
This helps to preserve the value of trucks and limit the amount of depreciation they undergo over time. Even a truck which is a decade or more old will have a decent load bearing and towing capacity, so for business and pleasure alike it is a savvy choice.
Another aspect which enables trucks to fight back against depreciation more successfully than other vehicles is that they tend to be more reliable and robust than the average car.
There are a couple of reasons for this. First, manufacturers know that trucks will be used for a plethora of purposes, including heavy duty jobs that will result in wear and tear. This means that it makes sense to go above and beyond in terms of making them capable of surviving and even thriving in such scenarios.
Second, truck owners are similarly attuned to the types of situations that their vehicle will be put through over the course of its time in their care. This gives them an incentive to keep up with regular maintenance, and to fix issues that other motorists might overlook to save a buck in the short term.
The upshot is that trucks are both innately sturdier and generally better looked after, which makes them viable and valuable for longer.
Safety plays a part
Trucks often outsell other vehicles on the new and second hand markets alike because aside from their practicality, versatility and reliability, they are also perceived as being safer.
Part of this is down to their larger size, which not only gives the driver a better view of their surroundings, but also means that if collisions do occur, the occupants of a truck will be better protected than those in smaller cars.
Another aspect is the safety systems which manufacturers put in place to ensure that trucks of all sizes are able to be driven with confidence, while also protecting drivers and passengers from all sorts of hazards.
Raw materials are relevant
Lastly, it’s impossible to talk about trucks without thinking about how their size, weight and complexity come into play with regards to price.
The more raw materials go into making a vehicle, the more expensive it will be new. This carries over to the used prices as well, so while compact cars might depreciate quickly, trucks don’t enjoy the same luxury.
Ultimately it does help to think of a truck as an investment rather than as an expense, as you’ll be better able to justify paying the higher price for used models if you reframe how you perceive them in this way.