A Beginner’s Guide To Buying A Truck
It’s no secret that Australians love their trucks.
As one of the most versatile modes of transport, these vehicles contribute significantly to our national economy. In fact, there are more small- and medium-duty trucks on Australian roads than ever before, especially as businesses begin to move away from light commercial vans and utes in favour of the efficiencies a truck can offer.
However, for any business, buying a truck is a huge commitment and a significant financial investment. That’s why it’s important to bear in mind some key factors before handing over your hard-earned cash.
Where should you start?
For first-time buyers, the process of buying a truck can be overwhelming. A good starting point will be to arm yourself with sufficient background knowledge about trucks to understand how it will best suit your business needs.
From passenger capacity to engine size and drive performance, there are many factors that contribute to deciding which truck to buy.
For existing truck owners looking at buying a new truck, considerations would mostly revolve around improving the benchmark performance of their current fleet or truck.
And especially if you’re a business owner with a bottom line to protect, here are some starter questions to ask yourself before you chat with a dealership:
- How much are your current trucks costing you in fuel?
- How appropriate are they for the current work tasks?
- What are your long-term maintenance costs?
- If you’re doing in-house servicing, have new parts been easy to source, procure and replace?
Most truck dealerships would be keen to help you out, no matter the scope of your truck knowledge. But if you are interested to know more and be better informed before heading to the dealership, it helps to do some thorough research as part of the procurement process.
Talk to contacts who own and drive trucks, ask them about what’s involved in the truck’s daily and long-term maintenance, get an idea of performance and cost. Do plenty of research online, read through buyer reviews.
This may seem like quite a bit of work, but afterall, buying a truck is a significant outlay and being specified with the wrong product can cost your business dearly down the track.
Ask the experts
However, despite our best efforts at doing our own truck research it is sometimes hard to know where to start and what features to keep in mind when considering buying a truck. And the next logical step would be to approach the sales representatives at the truck dealership for their expertise.
But this comes with a new set of questions… what should you be asking?
We have simplified this process for you by putting together a basic list of key questions to ask your dealer when purchasing a truck.
- What licencing is required for this model?
- Will it meet my payload requirements?
- Will it provide me the power and torque I need for my daily operations?
- What is the transmission type, and will it suit my needs?
- Do you provide a body-build service (if required), and if so, what is the lead time?
- What are my warranty, servicing and aftersales options?
- Could you provide me with an idea of whole-of-life costs?
- What about resale value?
And when you do walk into a dealership, bear in mind that despite exhaustive research, the truck you had in mind might be very different from the truck you end up with.
Next, it’s important to approach this process with an open mind; be curious and ask your dealer pre-planned questions based on your requirements.
And finally, trust them to find the right solution for you.
Interested in a truck for yourself or your business, but unsure if you should lease or buy? Have a read of our article looking at the pros and cons of buying versus leasing.