Boost Bottom Line with Used Trucks

Fleet Management|Blogs
A fleet owner is seen investing in used trucks by purchasing a batch from a dealer and shaking the hand of a salesman

Of the many challenges fleet operators face, one of the most vital is finding quality, affordable commercial vehicles. While it may seem prudent and exciting to purchase a shiny new roster of haulers, investing in used commercial trucks actually offers a unique opportunity to boost your bottom line.

Incorporating pre-owned commercial vehicles into your fleet can lower upfront capital expenditures, allowing for more cash flow. Flexible financing and extended warranty coverage also make it easier than ever to mitigate risk over a vehicle’s lifetime. Ultimately, a fleet of inspected, reliable used trucks raises ROI and permits a more financially efficient operation.

Below, we’ll explore the benefits of building a fleet of used vehicles, addressing cost, insurance, and reliability concerns along the way.

Cost savings

Perhaps the greatest reason to consider used trucks is cost—the sticker price is significantly lower than what you'd find on new vehicles. Used fleet vehicles typically have relatively few miles on them. New rigs may have plenty of bells and whistles, but their price tags will reflect that as such.

In Q3 of 2023, the average loan for a used vehicle was $27,167, compared with $40,184 for something new. The average monthly payment for a used vehicle was $553, as opposed to $726 for a new one. Although interest rates for new cars were lower (7.03%) than for used (11.35%), the cheaper valuations of used vehicles generally translate to lower financing costs.

You also avoid the federal excise tax (FET) by investing in used trucks. The FET is a 12% federal tax on the initial sale of heavy commercial vehicles, which doesn’t apply to used vehicles.

Finally, demand for used cars has continued to grow due to an ongoing shortage of automotive semiconductor chips and, therefore, a shortage of new cars and trucks. New vehicle sales slid by 8% between March and April of 2024 after three consecutive months of growth, and some automotive CEOs predict the chip shortage will continue to be a thorn in their side into the near future.

Reliable vehicles

Large shipping companies tend to take excellent care of their vehicles, so investing in used trucks doesn't necessarily mean an unreliable fleet.

Fleet managers generally keep a close eye on repairs, maintenance schedules, and operating costs. Plus, most fleet vehicles come with comprehensive service records that you can use to identify where that truck has been prior to showing up on your lot.

Finally, used fleet trucks typically aren’t that used—most are only a few years old. This means they generally come with fairly recent technology, not many miles, and sometimes a remaining warranty.

Lower insurance costs

Generally speaking, it’s cheaper to insure a used truck than a new one, particularly with comprehensive coverage.

Premiums are based on the vehicle’s value as well as its make and model. With truck insurance rates still on the rise, this can be valuable cash in the bank. It can also lower your physical damage insurance premiums, a component of a truck's insurance policy that covers damage to the truck based on its value.

Less depreciation

A car or truck is, by nature, a depreciating asset—it loses value over time. A new car loses 20% of its value in the first year after its sale. After five years, that number jumps to 60%.

As a result, if you acquire a used truck that’s a year old, you could pay 80% of the original price. But vehicles lose value at different rates: New cars can lose between 6% and 45% of value in the first year. In short, when you purchase a used fleet vehicle, all of these early depreciation costs have already been absorbed by the original buyer, so you'll likely get more truck for your dollar.

Depreciation also tends to slow after a vehicle passes 100,000 miles, helping you avoid an upside-down loan, where the payments are higher than the car’s value.

Precautions to consider

When buying any used vehicle, there are some basic precautions to keep in mind:

  • The fewer miles, the better: Even though there are depreciation benefits to acquiring vehicles with some mileage on them, it’s best to have a fleet with as little wear and tear as possible. Look to acquire used trucks from another fleet, as highway miles are generally gentler on a vehicle than city miles.
  • Manufacturer’s warranty: Always ask the seller for information regarding the original manufacturer's warranty on any used vehicles you’re buying. These will be far more comprehensive than any warranty the seller provides.
  • Vehicle history: If the seller doesn’t have the vehicle history on hand, it’s worth purchasing one. This will provide a complete rundown of any and all issues, including repair reports, odometer problems, accidents, and recalls. Many outlets, such as AutoCheck by Experian, provide vehicle histories that you can purchase.
  • Inspection: Give the used truck a thorough once-over or bring it to a trusted and notarized third-party shop to have its mechanical condition examined for any deal-breaking damage.

These precautions may seem obvious, but they're easy to overlook, particularly when you’re moving quickly to fill much-needed vacancies in your fleet.

Boost your bottom line with Ryder

In a time of tight budgets and an uncertain economic outlook, it’s more important than ever to make every dollar count. A great starting point is to invest in used trucks for your fleet. From lower costs to greater reliability, lower insurance premiums, and less depreciation, your used trucks fleet's bottom line will prosper.

Ryder Used Vehicles can help you start, grow, or replace your truck fleet affordably with the most reliable used commercial vehicles on the road.

With Ryder by your side, you will:

  • Have access to the largest inventory of commercial trucks and trailers on the market.
  • Choose from top manufacturers, including Freightliner, Ford, Dino, Isuzu, Kenworth, Mack, Volvo, Navistar International, and Peterbilt.
  • Finance your investment with a wide array of flexible options, whether you’re a start-up owner/operator or a seasoned business professional. We can even include warranty and maintenance in your package, reducing your monthly payments.
  • Pick up your vehicles at convenient locations across North America. With over 60 used truck centers, there’s likely one in your area. And if the vehicle you want isn’t nearby, we’ll transfer it to any of our locations.
  • Get exclusive deals and savings, available only through Ryder Used Trucks.

If you want to learn more about buying, renting, or leasing commercial trucks, check out our Ultimate Commercial Trucks Guide here.

Explore Other Topics

Would you like to talk to us about your current business needs?

Would you like to talk to us about your current business needs?

Service of Interest
  • Warehousing - Dedicated
  • Warehousing - Shared
  • Warehousing - Short Term
  • Warehousing - Refrigerated / Frozen
  • Transportation - Dedicated
  • Transportation - Transportation Management
  • Transportation - Freight Brokerage
  • Transportation - Inbound and/or Outbound
  • Fulfillment - E-commerce
  • Fulfillment - Retail
  • Fulfillment - Wholesale
  • Last Mile Delivery
  • Sign Up to be a Carrier
  • Lease & Maintenance
  • Used Trucks
  • Rent Trucks
  • Other

We may use the information you provide to contact you about Ryder System, Inc. We do not share/sell your data. To learn more, view our privacy policy.

We may use the information you provide to contact you about Ryder System, Inc. We do not share/sell your data. To learn more, view our privacy policy.

You've activated accessibility mode.
Enable accessibility mode.