Updated: Dec 17, 2021
Making the decision to buy a semi-truck is a big one and there are a lot of considerations you need to make before buying one. Getting started as an owner-operator can be incredibly rewarding but it can also be costly. These are some financial points you may want to consider before embarking on the journey to owning your own truck.
Things to consider
Cost and affordability - what can you afford? Cost is likely the biggest consideration you will make when purchasing a truck. You need to make sure you stay within your budget while still acquiring a valuable piece of equipment that will serve you as an asset instead of a liability. Here are some considerations you should make:
New vs used - a brand new or even a newer truck is going to cost you over $100,000. If you can afford to finance or purchase a brand new truck then do so. A Brand new truck will be covered by a very good warranty, not to mention you will not need repairs often.
Credit - your credit is a very important determining factor when purchasing a truck. You will likely be paying a monthly note and a lender is going to want to do a credit check in order to grant you a note. Be sure to check your credit score ahead of time and if it's not up to par, you may want to wait while you take some time to work on it.
Prepare for the expenses
Whether you buy a new or a used truck, you should be aware of the potential expenses that could come along. Just like cars, trucks encounter mechanical issues. As I mentioned earlier a new truck will not need repairs often and it will likely be covered by an extensive warranty. If a new truck is in your budget it could potentially save you a lot of money on repairs in the long run. If you are planning on buying a used truck, know the warranty will not last as long as the warranty on a new truck. Take into consideration that a used truck will need to be repaired sooner and more often and plan for that in your budget.
Leasing can be a great option if you don’t have a large down payment or don’t have the best credit. You often don’t need good credit and there are some companies that lease without checking your credit at all! Another benefit of leasing is you get to get an idea of how to maintain a truck and the costs associated with truck maintenance without having to come out of your own pocket. Most leases come with some form of a service agreement in which the lender agrees to take care of most major servicing issues that come up. Some downsides to leasing are that the insurance is typically higher and you may end up spending more money overall than if you were to buy the truck outright.
Conventional lease or lease to own -In a conventional lease you make a down payment followed by monthly payments for a set period of time. Once the lease is over you give the vehicle back. In some cases, you may have the option to renew your lease or you may want to lease a different vehicle. In a lease-to-own contract, you are given the option to purchase the vehicle at the end of the leasing term.
Purchasing a semi-truck is a big commitment to make and there are many different factors to keep in mind when preparing to buy one. No one wants to rush into such a huge commitment before having all their information in order, so be sure you do your research thoroughly and above all else, take your time to be sure that you are making the correct decision in the truck you choose to purchase. This will likely be your livelihood so take great care to get the best quality for your money.