Step 2 - Buying and selling
Look at purchasing options—new or second-hand? Compare the long term costs
The price of a second-hand vehicle can be appealing but the operating and maintenance costs may be far less attractive. Remember too that recent technology improvements in the truck market mean that newer vehicles are often more fuel efficient, produce fewer harmful emissions and require less frequent servicing—while you may pay a little more up front, you will spend much less money over the time you own the truck.
Most major small-truck dealers now offer leasing arrangements which can save on money needed up front to buy the truck, and also mean you can update your vehicle when replacement is due at a small additional cost. While leasing provides you with more flexibility, you may pay out more over the life of the vehicle when compared to the cost of outright purchase.
When is the best time to sell your current truck?
It is not always easy to know the best time to sell your truck. You should keep in mind two issues when thinking about your truck's life—running costs and resale values.
Throughout your truck's life, keep up to date with new truck developments and features (e.g. fuel efficiency technology) and track your spending on maintenance and fuel. As your truck gets older, you might notice that you are spending more on maintenance, or perhaps find that you use more fuel than you used to.
Look at the costs of purchasing a new vehicle, and the savings that would come from having a newer truck that has better fuel efficiency and needs less frequent servicing.
If your truck has been well maintained and is in good condition, it will attract a reasonable trade-in/second-hand price. If you put off updating your truck for too long, it will probably end up costing you more as you'll be paying more in maintenance and fuel as well as limiting yourself to a lower trade-in/resale value.
Before you move to the next step, make sure you:
Understand which purchasing option is best for you—outright purchase or leasing, new or used.