Buying a truck for your business is a significant investment, especially if it will be your first commercial vehicle. Needless to say, buying a truck—or any vehicle—for that matter, is a serious financial obligation, which is why there are a lot of factors that you need to consider before making a decision.
While you scope out trucks for sale, here are the factors that you need to consider when choosing a truck for your business.
Total operating expenses
First things first, can your business afford a truck at this point? A lot of business owners make the mistake of failing to consider operating expenses on top of the initial costs. This leads to them having trouble with their cash flow because they did not consider (or else underestimated) additional costs such as fuel, maintenance, insurance, and repairs.
Before you even start looking for trucks available, it’s crucial to crunch the numbers at least twice to determine if you can really afford it. If buying a truck will push your budget to its limits, it may be better to put off the purchase until you can save more money.
After you come up with a budget (both for the initial cost and the additional costs after purchasing the vehicle), find out how you’re going to pay for it. If you have enough money, buying the car with cash will save you a lot of hassle and keep you from paying interest. But if you want to finance the vehicle, you can talk to your bank about loans or sign up for in-house financing with the dealer directly.
Financing will come with interest, but it won’t eat up a huge chunk of your cash at one time, unlike when paying upfront. Interest in a company car can also be a deductible tax expense, so make sure to check this out with an accountant.
What are you going to use the truck for? Most commercial trucks are used to transport large quantities of goods from one point to another. The goods in question can also vary greatly, and the type of goods you’re going to transport will also determine what kind of truck you should buy.
Before you start looking for trucks for your business, determine the main functions and purposes that the truck is going to serve. In doing so, it will be easier to find the specific kind of truck you need, as well as its specifications. For example, if your business involves the transport of goods that need to be kept cool, opt for a refrigeration truck that is big enough for each delivery batch. On the other hand, if you’re transporting goods that don’t need any special conditions, a regular truck will do—you’ll have to decide what type and size of truck you need.
When you figure out the main purpose that the commercial truck will serve, it’s time to start looking at brands. Brands are not everything when choosing a vehicle, but they greatly determine its reliability and performance on the road.
Different brands have varying durability levels, fuel economy, affordability, and performance, among other important factors. Do your research about different truck brands to ensure that you make an informed decision. Look for peers that have trucks of their own and ask to check out their models. Visit different dealerships to broaden your pool of choices. However, don’t make the brand your primary basis of choice—remember to consider the factors mentioned above.
If you don’t have qualified employees to drive the truck, you also have to hire a truck driver, which means that you have to factor in the costs of having one in your employ.
Moreover, you have to consider the time it will take before finding a professional truck driver in your area that meets your needs. It’s not advisable to hire in a rush, especially when it involves driving a large vehicle, so you may have to give yourself two weeks or more to find a good truck driver. Apart from the search itself, you also have to factor in the time you will spend verifying their credentials and briefing them about your business.
Buying a truck for your business is a huge financial undertaking, but at the same time, it’s also a great investment that can help your business reach further heights. However, to keep your investment safe, you have to consider these factors before you start scouting for commercial trucks. Doing so will help you decide wisely and ensure that you make the right choice.
What tips can you offer to business owners looking to buy their own truck? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.