Whether your fleet is growing or you just need to replace outdated, old, or broken trucks, it can be smart to purchase used vehicles. The more places you know of to search for used fleet trucks the more likely you will be able to find one that fits your criteria and budget.
In this article, we will outline the benefits of purchasing used fleet trucks and go over where to find them.
Benefits of Purchasing Used Fleet Trucks
For businesses in need of a truck, there are a number of benefits to purchasing used fleet trucks. Buying used can sometimes even be the preferable option over acquiring them new.
Shopping in the pre-owned market provides purchasers with a large selection of used truck options at a lower price than buying new. Often discontinued models that are no longer available new can be found in the used market. In addition, pre-owned trucks face less of an impact from depreciation than new ones do.
Some used fleet trucks may come with a warranty. If not, extended warranties can be purchased for used trucks from a number of vendors.
Where to Find Used Fleet Trucks
Often when purchasing a used fleet truck it takes some time and searching to find the right one. Understanding all of the possible options to find used fleet trucks will help you widen your search, expose you to more vehicles, and ultimately allow you to purchase a better truck.
Here are some of the places you can find used fleet trucks.
Used Vehicle Auctions
Auctions are a great place to find used fleet trucks. Many fleets use auction houses to get rid of excess inventory and used trucks on a regular basis. There are three main types of auctions: public, government, and dealer auctions.
Public car auctions sell all sorts of vehicles, including used fleet trucks. However, they may also sell other types of vehicles including repossessed ones, flood junkers, and low-value trade-ins, so be careful to do your research before purchasing from a public auction.
This type of auction has become increasingly popular during the pandemic so the competition may be tough. In some instances used vehicles sell for above-market price at public auctions.
Know the value of the vehicles you’re shopping for and take care not to overbid.
One example of a reputable public auctioneer is Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. They run an industrial asset management and disposition business and sell trucks—and heavy industrial equipment—online via live auctions.
Numerous U.S. government agencies auction off their used vehicles. All of these vehicle auctions are consolidated in one website: GSA Fleet Sales.
GSA stands for General Services Administration. It is the federal agency that purchases new vehicles and leases them to other federal agencies. These vehicles have fixed leasing periods. When this leasing period is over, the vehicles are sold to the public via an online auction.
GSA auctions are all open to the public. The vehicles being auctioned off have been used by U.S. government agencies for general transportation purposes only. No vehicles sold by GSA are repossessed or ex-military vehicles.
On the GSA website, it is easy to search for vehicles by vehicle type, make, model, location, or one of several other factors. The website includes information on each vehicle and in some instances photos. All vehicles sold at GSA auctions “are well-maintained, low-mileage, detailed, and ready to drive.”
In some instances, the best prices for used fleet vehicles can be found at wholesale auto auctions. However, many of these auctions are so-called “dealer auctions” that require a dealer’s license to participate in.
Despite this, it is possible to buy vehicles from dealer auctions through an intermediary. You’ll need to connect with a person or a business with a dealer’s license—such as an auto dealer or a licensed broker. They will purchase the vehicle on your behalf and likely charge you a fee for doing so.
You don’t need sophisticated means to purchase a used fleet truck. Sometimes the old ways are the best. In some instances, fleet trucks are parked by the curb with a big “For Sale” sign on the dash.
This is generally something you’ll only see from owner/operators or small fleets. The benefit of selling this way is that it is inexpensive, encourages a local sale, and is simple to set up. A direct sale also avoids middleman fees that some selling platforms charge.
Take a drive through industrial areas and keep an eye out to see if any fleets are selling their used trucks.
In Online, Newspaper and Magazine Classified Ads
Classified advertisements are a great place to search for used fleet trucks. Between online, newspaper, and magazine classified ads, there are many different places to look.
Popular classified ad websites for vehicles include Craigslist and Autotrader. These sites can be hit or miss depending on the available inventory so keep checking back to see what new models become available.
Newspaper classified ads are still used to sell used fleet trucks. Check listings in the major papers of large metropolitan areas as well as smaller listings in local papers—you never know where you might find the perfect used fleet truck.
Be sure to also check out the classified section of trade journals and industry magazines for used fleet truck advertisements. This is sometimes the best way of finding trucks that are already outfitted for your industry’s specific needs.
Buying used trucks can be a smart way to add to or recycle your fleet. Purchasing used means you're getting vehicles for cheaper than if you were to purchase them new and they’ll depreciate less.
In addition, when you purchase a used truck you get to choose from a wide selection of vehicles including discontinued models. The more places you know to search for used fleet trucks the better.