Advice for first time used truck buyers
A guide to buying Used
Interested in purchasing a used commercial vehicle but unsure where to begin? Perhaps you want to start your own business and it’s your first venture into the world of professional trucking. We’ve compiled some helpful hints and tips to help you make an informed decision. You can find the complete guide on our used website here
Decide what you need
There are so many different variables when it comes to commercial vehicles; transmission, axle layout, dealer, model, horsepower, the list goes on. So, to make your search as pain-free as possible try to be clear on what it is that you’ll be using the truck for. Knowing your potential payload is a good starting point, and from there your seller should be able to point you in the right direction. Also, remember that towing capacity and payload are not the same.
Understand the legal requirements of becoming a business owner using a truck for its operations
If you’re going to purchase a truck to start up your own business you’ll need to apply for a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) operators licence, otherwise known as an ‘o’ licence. The licence is issued by the Traffic Commissioner – the independent regulator of the commercial road transport industry. Before applying for the licence you are required to have a company base and an advert in the local paper for 21 days prior to application. Then you can apply for your licence online or by post. More information on that here. This is required in addition to your HGV licence, whether that be C1, C1+E, C or C+E.
Research is key
You wouldn’t make a snap decision on buying a house, and buying a truck shouldn’t be any different. A reputable seller should equate to a reliable truck with a long life ahead, so do your research through neutral industry connections or online via reviews and articles. You should also look into your preferred model type to see how it’s fared for others, and whether there are any recurring faults.
Complete a thorough inspection
On paperwork and in person, meaning request the V5 paperwork to confirm that the truck’s description, MoT dates etc are correct. Look into the service history and maintenance records - this is an easy way of discovering whether work has been done by a main dealer or not. A thorough once-over of the truck, including checks for rust, paintwork, water level, oil quality, engine sound, break pads, catwalk, fuel tank and condition of the cab should be done. Then it’s time to go for a test drive to see how the vehicle runs and if there are any warning lights.
Consider your finance options
A truck, whether used or new, is a big investment, and how it will be financed is an inherently personal decision. Seek advice from as many sources as you can to determine which route is best for you.
Scania Financial Services offer flexible financing and insurance options to help customers finance their business in the most effective way with a personalised operation profile.