Disadvantages of Buying a Used 4x4 Diesel Truck

January 27, 2012

Buyers in need of serious towing, hauling, and off-road capabilities typically consider both new and used 4x4 diesel trucks. Buying a used truck brings many advantages, including a lower price and similar reliability when compared to a new truck. However, disadvantages exist, too. The following are some of the key disadvantages when purchasing a used 4x4 diesel truck:

It's Used

No matter how it's presented, a used truck is exactly that: used. For many people, the term "used" leaves a bad taste in their mouths. As such, dealerships advertise used trucks with a variety of names. Pre-owned and certified are two examples. Regardless, every pre-owned truck has seen duty in someone else's hands. Imperfections such as stains, smells, and scratches all come standard.

High Mileage

Generally speaking, diesel trucks are sold with higher mileage than the typical used vehicle. It is not uncommon to see a used diesel truck for sale with over 200,000 miles on it. Granted, diesel engines typically have better reliability than a gasoline equivalent, but high mileage remains a concern. Even if the truck turns out to have strong reliability, buyers need to be comfortable with the idea of spending their hard-earned money on a vehicle that has seen that much use. Staring at an odometer that reflects high mileage can be challenging to overcome.

No Manufacturer's Warranty

Unless the truck is a certified used truck, a meaningful warranty will not be offered. Most dealerships have some sort of return period and basic warranty (typically expiring between 1 week and 1 month after purchase, factoring in mileage restrictions), and many will offer various third-party warranty packages that can be purchased at an additional cost. However, most third-party warranties aren't as comprehensive as the original manufacturer's warranty, and they can easily add $2,000 to the purchase price of the used truck.

Prior Abuse

Perhaps more than any other class of vehicle, diesel trucks typically endure years of abuse from their owners. Abuse isn't referring to mistreatment, accidents, or general automotive ignorance (although this can be the case with many used vehicles). Instead, abuse is referring to heavy towing and high-grade hauling. Diesel trucks provide their owners with an elevated level of utility, so buyers who purchase diesel trucks typically do so as workhorses. Towing and hauling put serious strain on a truck's powertrain, and can age a truck quicker than if it was used only as a daily commuter. Combining the unknown previous treatment with the high mileage commonly found on diesel trucks can bring into question the truck's mechanical rigidity.

Higher Financing Rates

For buyers who will finance the purchase of a diesel truck, used vehicle financing rates tend to be higher than new vehicle financing rates. There are many reasons why this is the case, but a lot of it has to do with perceived reliability. Oftentimes, used trucks are less reliable than new trucks. If a used truck breaks down, the owner may be less likely to continue making payments on the vehicle loan. Lenders assume this potential risk, and charge a higher interest rate to compensate themselves in the event the risk becomes reality.

As discussed, advantages and disadvantages exist to purchasing a used 4x4 diesel truck. Each buyer should evaluate all options and make a personal decision to determine how their needs will best be met. 


Related Questions and Answers

What is the Best Selling of Used Diesel Pickups?

When deciding to purchase used diesel pickups, the ultimate goal of the vehicle's use must be considered. The attributes needed for a truck that will be used for work will be different from the attributes needed for a truck that will be used for pleasure. Pickup trucks are generally classified as small to medium sized vehicles, and in that classification of truck, there are three manufacturers that have vehicles with high resale value. For durability, and beauty, the Toyota Tundra, the Ford F-Series, and the Dodge Ram are the most popular used diesel pickup trucks.

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