Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying Used 4x4 Trucks

April 10, 2012

Used 4x4 trucks can be a good value if payload capacity is the key consideration rather than performance. Examine the pros and cons of a used 4x4 truck.

Used 4x4 Truck

For people looking to buy a used 4x4 truck, there are advantages and disadvantages. A used 4x4 truck may be just as reliable as a brand new 4x4 truck. As technology continues to improve, used 4x4 trucks will continue to demonstrate increased reliability at a lower cost than a comparable new 4x4 truck.

Advantages of Used 4x4 Trucks

  • Reduced cost. As with any used vehicle, used 4x4 trucks generally have a lower price than similar brand new vehicles. In this era of environmental responsibility, many people are trading in their 4x4 for smaller, more fuel efficient cars. As a result, the supply of used 4x4 trucks is increased. When supplies are increased, prices tend to decrease, possibly creating an even bigger gap between the cost of buying a used 4x4 truck and a new 4x4 truck.
  • Manufacturer's warranty. Many auto manufacturers now offer a certified used vehicle program. These programs allow buyers to purchase nearly new, reconditioned vehicles at used vehicle prices. A major benefit of a certified used vehicle program is that the vehicle comes with a manufacturer's warranty, as well as certain perks generally available to new vehicle buyers.
  • Easy modifications. You are shopping for a used 4x4 truck to take off-roading, a potential benefit to buying an older used truck is the fact that the manufacturer's warranty may have expired. True off-roaders usually modify their trucks in some way, whether it's adding a lift kit, installing heavy-duty shocks and springs, or making modifications to the engine. It is possible these changes may void any manufacturer's warranty on a new or certified used 4x4 truck, so buying an older truck without a warranty should allow buyers to more freely customize their off-road vehicle.

Disadvantages of Used 4x4 Trucks

  • Previous owner misuse. A common concern with buying a used truck, especially a used 4x4 truck, is the unknown about how the previous owner treated the truck. Did they commute in stop-and-go traffic everyday, which is harder on the truck's engine than highway driving? Did they drive the truck off-road and potentially compromise the truck's mechanicals in any way? Were they a fast accelerator and late braker, which could add undue stress to the truck's powertrain? Buying a used 4x4 truck exposes a buyer to these potential concerns.
  • Higher financing rates. Typically speaking, used truck financing rates run higher than comparable new truck financing rates. Many possible explanations for this exist, but the most common has to do with the risk a lender is assuming when making a used truck loan. It is possible that a used truck could be less reliable than a new truck. If a used truck breaks down, the owner may be less likely to continue making payments than if they were driving an operable new truck.

As with any decision, there are advantages and disadvantages to buying a used 4x4 truck. Only the buyer can determine if the benefits outweigh the risks.