An emerging business trend is the purchasing of used trucks to reduce environmental impact. Some newer vehicle models emphasize green-friendly performance, but it often makes more sense to keep an older truck maintained and running for as long as possible. There are ample environmental costs when producing a new truck compared to a used truck, which has already been manufactured.
Opting to use a new truck may seem appealing, but it’s important to remember the harm in the manufacturing process. Toyota found in a 2004 study that approximately 12% to 28% of carbon dioxide emissions during a vehicle’s life cycle occurs during its manufacturing period. If you care about your carbon footprint, it makes sense to keep your old vehicle running as long as possible.
The Appeal of Buying a Used Truck
In instances where an old truck is beyond repair or it costs an unreasonable amount to repair, it’s worth considering purchasing a used truck. Besides being past the manufacturing period, shopping for used trucks with fuel efficiency in mind can be an affordable way to reduce environmental impacts while improving your driving experience.
Shiny marketing for the latest eco-friendly truck model doesn’t always mean it’s a friend to the environment. Many use lead-acid, Nickel-metal Hydride or lithium-ion batteries, which are not huge jumps in sustainability or efficiency compared to used vehicles. Fuel mileage may improve, but the net benefit may be nil or minimal considering the environmentally harmful manufacturing process.
Lower Fees, All Around
An often overlooked benefit of a used truck over a new one is lower insurance costs. Used vehicles typically cost less to insure because in case of an accident or theft the lost expenses will be minimal compared to a new truck. Also, many states charge lower vehicle registration fees for used vehicles.
A good rule of thumb is to not invest in vehicle repairs if they are over half the truck’s value. For example, if your used vehicle is valued at $5000 and repair costs are around $3000, you would be better off putting that money toward a new purchase.
This makes things more flexible for businesses that can inexpensively switch from used truck to used truck every few years with lower insurance rates, vehicle registration and repair costs. Plus, in many cases the horsepower and towing capacity of a truck does not differ dramatically between older and newer models, so there is no substantial loss in the actual driving aspect.
‘Used Trucks’ Do Not Mean ‘Old Trucks’
Sometimes the term “used truck” incorrectly prompts visions of a decades-old vehicle on its last legs. In reality, there are plenty of trucks a decade or less old that are similarly efficient to the newer models. It’s true that decades-old vehicles may have numerous issues, but vehicles produced in the past five to ten years show the significant improvements in exhaust, engine and transmission that have occurred during that time. Vehicles produced in the last decade can typically last around 150,000 miles, which means there are plenty of worthwhile used vehicles available today.
Used vehicles are often out of warranty and will require you to pay if there’s an accident, but their lower overall cost in terms of initial purchase price and repairs can more than compensate. Most trucks created after 2009 have safety features that are similar any new model. Vehicles made from 2012 onward have stability control, which can greatly reduce the risk of fatal accidents. Thorough research on previous ownership should precede all vehicle purchases, but an inspection and knowledge of creation past 2009 is enough to assuage safety concerns.
Businesses are becoming more active in buying used trucks as opposed to new models. Typically the models they’re buying are relatively new, made in the past decade, and they come with many benefits such as lower costs and comparable fuel efficiency compared to brand new models.