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7 Tips for Buying a Work Truck During an Inventory Shortage

7 Tips for Buying a Work Truck During an Inventory Shortage

These days, buying a work truck on the market brings its challenges. With high demand for vehicles, but low inventory due to COVID-19 pandemic-related disruptions, finding the right vehicle takes time and patience.

Shoppers are also finding that the inventory shortage is causing price inflation, as vehicle values have gone up drastically in the past couple of years. According to the Used Truck Association, the average retail selling price for Class 8 trucks in 2021 was up 69% from the previous year, while medium duty truck prices in 2021were 71% higher than 2020.

However, there’s no need to panic. Even as OEMs and dealers rush to meet high demand, and buyers are competing for available units, you can still find the vehicle you’re after. Commercial Truck Trader is sharing seven tips for buying a work truck during an inventory shortage.

1. Research In Advance to Prepare for Long Lead Times

Due to the inventory shortage, lead times for buying fleet trucks are much longer than normal. Be proactive and prepare yourself for a wait by searching on the marketplace long before you may need a vehicle for work. Understand all the steps involved when researching and buying a vehicle so you can establish a timeframe for how long it may take you to find the right truck. Make a list of everything you’re looking for in a vehicle, connect with a dealer, and review your options to make the buying experience go as fast as possible.

2. Expand Your Search Range

More than ever before, consumers are expanding their search range when browsing trucks for sale. Rather than looking only at local sellers, shoppers are checking out listings in surrounding areas and even surrounding states through online marketplaces. Expanding your search range gives you a greater selection to choose from, and may lead to a faster purchase. Commercial Truck Trader’s site lets you find more vehicles based on how close they may be to you, or you can expand your search nationwide.

3. Look at Dealers AND Private Sellers

Find more vehicles by seeing what all of your options are on the market by comparing listings from both dealers and private sellers. Dealers may have a greater selection of trucks to choose from or the specific type of truck you or your fleet may need for a job. However, some private sellers may have a harder-to-find vehicle and may be more willing to negotiate prices when you buy. Either way, give due consideration to both dealers and private sellers, know how to talk to truck dealers when buying, and make sure you’re well informed when you’re ready to buy.

4. Be Open to Buying Used

Manufacturers are still behind filling orders after pandemic closures, while a scarcity of microchips and other vehicle parts have created additional delays. All of this has led to a scarcity of new models, making used vehicles some of the only units available. Opening up your search to used units will give you a greater selection to choose from and may offer more budget-friendly options compared to a new vehicle purchase.

5. Buy Your Lease Vehicle

Many trucking business owners or fleet managers look to lease a commercial vehicle before committing to a purchase, which can be an affordable alternative to buying or renting. It also gives you a chance to test out a vehicle on the job and become more familiar driving a specific truck model. Buying your lease vehicle may be the best option for you, as you won’t have to undergo any new training to learn how the vehicle operates, and you can receive the next-to-new value of a commercial truck. This might be the fastest option for you when buying and deploying your new vehicle for immediate use with your workforce.

6. Find a Vehicle that Can Satisfy Multiple Jobs

You may have some flexibility with the use of your truck depending on your line of work. For example, utility trucks, box trucks, and cargo vans for sale have features or space that could be used for multiple lines of work. This includes deliveries, moving services, plumbing, carpentry, electrical work, lawn care, and much more. If one vehicle can satisfy multiple needs, and help you avoid having to purchase more than one truck, you’ll save lots of time and money.

7. Consider Upgrading Your Current Vehicle

Adding truck upgrades and upfits to your vehicle can benefit your business and may be a better route to take than buying another vehicle outright. Think of it this way: you’re not buying an entirely new truck, just specific truck parts and getting the most out of what you already have. With these additional upgrades, you’re putting more value back into your fleet of trucks, while saving time and money. Upgrades or upfits can be occupation-specific, making changes to your vehicles to keep them running strong and more efficient for your line of work.

Even with inventory shortages, delays, and high prices, truck buyers can find a way around these challenges in the market by planning ahead, exploring different purchase options, or making the most out of a vehicle you may already have. Keep an open mind and be proactive during your search. If you’re ready to find your next new or used truck, be sure to see the nation’s largest inventory of vehicles on or our sister site!


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Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller

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