When you’re purchasing a new truck, you might consider what will happen when you eventually sell it. Will the truck maintain its resale value? In a few years, will you wind up losing a lot of money on the vehicle, or will you be back where you started?

People talk a lot about maintaining the resale value of their trucks, but “resale value” is actually quite misunderstood. We assume that if we follow some simple steps, we’ll get what we want when it comes time to sell. Thing is, what we do prior to buying the vehicle in the first place has more to do with retail value than anything else.

When it comes to heavy duty trucks, we’re in a buyer’s market. Supply outweighs demand for almost all types of trucks, especially standard sleepers. If you list your truck for sale on the high-end commercial websites, you could be competing on against 3,000 other sellers.

In this type of market, you want your truck to be in tip-top shape for resale. Whether you want top dollar for your truck, or whether you just need to sell, you can benefit from following a few best practices. Here are 5 tips that will help you maintain the resale value of your heavy duty truck.

1. Pay Attention to Specifications When Purchasing

When you’re purchasing a heavy duty truck, pay attention to specifications. The specs you choose when buying will set you up for success when it comes time to sell. In general, you should go for versatility. The more versatile the specs, the more appealing your truck will be to future buyers.

Here are some things to pay attention to when making a purchase:

  • Horsepower – When it comes to horsepower, you can save money if you purchase a small fuel efficient engine. However, small engines don’t command a lot of dollars when it comes time to sell. This is especially true with long haul truckers. For the most part, horsepower sells. Be mindful of fuel economy, but don’t buy a truck that’s short on horsepower.
  • Transmission – You might want to buy a truck with the latest new-fangled transmission, but you’re better off staying away from gimmicks, at least until they’re widely accepted in the market. You may have the opportunity to buy a truck that shifts at the blink of an eye, but in two years it may turn out to be a technological nightmare. If you buy into a technology that doesn’t pan out, you could lose thousands of dollars in value when you sell.
  • Rear end ratio – When you order your custom spec truck, you may dial the rear end ratio to meet your needs exactly, but make sure that ratio can work for a variety of applications. Otherwise, you may have a tough time selling.

2. Take Care of Your Truck with Regular Maintenance

Maintenance may seem like an obvious way to maintain resale value, but trust us, it’s still worth noting. Many owners neglect their truck and assume that buyers won’t pick up on it when it comes time to sell. The truth is, neglect is hard to cover up. If you take care of your truck, your truck will take care of you when it’s time to sell.

Make sure to:

  • Replace tires when tread is worn down
  • Change the oil regularly
  • Repair any dents or damage
  • Regularly clean your vehicle’s interior and exterior

3. Buy a Truck with a Well-known Brand Name

You may be tempted to save a few thousand dollars by purchasing an off brand truck, transmission, or engine. If you don’t buy from a well-known brand, you risk losing resale value. It could be a costly mistake when it is time to sell. When people buy pre-owned vehicles, they care about buying from a brand they can trust.

4. Keep up Appearances

A purple truck with flames painted on the side may seem like a good idea at the time, but when it comes time to sell, you could actually see the value of your truck go up in flames. Not everyone can drive a classic long hood, but everyone can make sure that their trucks looks its best. If the interior is dirty and neglected, or the exterior is painted in crazy colors, you may struggle to sell.

5. Don’t Sell with Run Out Tires

New brand name tires are expensive, but there’s a reason for that. Much has been written about the cost savings of replacing and taking care of your tires, but the same applies when you go to sell. Virgin tires not only have value when you own the truck, but they also have considerable value when it is time to recap. This can save the owner thousands of dollars over time. Leave some tread for your buyer and you could add $3,000 – $4,000 to the value of your truck.

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