Author Topic: I'm buying a new truck. But how new? Please help me decide!  (Read 889 times)

JuneApple

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Hello forum folks! I'm thinking about buying an almost brand new truck. I would love to hear your thoughts on why I should or should not do this. I feel insane to even be considering it - but that's not making the idea go away.

I've always driven older vehicles until they have over 225,000 miles on them (the last one had to be scrapped at 325,000). Or until I wreck them into a deer. Most of my vehicles had salvage titles when I purchased them. I've had a long commute since I started driving and I've put a lot of miles on my cars. Now I'm now a small business owner (1-year in), I drive fewer miles, and I need to update my work truck. I currently have a 2006 Ford Ranger extended cab 4x4 with 240,000 miles. A tow hitch and 4-wheel drive are required for my business. Think forester in a very rough and rural area, only that's not my actual field. I'm looking at two trucks, both of which are F150 regular cab 4x4. A 2013 with 32,000 miles for $20,000 or a 2020 with 10,000 miles for $29,000. I would need to buy a topper for the 2020, but it does have fancy new features like a backup camera, which I think I would really like. Especially since the topper won't have a back window. The 2013 is very basic. It already has a sweet fiberglass topper, but I would need to install a radio.

I'm leaning towards the 2013 because I think the mileage is comparable. But, the 2020 has all of the service records and it is still under warranty. It's also an excellent deal. It's listed way, way below book value- probably because people want electric windows and an extended cab.

The new truck will probably be purchased by me personally and I will charge mileage to the business. I'm looking at much fancier vehicles than I normally would for several reasons.

1. It's a business vehicle so I would like for it to be reliable and look nice. Both of these trucks fit the bill.
2. My mom just gifted $10,000 each to my sibling and me in hopes that we would use the money to upgrade our vehicles. But there are not any actual strings attached to the money. If I buy either of these trucks it will make her happy.
3. I guess I can afford it. I seem to have reached financial independence. But, that doesn't feel real yet. Since I just started my business, I intend to keep at it full-time for at least 5 more years. 
4. I'm starting to get tired of the endless, expensive vehicle repairs. I do not repair my own vehicles and I don't intend to start. At least until I retire. In general, I've always assumed that warranties were a gimmick and a waste of money. But, maybe I'm wrong. Would I be better off with the 2020?
5. Safety features? I guess that should be a concern. But, a 2013 probably has all the important safety features. Right?
6. I'm from the rust-belt. And so is the 2013. It would be by far the most expensive, lowest mileage, and the youngest vehicle I've ever owned. Only 7 years old! I don't know if I even need to be concerned with rust. All of my vehicles have had rust underneath and it didn't seem to stop them from getting me where I needed to go. Should I care about rust?

Despite the reasons above, I'm not so sure about the fancy vehicle because I like to hang onto my money. It's so darned hard to get in the first place. I'm also concerned about hedonistic adaptation and becoming a wasteful over-consumer. Driving a brand new vehicle just seems like a crazy thing to do. What do you folks think? 

Zamboni

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Re: I'm buying a new truck. But how new? Please help me decide!
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2021, 04:03:01 PM »
The newer truck might be much easier to switch from 2WD to 4WD, so check on that feature in both trucks. The older manual switch is a pain compared to the new switch on the fly with just the flick of a knob. Not sure what year that change happened on most trucks, but it was around 2013 I think. The backup cam is super nice to have . . . I only have it on one of my vehicles, the largest one, and it is definitely worth something. What other features are different? Bluetooth in the new one? That sure is nice when making calls on the road. What else?

Although the mileage is almost the same, 2013 vs 2020 is a very big difference in age. Definitely used (and definitely more rust) vs. basically brand new. I feel like 20K for a 2013 is a lot of money . . . but big trucks are usually expensive. I just went truck shopping, and you are right: the regular cab trucks are good prices right now. I was shocked at how fast they depreciate that first year, so the 2018-2020 model years seem like a great deal compared to 2021 for sure. I think a lot of guys had to bail on their trucks during the pandemic, so the market is a bit flooded at the moment, which is good for you.

Have you looked closely and carefully and in person at both trucks? There can be major differences in condition that are difficult to see on photos. Only you can look at both trucks in person and make the decision. Some older trucks are super duper clean and still smell great or at least neutral, and others are pretty trashed, have oil stains, and smell like cigs. In either case, I'd tried to get them to knock another $1K off or kick in the taxes or something. Remember, there are tons and tons and tons of trucks in the $20-29K range. Like a gazillion of them. Seriously, you can pick the exact color and all of the features you want and likely still get it, especially if you are willing to travel a bit to pick it up.

Since this is a work truck, you can write it off the std mileage or depreciation on your business taxes, right? Get a couple magnets with your business names on it for the doors and you are good to go? Talk to your accountant about that, and keep an IRS compliant mileage log (there are several apps that do that, such as Stride).

Happy truck shopping!

JuneApple

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Re: I'm buying a new truck. But how new? Please help me decide!
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2021, 05:27:35 PM »
Thank you. Itís very helpful to hear about your recent experience truck shopping. It makes me feel more relaxed to know  that there are plenty of trucks in this price range. Unfortunately, neither of the trucks I mentioned are near enough to me to inspect unless Iím seriously interested in buying them. One of them is a four hour drive. The other is six hours in another direction.

Youíre right about the Bluetooth. My state just passed a hands free law, so that feature would add some value for me.

It sounds like you would lean towards the 2018-2020 models. Which is not what I wanted to hear- but kind of what I expected to hear. I wanted to hear a chorus of ďbuy the less expensive oneĒ.

Youíre right- the vehicle will provide tax write-offs of some kind. It will be primarily a business vehicle, and my household does have a personal vehicle already. Maybe I should consider having my business purchase this vehicle. Itís just that Iím sure Iíll need to use it for personal errands occasionally and Iím not sure if thatís allowed. Iíll talk to my accountant before I pull the trigger. Thank you for bringing that up.

Paper Chaser

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Re: I'm buying a new truck. But how new? Please help me decide!
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2021, 06:32:29 PM »
Which power trains? 2015 and newer F150s have aluminum bodies, so no rust to worry about (although aluminum can still corrode).

norajean

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Re: I'm buying a new truck. But how new? Please help me decide!
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2021, 09:23:43 PM »
Get the new F150 electric for $32,000. Fast and strong.

Morning Glory

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Re: I'm buying a new truck. But how new? Please help me decide!
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2021, 05:45:04 AM »
Get the new F150 electric for $32,000. Fast and strong.

Agreed! If I had a business where I needed to put a ton of miles on a truck I would totally get one of those.

Friend has a business truck (he's not the owner, it's a sort of perk that he can drive the work truck home). There is some kind of de minimis rule for personal errands (he can drive a couple miles out of the way to pick up groceries on the way home but not drive 100 miles to the city unless he's working on a project there).

JuneApple

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Re: I'm buying a new truck. But how new? Please help me decide!
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2021, 06:16:18 AM »
Holy shit! I did not know about the electric F150. It looks amazing! I should be able to run my Ford Ranger for another year until it is released. And with the tax incentives I wonít be spending much more than I was already planning to. Iíve been dreaming about solar and an electric vehicle for years. Iím so glad I posted this question. Thank you so much!

ender

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Re: I'm buying a new truck. But how new? Please help me decide!
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2021, 06:41:04 AM »
Do you have to buy soon?

Trucks right now are stupidly expensive for a variety of reasons. You'd likely save a fair bit waiting a year.

Dicey

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Re: I'm buying a new truck. But how new? Please help me decide!
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2021, 07:15:28 AM »
Holy shit! I did not know about the electric F150. It looks amazing! I should be able to run my Ford Ranger for another year until it is released. And with the tax incentives I wonít be spending much more than I was already planning to. Iíve been dreaming about solar and an electric vehicle for years. Iím so glad I posted this question. Thank you so much!
I think I read on another thread that the first year's allocation has already been spoken for. If you're serious, you might want to get in line now.

DH has a 2002 F150 with 100k miles on it. He found a burnt-out red fiberglass shell on CL for $250 and painted it to match. He does his own maintenance. It still looks and runs great. He bought it brand new and plans to drive it forever, but he's keeping an interested eye on the electric version.

My vote is to buy the 2020 and wait until you can snag a deal on a used electric F150 a few years down the road. If you take good care of the 2020, the resale value will still be solid. I would be curious about why the seller is dumping an almost-new truck. (BTW, the other one is eight, going on nine years old.)

You can deduct business use of your personal vehicle.  Keep a log and the percentage of business to personal use won't matter. If you buy used and do your own maintenance, you'll find that taking the IRS mileage rate almost always puts a little extra money in your pocket.

JuneApple

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Re: I'm buying a new truck. But how new? Please help me decide!
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2021, 02:20:15 PM »
Wow- this is so cool. I've been reading this forum for a long time, but this is my first foray into participating. It's neat to be talking to you folks.

ender: I don't have to buy soon. But, I could probably sell my Ford Ranger for $5000 right now. And I won't get nearly as much for it if something goes wrong. But, you're right, maybe I'm rushing into this and I should wait to buy. 

Dicey: I talked to the dealership that has the 2020. They have a crazy-sounding trade-in deal with two local government entities. The town trades in all of its vehicles every single year. Apparently, this has been going on for 30+ years. The town gets a good deal on the new vehicles, the dealership gets good sales numbers, and then the dealership gets to sell the low-mileage trade-ins. The dealership had three trucks like this when I found them yesterday. But, they sold two of them today. So, of course, the dealer told me to get my ass in gear. He recommended the same thing as you. He said that the utility-style F150s hold their value really well and he didn't think I would have any trouble selling it for a good price in 5 years or so.

RWD

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Re: I'm buying a new truck. But how new? Please help me decide!
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2021, 05:17:27 PM »
I was also going to recommend the new electric F-150 Lightning. After incentives the base version is barely more expensive than the top end of what you were planning on spending on a used truck.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: I'm buying a new truck. But how new? Please help me decide!
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2021, 12:59:20 AM »
In this market, way below book value almost signals a large problem.  Definitely have your own mechanic check it out...

Dicey

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Re: I'm buying a new truck. But how new? Please help me decide!
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2021, 01:06:03 AM »
In this market, way below book value almost signals a large problem.  Definitely have your own mechanic check it out...
Did you see the clarification by JuneApple a couple of posts up? I'm satisfied with that explanation. Except that I think they're base models, I'd be messaging JA to try to buy one of those trucks when we need to buy our next one.

sonofsven

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Re: I'm buying a new truck. But how new? Please help me decide!
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2021, 12:11:58 PM »
I bought my last truck new in 2012 for this reason.
Used were not priced low enough in relation to new, in my opinion.
This truck (Nissan Frontier) now has 180k miles, still running strong.
Messing around on the web the other day I saw Nissan is trying to unload all the current Frontiers because they have a new version coming out, and they were offering 60 mo loans at zero percent interest, just to tempt me.