Used Heavy Trucks – Is a Dealership Better Than Private Sales?

Purchasing used heavy trucks can be a long process when you just don’t know where to begin. There are many listings in newspapers and online, with many different owners looking to sell their trucks. Some of the places that offer a wide variety of used heavy trucks will have a good selection of models, ages and mileage while others may not. Depending on how much research is done before heading out to look at the selections, some people might need to see several different trucks for comparison and other people might only need one to look at.

This brings the question of whether it’s better to look for used heavy trucks in dealerships or to contact private sellers to get the best vehicle for the job and the best price for it as well.


One of the biggest factors for purchasing vehicles new or old is the sense of trust one may have with a seller. Many people hesitate to visit dealerships or used truck lots because there is a negative view of the sales personnel. On the other hand, private sales are generally done directly from the previous owner, meaning they may also not divulge all of the correct information, which is where the phrase caveate emptor (let the buyer beware) is derived.

Although there is a lack of trust from the beginning, the difference between the two options is the fact that the personnel from a particular company have certain standards and laws to adhere to, while the private seller does not to the same extent.


One of the biggest benefits of purchasing used heavy trucks is the ability to negotiate the final buying price. This can be done with both the sales person at the dealership and the private seller. Both will try to get as much as they can but one will generally be more forgiving with the final price than the other.

A dealership sale will always have extras added on after negotiating the cost of the truck itself, meaning they can generally go a fair amount lower than the marked price, mainly because they will add some other costs onto it later on in the transaction.

The private seller will usually have the total price listed and will negotiate with a seller; however they will generally not allow the price to go too low. If they do, caution should be practiced since there must be a good reason for the seller to go far below the initial listed price.

Reports and Accident Disclosure

All legitimate dealerships will have a complete accident history report of each used heavy truck they have available for sale. This is a requirement for legal sale, making sure that all customers are aware of a vehicle’s history prior to purchase. This is not always the case with private sales since some individuals who are looking to get rid of an old vehicle will not disclose the full information.

Whether it’s a dealership or a private seller, it’s important to practice caution to get the best possible deal. Before starting a search, it’s recommended to take a look at the various models that would work best for individual needs and to see what the general prices are for these models. This will give you a better idea of what a reasonable price would be so that you can get the best in the end.

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