If you’re on the hunt for a piece of equipment, it’s likely you’re keeping an eye on the used market for the right one.
This can be a wise way to purchase at a good price, as long as you know what to look for and what to avoid. Here are our tips for getting a good deal when you make your next used equipment purchase:
Look at the history
The unknown factor when it comes to used equipment is what its history consists of. You might be unsure whether it’s been treated well, maintained regularly, or if it’s been in an accident that has affected its primary functions.
The first thing to check is the equipment’s operating hours or kilometres, so you can check if it is nearing its usage life span.
However, a vehicle with low operating hours or kilometres that hasn’t been well maintained may not be a better buy than one with higher usage that has been looked after properly. For that reason, the next thing to check is the log books and proof of service history that demonstrate the equipment has been properly maintained and is fully operational.
Another clue is in the machine’s fluids. Checking things like engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant and hydraulic fluid can be telling, particularly if there’s water or dirt in the fluids.
Ask an expert
It’s always a good idea to get an expert opinion on whether a used vehicle or piece of machinery is a worthwhile investment. This might be in the form of your own trusted expert, or an independent report supplied by a reputable seller.
Check in finance terms
Whether you buy new or used, finding the best possible finance deal is always part of the purchasing decision.
There are some additional finance considerations when buying used. For example, some finance companies only allow for equipment to be under a certain age. Also, many finance companies offer 100 per cent finance, and full loan payments can become difficult to meet if a piece of equipment that’s out of warranty has an expensive fault or it breaks down.
The big question: New or used?
There are pros and cons for each. New vehicles, for example, come in pristine condition but have the price tag to match.
Likewise, buying a piece of equipment in used condition can offer a huge saving due to the depreciation that’s already taken place, however there are risks in the form of problems and quirks with the gear.
Taking the right precautionary steps can help the pros outweigh the cons, and put your mind at ease when buying used equipment.