Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the cost of box trucks in the United States, tailored for entrepreneurs and business owners venturing into the logistics and transportation industry.
This article delves into the nuances of purchasing new and used box trucks, analyzing key factors like truck models, classes, and their impact on pricing. We aim to equip you with valuable insights on depreciation rates, investment considerations, and cost-effectiveness across various truck classes.
By reading this article to the end, you'll gain a deeper understanding of the box truck market, enabling you to make informed decisions that align with your business needs and financial planning.
Factors That Affect the Cost of Box Trucks
If you're in the business of moving goods, a box truck is a must-have vehicle for your fleet. The all-purpose workhouse can easily transport cargo, deliver goods, or move equipment from one location to another.
Buying a box truck rather than renting can save you time and money on rental fees, in addition to providing you with greater control over the delivery process.
While the average cost of a box truck hovers right around $60,000 for a new vehicle, there are a few factors that can influence how much you ultimately end up paying:
Brand of Box Truck
Some of the most popular brands in the box truck market include Ford, Isuzu, Freightliner, Hino, and Mitsubishi.
Ford's E-Series line of box trucks is renowned for its durability and low maintenance costs. Because of this, Ford box trucks tend to be on the pricier side, with some Ecoline Series trucks fetching upwards of $50,000 depending on their age and condition.
Isuzu is another major player in the box truck market. The brand's NPR line of box trucks has become a go-to choice for many businesses due to its fuel efficiency and versatility.
This, in turn, has made Isuzu box trucks a bit more affordable than their counterparts from Ford. A new Isuzu box truck can cost around $73,000.
Freightliner box trucks are on the more expensive side, but their durability and high payload capacities make them a worthy investment. Depending on the age and condition of the truck, Freightliner box trucks can be well over $100,000.
Hino is a Japanese manufacturer that has built a loyal following thanks to its attention to detail and reliability.
Hino box trucks are known for their smooth rides and spacious interiors, making them a popular choice among long-haul drivers. As a result, prices for Hino box trucks tend to be on the higher end, with some models selling for well over $90,000.
Mitsubishi box trucks tend to be on the more affordable side, with some models selling for as low as $60,000. These trucks are known for their impressive fuel efficiency and low emissions, making them a smart choice for businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
Vehicle Age and Mileage of Box Truck
A used truck will always cost far less than a new one, even if they’re the same model and the used truck was only used for less than one year.
According to a report by CostOwl.com, a year-old 16-foot truck with just a few thousand miles might sell for $40,000 instead of $45,000.
A truck with lower mileage will generally be more expensive than one with higher mileage. This is because a vehicle with lower mileage has been driven less and therefore has less wear and tear on its mechanical components.
A truck with a higher mileage may require more maintenance and repairs, which can add to the overall cost of ownership.
|Age of Truck
|A few thousand
|$10,000 - $20,000
|$5,000 - $10,000
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The better the condition of the box truck on sale, the more expensive it will be. While this may be obvious, how to inspect a box truck’s condition is not so obvious.
A guide published by PushLimitsLogistics is particularly useful for individuals planning to invest in a box truck:
|Impact on Purchase Price
|Vehicle Condition & Maintenance Records
|Higher price for well-maintained trucks
|Higher confidence in purchase, potentially higher price for verified condition
|Impact on Long-Term Value
|Higher resale value and attractiveness to buyers
|Assessing Functional Aspects
|Functional components increase the truck's utility and price
|Customization and Add-Ons
|Custom features enhance value, leading to a higher price
By understanding these factors, buyers can better assess the value of a box truck and negotiate a fair price based on its condition.
Average Cost of a Box Truck?
Below are some recent prices courtesy of Commercial Truck Trader to give you a better idea of what the average cost of a big box truck might be:
|RAM Promaster 3500
|Mitsubishi FUSO FE160
|Freightliner M2 Business Class
|Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4500
|Chevrolet 4500 LCF Gas NPR HD
|Rizon 18L Electric Truck
|Chevrolet 5550 XD
|Ford Super Duty F-550
|Isuzu NPR HD Gas
|Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500XD
Insights from the data
Here are five key insights that could be useful for someone planning to buy a box truck for their business:
1- Depreciation Rate Varies by Model: The data shows significant depreciation from new to used trucks. For instance, the RAM Promaster 3500 (Class 3) drops from $56,995 to $24,346, indicating a high depreciation rate.
In contrast, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4500 (Class 4) shows a relatively lower depreciation, from $84,585 to $65,770. This suggests that some models retain their value better than others.
2- Class 5 Trucks as a High-End Investment: The Freightliner M2 Business Class (Class 5) stands out with a new price of $179,500, significantly higher than other models. However, its used price is $44,987, indicating a steep depreciation.
This suggests that Class 5 trucks are a high-end investment but can be bought at a much lower price when used.
3- Class 3 Trucks Offer Affordability: Class 3 trucks like the RAM Promaster 3500, Ford Econoline, and GMC Savana are generally more affordable in both new and used conditions. This makes them a viable option for businesses looking for cost-effective solutions.
4- Higher Class, Higher Initial Investment: There's a trend indicating that higher-class trucks (Class 5 and 6) like the Hino 268 and Freightliner M2 have higher initial purchase prices.
This could be due to larger size, greater payload capacity, or more advanced features.
5- Used Trucks as a Cost-Effective Option: For all classes and models, used trucks present a more affordable option.
This is particularly beneficial for startups or businesses with limited capital. For example, a used Hino 268 (Class 6) is available for $51,000, compared to its new price of $70,000, offering substantial savings.
In conclusion, when purchasing a box truck, it's important to consider the balance between initial investment, depreciation rate, and the truck's class. Used trucks offer significant savings and may be the best option for businesses looking to optimize their budget.
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Additional Costs to Consider When Buying a Box Truck
The cost of owning a box truck goes beyond just the purchase price. Here are a few other things to keep in mind when budgeting for your box truck.
The average cost of insurance for a box truck is right around $600 per month. Insurance is a non-negotiable cost when it comes to owning a vehicle. Box trucks, in particular, can be expensive to insure because they are larger and carry heavier payloads.
The cost of insurance will vary depending on the size of your truck, your driving record, and the level of coverage you choose. Make sure to shop around and get quotes from multiple insurance providers to ensure you're getting the best deal.
Like any vehicle, box trucks require routine maintenance such as oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections. It's important to keep up with these maintenance tasks to ensure your truck is running smoothly and prevent breakdowns.
The cost of maintenance will depend on the age and condition of your truck, as well as any repairs that need to be made.
You may also want to consider purchasing a warranty or service contract to help cover the cost of unexpected repairs. Some trucks, like reefer trucks, come with additional maintenance costs because of their additional internal components, so the average cost of a new refrigerated box truck will obviously be higher for this reason.
Most people calculate maintenance by a CPM (cost per mile) formula. This looks like: Total Expenses (Fixed + Variable) ÷ Total Miles = Cost Per Mile. There's a lot of variation in these ranges, but in general, __expect to budget at least $7,000 per year in repairs and maintenance. __
Here's a video explaining some of the monthly expenses for a box truck:
3- Registration and Licensing Fees
Registration and licensing fees are another cost to consider when buying a box truck. These fees vary from state to state and are based on the weight and type of vehicle. In New York State, for example, you'll pay at least $150 to register your truck every other year.
Make sure to budget for these fees when purchasing your truck and renewing your registration each year.
- Understand Brand Impact: Recognize that brands like Ford, Isuzu, Freightliner, Hino, and Mitsubishi vary in price due to factors like durability, fuel efficiency, and maintenance costs. For instance, Ford's E-Series is known for durability but tends to be pricier.
- Consider Vehicle Age and Mileage: A used box truck is significantly more affordable than a new one. For example, a year-old truck might sell for $40,000, a significant saving compared to its original price.
- Assess Overall Condition: Inspect the truck thoroughly for rust, dents, fluid leaks, and tire wear. A well-maintained truck commands a higher price.
- Conduct a Pre-Purchase Inspection: Have a mechanic inspect the truck to identify any hidden issues, which can save future repair costs.
- Look for Long-Term Value: Trucks in good condition are more reliable and require less maintenance, thereby holding their value better over time.
- Check Functional Aspects: Ensure the engine, electrical systems, and additional features like lift gates are in good working condition, as these impact the truck's utility and price.
- Factor in Customizations and Add-Ons: Custom features like shelving units or refrigeration increase the truck's utility and value.
- Budget for Additional Costs: Beyond the purchase price, consider insurance (around $600 per month), maintenance (at least $7,000 per year), and registration and licensing fees.
- Insurance and Maintenance Costs: Insurance costs vary based on truck size and driving record. Maintenance is crucial for smooth operation and preventing breakdowns.
- Stay Informed on Market Prices: Regularly check resources like Commercial Truck Trader for current prices of new and used box trucks across different classes and brands.