Buying a lorry is no mean feat, and for such a significant purchase it’s often only the biggest haulage companies who have sufficient bargaining power to buy a brand-new vehicle. However, the UK boasts a flourishing market for second-hand HGVs. Hauliers who are after solid vehicles with some aftersales cover without the hefty price-tag would do well to look at approved used lorries. |
The majority of the UK’s HGV manufacturers offer approved used schemes, often including some kind of warranty (usually specifically covering the driveline), breakdown cover and a vehicle that has been pre-prepared by an OEM dealer.
Often these have a chargeable scale of cost based on the level of warranty, but these can be ‘variations on a theme’ according to Dale Slee, the Head of Used Trucks at Mercedez Benz. Each warranty will vary depending on the type, condition and age of the vehicle, with other factors having an impact too.
Slee says the Mercedes-Benz Approved Used Trucks scheme will cover vehicles under five years old flexibly, offering driveline warranties at 3, 6, 12, 24 and 36 month periods. There are two levels of cover: either basic driveline or wear and tear. The latter option covers nearly the entire vehicle except wearables (including the brakes or clutches), and it includes cover for the mechanical and electrical components of the vehicle.
Furthermore, should an operator not have the facilities to maintain their vehicle, Mercedez-Benz have repair and maintenance contracts charged at a pence-per-kilometre rate. This means when haulage companies purchase their used truck, they tell MB the annual distance that they expect to cover, and receive a pence-per kilometre guarantee for their vehicle. This option covers them for everything they want, including brakes and clutches.
Volvo has two categories based on the length of the warranty. Their primary is ‘Selected’, which comes with a 24-month driveline warranty, and ‘Approved’ comes with a year-long driveline warranty. The two year warranty is only available on the FH4 and FN4 models, whilst they offer Approved cover for the classic trucks. Occasionally new models can be put on approved if the vehicle has gone through a few more miles, but this has to be negotiated with the company at the point of purchase.
At the request of existing clients, clutches were added to its warranty cover at the beginning of 2017. Buyers of used Volvo trucks are given a more comprehensive service more akin to what you would expect when you purchase a brand new vehicle. Gone are the days of the ‘sold as seen’ policy.
With the launch of its First Choice approved used programme in 2014, haulage companies can cover their vehicles up to five years old with a sixth month warranty.
HGVs are sold ‘virtually ready’ for immediate delivery after a full inspection and reconditioning according to Paul Young, DAF’s Regional Asset manager. He goes on to explain that the scheme includes breakdown recovery and offers the option of extended warranties as well as funding, service and maintenance contracts.
With three options on offer, Renault really gives haulage companies more choice when it comes to buying approved used with confidence. Their stock is chosen for the customer who wants something as good as new, with trucks selected based on age and mileage. A purchase from Renault comes with the choice of a 24 month manufacturer’s driveline warranty.
Renault has a line called ‘Quality’ for trucks that are older and have slightly higher mileage. This comes with a one-year driveline warranty but a little less cosmetic prep.
For older trucks with high-ish mileage that are too good to trade Renault has set up the Value option. Still inspected, they come with a minimum of 6 months’ driveline cover too - but this is mechanical breakdown insurance rather than a warranty. Its price is more like what you’d get from an independent dealer.
Don’t Dismiss Approved Used!
With so many different options for securing peace of mind when buying approved used, haulage companies up and down the country would do well to consider this option when buying their next vehicle.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage companies with jobs in road transport and haulage work. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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