With market supply shortages driving automotive prices upwards, entrepreneurs should exercise vigilance when buying a vehicle for work to avoid additional complications for their business.
Compared to other consumers, small business owners are typically more strapped for time when it comes to researching what vehicles to buy, and have greater incentives to search for low-cost options in the used market to keep their business overhead costs low. Today, these challenges are further complicated as a global semiconductor shortage hits the supply of light-duty trucks particularly hard, while used vehicle prices in general have soared as high as 52 per cent.
Despite these constraints, business owners should take measures to protect themselves before committing to a purchase. If buying a used vehicle from a dealer, ask for a vehicle history report, and ensure all disclosures (like accident history) are in writing on the sales contract. Buyers are also encouraged to take the car to a trusted mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection.
If buying a new vehicle, business owners may want to consider vehicles already in the dealership’s lot, as wait times for factory orders or locating a vehicle from another dealership may take longer.
For those who choose to buy on the private market, buyers should get a Used Vehicle Information Package, a Carfax report, and ask the seller questions to shed light on the vehicle’s past use.
Some questions to consider asking include whether the vehicle was used as a snow plow under its previous owners, if it was used to tow heavy loads often, and what types of cargo it was used to transport.
Certain makes and models with designs and features that make them popular amongst contractors and business owners may be more likely to have experienced such heavy-duty use than others which are more popular for personal use and may come with greater maintenance concerns.
Running a small business is complicated enough. Paying close attention to a vehicle’s maintenance history and conditions of use helps entrepreneurs strike the right balance between affordability and reliability, letting them focus on what they do best in the long run: running their business.
At OMVIC, we strive to maintain a fair and informed marketplace for consumers, dealers and salespeople. Our website has tips for buying a car online, and our team is always here to support you through every step in your car buying journey.
Feeling confident? Take OMVIC’s car-buying quiz today to see if you have the knowledge to make a safe and informed purchase.