January 11, 2014 dieseltoys

Should I buy a new or used vehicle for my conversion?

This is probably the #1 question our prospective conversion customers ask; and for good reason. It is usually by this time, they have spent hours scouring the used vehicle market and noticed either they cannot find the color/option package they want. Or, they are having a difficult time finding a good deal. Now, we’re completely unbiased on this one as our conversion rates are the same whether we’re converting a 2005 Tacoma with 200,000 miles on it or a 2014 Tacoma new off the showroom floor. The real question lies in a few key points that we ask all of our customers to consider when deciding on a vehicle for conversion. Again, our rates are the same either way…

In the case of a 2005+ Toyota Tacoma, the biggest issue is resale value. More often than not, you can buy a brand new Tacoma for a couple grand more than a 4-year-old Tacoma with 50,000 miles on it. This is due to the fact that their resale values are some of the highest in the industry.  We are often asked to source vehicles locally for customers that are from up north where they have rust issues with their vehicles. We’ll go to wholesale vehicle auctions and are regularly shocked at the prices we see. To cite an example: we recently saw a 2010 Tacoma Double Cab Short Bed 4×4 with automatic transmission with 57,000 miles on it sell at WHOLESALE auction for $28,500. This is for a vehicle that’s 4 years old! You can walk into any Toyota dealership today and buy this exact truck BRAND NEW for $30,000. So, in the case of a conversion where you’re investing $25k into the vehicle, it’s a far better investment to purchase a brand new vehicle. You can also get the color, options package, and if necessary build-to-order EXACTLY the vehicle you’re wanting. Easily worth the small premium you’ll pay to ensure you get what you want.

Another perk to buying a brand new vehicle is that financing rates are typically HALF of the rates on a used vehicle. Manufacturers work with lenders to get rates as low as possible to sell more cars. So you’ll pay less interest, have a lower payment, and end up with the exact vehicle you wanted.

The last point I’ll make is that the conversion needs to be viewed as an investment. Like any investment, you’ll want to start with the best possible platform. If this means converting your current vehicle that’s bought-and-paid-for, so be it. As long as the vehicle is reflective of a $25k investment, we have no issues. The only time we ever interject, is when a customer sends us a vehicle that has rust issues or has been in an accident where the integrity of the vehicle and/or our ability to safely perform the conversion comes into question. Other than that, we are pretty indifferent. But, we tell our customers to consider the new purchase option especially when they do NOT already own the vehicle they’re wanting to convert. If you are considering a conversion and need assistance, feel free to give us a call. We will be happy to help you in finding a vehicle that best meets your needs.