By on October 3, 2012

I stole it.

At least in the purely metaphorical sense. This 2000 model Silverado went through the last of a sparsely attended sale in Acworth, Georgia. For $1350 plus the $95 auction fee it was all mine.

The body was banged up a bit on the left hand side as you can see, which helped in the acquisition price quite a bit. I called a few automotive recycling centers and the best bed and drivers side fender I could find with the same fender would cost $700. Since the truck had 187k and the regular cab, I thought to myself,

“Well, maybe I could just take it the way I got it?”

The question now became… “Which road would lead to that pot of gold?”

Rent: I see these UHaul and Home Depot trucks all over the place and on the surface, I found it a bit hard to figure it all out. Home Depot seems to primarily use their trucks so folks can pickup appliances and scoot them back in record time. That may work. Given that they use heavily modified F250 diesels for the job I could see their fleet working for a long time.

But the UHaul deals seemed to be one of those death by a thousand cuts arrangements. $19.95 for two hours… then $63.00 for each additional hour. Or you could have it for $84.95 a day and 29 cents for each additional mile beyond 100 miles.

There certainly seems to be a healthy profit in this type of arrangement. But here in North Georgia everybody has a father, cousin or former roommate who has a pickup truck. I definitely wouldn’t be renting it out every day, that’s for sure. Still, I could see renting out a truck that is already a bit beat up cosmetically for $50 a day flat for the metro-Atlanta area. Throw in a utility trailer for $50 a day and the profit would potentially spring eternal.

Lease: If you look real close around those rear wheels you will also find something else unique about this truck.

Just one look at the rear axle told me that this vehicle shares the same rear end as a Z71 that is equipped with the towing package. Throw in a solid towing package and dual exhausts, and I have a truck that can now haul around 8000 pounds. If I lease it, I will likely be looking at $500 down and $55 a week.

Chances are I will also have two types of customers for the Silverado.

The first is someone who needs it as an everyday work truck. Contractors. Owners of small construction and tree cutting businesses. These buyers will use the truck for the reasons God rightfully ordained the pickup as the all-American road machine. Utility.

The second type of customer will be someone who needs to haul a horse trailer during the weekend, or some other type of trailer that requires a bit more towing capability than the typical midsized SUV.  There are still plenty of farms in the county and I wouldn’t be surprised to see an older fellow on a fixed income picking it up for that intended purpose.

Either way, it’s not going to the poser crowd or the country Yuppie. It’s too damn ugly with all those dents.

Sell: The cornucopia of the quick buck. The Silverado would probably have a $2995 asking price and a final selling price between $2300 and $2500.

The funny thing is there are already a pretty big glut of old pickup trucks in my neck of the woods. Title pawns (they loan money in exchange for a lien on the vehicle) end up repossessing quite a few of them. City and county governments. Larger construction outfits. Heck, even the voluminous trade-in volume of every day retailing contributes heavily towards the supply.

One other thing that helps is that tastes are changing. Folks are forgoing the regular cabs for trucks that will seat a full family for extended cabs and crew cabs. $4 gas? Doesn’t matter. If the general public wants to have a truck that can be used for all practicalities and possibilities, you damn well bet that an automaker will make it. $20,000 small pickup ‘tools’ already have a smaller market than the $40,000 truck with a cab and a long bed. They also have far smaller profit. Guess what trend will continue to take hold?

Keep: I went to a tool rental auction this past Saturday and could have bought a nice utility trailer for about $550. So for about $2000 I could have hauled a massive amount of goods whenever the mood or need struck.

But I am not into having stuff, at all. As an avid auction traveler in my late 20’s, I got the sense that a lot of people out there buy simply for the sake of buying. They have a barn. They fill it. They have a shed. They fill that too.

I like not having stuff. Except cars… and maybe a truck.

So I guess the question now is, “Should I rent, lease, sell or keep?”

What says you?

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34 Comments on “Rent, Lease, Sell, Or Keep: 2000 Chevy Silverado...”

  • avatar

    “Those six nuts told me one critical piece of information about this Silverado. It shares the same rear end as the Z71. Throw in a good towing package and dual exhausts, and I have a truck that can now haul around 8000 pounds.”

    I hate to quibble*, but how does 6 lug nuts denote a Z71? All GMT-800s had 6-bolt wheels as they all had 16 inch or larger wheels from their debut in 1999. This also appears to be a 2wd model. To the best of my knowledge (may be different in Canada) Z71 was only available with 4 wheel drive.

    While the regular cab/short box configuration would aid in its towing capacity, that has more to do with rear-end ratio and engine options than the Z71, which is the “off-road” package of monotube shocks, bigger tires and depending on model, load-leveling suspension.

    *Now there’s a statement that means its opposite!

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      It doesn’t have the same package as a Z71. Just the same heavier duty rear end that is available on the Z71 if you want the towing package.

      You are also dead right on the lug nuts. They had the same number since the mid-70’s.

      The mind wanders… and the change will be made. Thanks for the heads up.

    • 0 avatar

      Chevy 1/2 2WD Pickups had 5 lug wheels beginning in 1971 when they got front discs.

      They went back to a 6-lug arrangement with the GMT800 of 1999.

  • avatar


    I’ve never read one of these that didn’t scream “SELLLLLLLLLLL!!!!”

    You’ve invested $1,450, and you could clear $1,000 on it. On what? 4 hours work? I can’t see how you’re going to beat that hourly rate by leasing or renting it. Even if you pay yourself half of the profit, you’ve now got that much more money to go to work for you.

    I suppose if the rental rate is high enough it makes sense. But on the lease side, it’s going to take you 17 weeks to break even with the sale, in which time you could have used the time spent managing the lease to flip another car or 2.

    What am I missing on the lease side? Is there a benefit for you to get flatter income rates over a longer period?

  • avatar

    I say rent it. A sale or lease will be tough because pickups nowadays that people want to live with need an exteded or crew cab. Regular cab trucks are half price for a reason.

    For someone just needing to haul something for a day or 2, they just need a tool. A bench seat and a bed, like this truck.

    Rent it until a farmer or contractor swings by to buy it.

    Question for you Steve, when you do inevitably decide to sell a vehicle you have been using as a rental, do you find potential buyers balk at the vehicle’s rental history? Do you generally disclose that?

    I’ve bought and sold many ex-rentals from the usual big fleets and always found them to be some of the best, well maintainted, longer lasting vehicles in spite of how most people feel about them.

  • avatar

    I’d sell. Get the money now.
    Renting this as a work truck opens up all kinds of opportunities for abuse (accidental or otherwise) and liability. I could imagine a future of jack-knifed trailers, loads spilled on the freeway, backed over objects, and groups of drunken revellers getting bucked out of the bed on dirt back roads.

  • avatar

    $2500 selling price? Bring it up to the midwest and you’ll easily get twice that! I was recently shopping these early 2000 models and it is impossible to find one (reg cab, 2wd) without rust for less than $6k. Truck prices, even used rusty trucks, are rediculous up here. I ended up going to Florida to get a decent deal!

  • avatar

    shortbox, regular cab, 2wd. definitely a combination you rarely see anyone buying anymore.

    what’s under the hood? and yeah I agree, that truck would fetch more up here in the north. although mostly what i see the 2nd and 3rd hand pickups being used for are recycle/scrap trawlers.

  • avatar

    Brake lines rusted out yet?

  • avatar

    Dump it. Renting it out like that would not be wise. It will just get worse as time went on. As is, this thing is perfect for the guy who needs an occassional truck, not a daily driver.

  • avatar
    George B

    I’d sell it. Should be easy to find a customer for a work truck with a price under $3000. Might even be worth having someone try to remove the worst of the dents.

  • avatar

    I may be alone in saying this, but keep it. If you don’t already have a truck, they come in awful handy. You don’t realize it until you do. Also, if you only drive it occasionally for short trips, fuel economy is irrelevant. Besides, V8 RWD regular cab shortys are quite entertaining to drive.

    It’s not like you have a lot invested in it.

  • avatar

    Sell it. I generally dislike pickup trucks. If you don’t have the actual need for it, why keep it?

  • avatar

    If you do choose to rent it you do not want to attach a hitch to it and certainly don’t want to rent it with a trailer you are just asking for trouble. If it has a step bumper with a hole for a ball plug it with a big bolt and a tack weld or smashing the threads that stick out past the nut.

    Personally I’d say rent it for a while. I can see it going out once a week for that $50 price and then in 6 months sell it on your easy “lease” deal. Though of course it would be better to have put it in the rental fleet in spring and the sales lot in fall.

  • avatar

    Depends whether it’s the left or right DRL that still works.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    “The body was banged up a bit on the right hand side as you can see”

    Ummm…other right hand. ;-)

  • avatar

    That front end did not age well, that’s for sure. The refresh a couple of years later still looks better.

  • avatar

    Great analysis Steve! Always! Thanks for writing it!

  • avatar

    Anybody who wants to use this truck to pull a horse trailer will also need to rent a horse trailer. And to pull a horse trailer, this pickup will need a frame-mounted hitch plus wiring for a 7-pin connector and a brake-controller. You knew that, right?

  • avatar

    If you have the need, even occasionally, and the space, I’d keep it. The dents have to go, but for this mileage a bondo repair job is fine. These trucks last a long time. And if you decide to sell it at a later date, just try to sell it in a different area where you will get much more money.

  • avatar
    big al

    Damn,I’d say keep it and drive it…..Once you’ve had a pick up,nothing else seems as solid,

  • avatar

    I have a 1999 Silverado V8 short bed with 175,000 miles in fair condition and it’s worth about $4500 maybe more on the retail market here in Texas. A pickup truck is just too handy to have especially when you live in a rural area.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    Those are still worth some real money back in Venezuela. For the heck of it I just gave a quick check to a local used cars site, and found one with 950K kms at the equivalent of $16K. From that perspective, that is truly a steal.

    I’d replace the banged cargo box and keep it. Even down here, the V8 “thirst” may be quenched with a good LPG kit

  • avatar

    This is tough, on the one hand you got a great deal on a good truck, on the other, its going to be a really tough sell with the body damage, and that $700 bucks in repairs might break your margin. Could the dents be pulled out or Bondoed? Would that be any cheaper than replacing the bed and fender? At this price range, you should be able to get away with a cheapo patch job, it just has to look presentable.

  • avatar

    I think I’m heading up your way if I want to buy a truck in the near future. Here in NC Florida we have lots of small to mid sized farms and horse farms. I’d guess that’s about a $4,500 truck locally.

  • avatar

    Sell, sell, sell! As a few said, there is demand for work trucks by buyers who don’t care about ‘beauty contests’. They can get another [so what if it’s differnt color?] bed and drive it another round of the odometer.

  • avatar

    Rent, can’t tell you how many times I’d have loved to come across a deal like you mentioned for renting.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Well, I ended up financing it to an older guy who already is financing a Saturn. He also happens to have a horse farm and apparently needs it for weekend duty.

    I tried selling it but here in North Georgia folks get to be a bit picky once they spend a bit more than $2500.

    Thanks for the responses. A lot of good ones. All the best!

  • avatar
    01 ZX3


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