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?