The brave men and women in fire stations worldwide use fire trucks every day to keep their communities safer. When fire strikes, fire trucks have the equipment and capabilities to help extinguish the blaze, reduce damage and even save lives. Fire trucks are one of the most integral parts of fighting fires, making them precious pieces of equipment.
The fire truck cost is one of the heftiest expenses paid and volunteer fire companies will ever have to budget for. Whether you’re curious about how much a fire engine costs or are searching for one for your fire station, you’ve come to the right place. Use this guide to understand how much fire trucks cost and some variables that can affect that number.
How Much Do Fire Trucks Cost?
It can seem hard to pin down how much the average fire truck might cost you. But armed with the latest information, you can approach your search with confidence and have a better idea of what to expect. For starters, you can be sure a used fire truck will cost less than a brand-new one fresh from the manufacturer.
Buying a fire truck for your station will be a significant expense however you approach it. Whether you want a new or used engine, you need to make sure you have the room in your budget to get one that meets your needs. Balance features with long-term value to make a decision you feel good about. For reference, here’s an estimated range of what you can expect to pay for new and used fire trucks based on the current market.
- Estimated price for a new fire truck: If you’re in the market for a brand-new fire truck, you might spend anywhere from $200,000 to over $1 million. As you’ll see throughout this article, many factors can affect new fire truck prices. We’ll get into more detail about this later so you can make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.
- Estimated price for a used fire truck: Buying used is always a wise way to save money, but you should still ensure you’re getting the exact fire truck that meets your needs. Choosing one with more features will raise the price you pay. The cost of a used fire truck can range anywhere between $15,000 and $500,000.
Take these numbers as estimates to give you a better idea of what you can expect, instead of as hard-and-fast rules for the state of the market. Due to market volatility, these numbers can increase or decrease at any given time, based on some factors we’ll discuss throughout this article.
Used Fire Truck Cost by Year
How much is a used fire truck? When starting your research, one way to organize your search is by looking at the year. Whether you’ve heard good things about a particular model year or you want to see how the price for fire trucks changes over time, use the following data to help you find your answers. Here’s how the cost of a used fire truck changes by year based on recent price listings from Fenton Fire Equipment.
- 10 years or newer: The average cost of a fire engine in this age range is around $112,000. The median price is around $60,000. Since these trucks are some of the newest on the market, they can still fetch a pretty high price. Buyers will expect these engines to last for many years to come and to be a safer investment.
- 11 to 15 years old: The average price of a fire truck in this period is around $104,000. The median price is around $71,000. You’ll find some more affordable options in this range. But as you can see, based on the median price, some of these fire trucks can still command an even higher price than younger models.
- 16 to 20 years old: The average cost of a fire truck in this span is around $71,000. The median price is around $60,000. The steep price drop for fire trucks of this age shows how older fire trucks lose their value. Most firefighters are looking for newer models that they can feel confident in to get the job done.
- 20 to 40 years old: Any fire trucks that are over two decades old will dramatically decline in value. The average cost for fire trucks 20 to 40 years old is around $35,000. The median price is around $25,000. While some collectors or fire stations may value antique fire trucks for hobby or aesthetic purposes, most fire stations will avoid older trucks. Today’s firefighters trust newer models to fight fire in their communities, and the antique market for fire trucks is slim.
Cost of a Used Fire Truck by Type
One of the most reliable contributing factors to the cost of a used fire truck is its type. Many kinds of fire trucks exist, and each one will have features or a lack thereof that can raise or lower its value. Some fire stations find specific features extremely valuable when looking for fire trucks and are willing to pay a premium price for a used vehicle that includes the extra features and equipment they’re looking for.
As you narrow your search and look for the type of fire truck that meets your station’s unique needs, make sure to check the prices of the following categories:
- Used fire engines and pumpers to douse flames and put out fires
- Ladders and quints for when you need to perform rescues at various heights
- Tankers and water tenders to bring the water with you during a fire
- Used rescue trucks to respond to a wide range of emergency calls
- Wildland and brush trucks to help you respond to emergencies in rough and overgrown terrain
- Used ambulances to provide lifesaving transportation
- Command and chief vehicles so your leaders can arrive at the scene safely and quickly
- Antique fire trucks to show off the history of being a firefighter
- Airport fire and rescue vehicles for airport and flying vehicle emergencies
- Fire and rescue boats for when the emergency occurs at sea or on another body of water
- Other unique fire service vehicles that can help you serve your community
What Factors Contribute to a Fire Truck’s Price?
As you can see, the average cost of a fire engine is challenging to gauge because their prices vary so widely. Many factors can affect a fire truck’s price, which can make it nearly impossible to give a definitive answer to the question, “How expensive is a fire truck?” These factors are so volatile that they can even demand two prices for the same fire truck depending on the circumstances. Let’s take a closer look at some factors that can change how much a fire engine costs.
You may remember buying your first car and asking for advice from someone who had experience with the process. That person may have told you about depreciation and how it should affect your buying decision. When buying a brand-new car, it will lose value the moment you drive it off the lot and onto the road. New vehicles are at their peak value when they remain pristine, and the simple act of driving one causes it to lose market value.
Like cars, fire trucks will lose value over time from depreciation. You can use this fact to your advantage when you’re in the market for a fire truck for your station. But if you’re trying to sell a fire truck, depreciation could make you fetch a lower price. We included depreciation at the top of this list because it can dramatically affect a fire truck’s cost. Knowing the formula for depreciation can help you make sure you’re getting the best value possible when buying one.
We’ll give you an estimated depreciation formula to help you better understand how it works. Other factors affect depreciation, including the fire engine’s condition and mileage, so these percentages are only rough estimates. But they could still help you make a wise decision about the amount you’re paying for a fire engine. Start with the engine’s price when it was brand new and determine its current value using the following info.
- Year one: A fire truck’s average price could depreciate around 15% within its first year. This devaluation is the steepest hit because the engine is going from new to used for the first time or the manufacturer is replacing it with a newer, more desirable model.
- Year two: By year two, the fire truck could lose another 10% of its value.
- Year three: You can expect a 3-year-old fire engine to lose another 10% of its value.
- Year four: Take 7% off the fire truck’s value to account for depreciation in year four.
- Year five: In year five, you can subtract another 5% of the fire truck’s value.
- Each following year: Any fire truck will continue to depreciate at a lower rate for every year after its fifth year.
2. Marketplace Comparisons
Another factor that influences how much a fire engine costs is its comparison to similar or different fire trucks on the market. Using recent sales data, you can see how fire engine prices fluctuate. Then, you can contrast this price to other fire engines to get a more accurate feel for the market. There are three ways you can make marketplace comparisons to help you determine a fire truck’s value.
- How much the engine has depreciated: Use the formulas from the previous section to see how much a fire truck’s value has declined in relation to similar models. Doing so will help you find the best deal.
- How its price compares to other listings of the same model: You can quickly discover if the price is fair by comparing it to other listings of the same model. If you find listings that are far more affordable than others, make sure you read the fine print to learn if anything is wrong with the fire truck. This tactic will also help you avoid overpriced fire trucks.
- How its price compares to other models: You can also get a feel for market values by comparing fire engine models. Various models will include equipment and upgrades that can increase their value. You can expect to pay less for a fire engine that lacks some of the features of a more expensive model with special functions.
A fire engine’s desirability also affects its price. A fire truck in high demand could fetch a higher price than the depreciation formula would suggest. Or, a seemingly reliable fire engine could command a lower price point than you might expect for several reasons.
Here are some of the ways desirability can influence a fire engine’s selling price.
- The fire truck’s specifications: The cost of a fully equipped fire truck is usually higher than a truck that lacks the same equipment. Fire stations may place great desirability in a particular fire engine if it includes the equipment they need, increasing its price. That’s why a ladder fire truck cost can be so high compared to other fire engine models that lack this valuable feature. Fire engines with custom enhancements and added equipment will also fetch a higher price than non-custom models.
- Supply and demand: Supply and demand are two driving factors that impact the prices of goods and services worldwide. Likewise, a fire engine’s supply and demand will affect its value. Some heavy-duty fire engines have a high demand but a small supply, causing their prices to stay elevated even as the years go by. An example of this is the type 3 fire engine cost. Other fire engines could have lower demand and a higher supply, leading to decreased prices.
As you can see, finding the right price for a new or used fire truck can be a bit complicated. With so many factors affecting a fire truck’s average cost, you may wonder how you can be sure you’re getting a fair deal. You need a partner who can help you navigate these complexities and make the whole process of buying and selling fire trucks easier.
Buy and Sell Fire Trucks With the Help of Fenton Fire Equipment
Fenton Fire Equipment has the resources and abilities to help you get an excellent deal when buying or selling fire trucks. We are constantly updating our new listings to give you an extensive selection of fire trucks for your fire station. And when you list your fire truck with us, you can reach a vast audience of potential buyers to net the highest possible return. You only pay us after the transaction concludes, so you can list your fire truck through us with confidence.
Check our client testimonials to see the potential of how we can help you buy or sell a fire truck. We look forward to serving you!