The benefits of buying a used agricultural tractor

April 3, 2023
used farming tractor

As a farmer, investing in your next tractor is an important decision that impacts your productivity. Should you go for a shiny new machine, a used low hour workhorse or a more seasoned veteran? It entirely depends on your needs and your budget.

For this blog article, we sat down with Andreas Klassen (Regional Sales Manager Agriculture DACH) and had a conversation about why many farmers and agricultural businesses choose to buy used instead of new. Here are 6 benefits of buying used tractors:

1. Saving cost

The first apparent reason to opt for a used agricultural tractor – as for any other used piece of agricultural machinery, truck or attachment – is the lower purchase price. A used agricultural tractor is generally more affordable than a brand-new one, sometimes even half the price or less.

Of course, you can save a considerable amount of money. I’ve seen many of our customers allocate those funds to other areas of their farming business. This can be purchasing other equipment or attachments, expanding their crop production, investing in better storage facilities, or hiring more staff.

2. Faster availability

In today’s fast-paced agricultural industry, having the right equipment when you need it can make all the difference. Brand-new tractors often have long delivery times due to manufacturing schedules or limited stock. However, used tractors can be acquired quickly from marketplaces, auctions, dealers, or private sellers. This can be particularly beneficial during peak farming seasons when you cannot afford to wait for a new tractor to arrive.

We have ready-to-use farming equipment for sale at our auctions and on Marketplace-E. Choosing to buy used tractors has been a reliable choice for many of our customers. They just find what they want, inspect it, buy it, transport it and put it to work.

3. Depreciation

All new equipment, including tractors, lose value over time. This depreciation is relatively steep in the first few years of ownership compared to the later years. This means that a used tractor has already undergone most of its depreciation.

When there’s high market demand, your equipment will maintain its value, whether you plan to resell it or not. If you take good care of the tractor, it has a better long-term investment. You can always work with Ritchie Bros. to put it back on the market and buy your next machine with the proceeds.

4. Tried and tested

Fast technology advancements are always tricky when you renew your fleet. New tractors often feature advanced technologies like computer-controlled systems, sensors, and telematics. This can make repairs more complicated for new tractors compared to older models. It can also pose a challenge for maintenance if your tractor technicians are less familiar with the latest technologies.

Well-maintained tractors you buy second-hand have already been in operation for some time, which means that issues or manufacturing defects have likely already been identified and addressed by the previous owner. The tractor has been tested in real-world conditions and is ready to tackle your farming needs.

5. More choice

When you opt for a used agricultural tractor, you can choose from a broader selection of brands and models. This allows you to find the perfect fit for your specific needs and preferences rather than being limited to the latest models on the market. In addition, older models often have a proven track record of reliability and performance, which can be an attractive feature for farmers looking for a dependable workhorse.

Over the last two years, Ritchie Bros. has sold more than 2,600 agriculture tractors in Europe alone. There’s a vibrant marketplace for used tractors that covers many brands, models, and budgets. I always advise people to create a free account on our website and check our inventory regularly.  

6. Cheaper maintenance and repair

Yes, another potential cost-saver. Depending on the model, age and condition, tractors that have been operational for a few years often come with more robust mechanical components. This can quickly translate to lower maintenance and repair costs.

Brand new tractors might not immediately need maintenance, however, they often come with advanced technology. This can be much more expensive to repair. A used tractor can save money on long-term maintenance and repairs, reducing your overall operational cost.


Will your next tractor be a brand new or used one? Cost savings, lower depreciation, tried-and-tested reliability, access to a wider range of models, and cheaper maintenance are just some of the advantages that come with buying a used agricultural tractor. By carefully considering your needs and budget, you can make an informed decision that will serve your farm well for years to come.

If you’ve fallen in love with a beautiful agricultural tractor in our inventory, feel free to inspect it online, in person at our site, or contact us for more information.

The Ritchie Bros. agricultural team at the Meppen (Germany) auction site
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