6 costs to prepare yourself for when becoming an truck owner operator

Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
Our authors
, updated on June 2nd, 2023       

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Being an owner-operator can be an exciting and daunting process. With so many costs that you as an owner-operator have to shoulder which can get confusing if you do not keep track of them. We have compiled a few of these expenses to help you manage your expenses more effectively.

Costs to consider truck owner operator

Getting the right finance to get your business on the road

The first step to getting your business going is having the right equipment to do the job. You can compare your finance options between new or used to see which one will be suitable for your budget. Most start-up owner-operators tend to purchase used trucks as this is a more affordable option, than purchasing a new truck off the bat. On average a new truck can cost you around $80,000 and run up to %150,000 or more. Keep in mind that if you add custom features you could easily look at a price tag of $200,000 or more.

Fuel expenses

One of the biggest ongoing costs that you will face is fuel expenses. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, freight vehicles travelled over 200,000 million tonne-kilometres. Diesel was the predominant type of fuel consumed by 99.6% consumed by trucks, with articulated trucks consuming 56.3 litres per 100 kilometres. Running a truck business means you will be doing extensive travelling, which requires an adequate fuel budget.

Maintenance & repair costs

Your business is only as good as the conditions of your trucks. Therefore, having a budget set aside for maintenance and repair costs is essential. The cost will vary depending on the types of trucks you have and the number of them. It is important to create a buffer for those emergency repairs so that your cash flow will not be negatively affected. You may also consider leasing your trucks if you do not have a budget to take on repair costs. Remember to always compare options to find something that is suitable for your budget.


Owner-operators have to consider the ongoing costs that come with owning a truck business to help them effectively manage their expenses. Having insurance in place is a good investment for your business, as this can protect you from situations that are out of your control. It can also act as a barrier against unexpected costs that can blow a hole into the most planned budget.

Stamp duty fees

Whether you are planning a new or used truck, it will come with stamp duty. This will vary from state to state and the model you purchase. This is something that needs to be factored into your truck buying budget. You may also find that purchasing out of state can be more beneficial for you if the stamp duty costs less than where you currently have your business set up.

Choosing the right finance

Getting the right financing that is suitable for your finance is vital. Most owner-operators opt to take out a commercial loan that can help them adequately cover their expenses. Keep in mind that your business is different from the next. Therefore, speaking to a broker or a financial advisor can help you know what options are available and will be suitable for your situation.

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