Boy in used hot tub

If you’re thinking about buying a hot tub, you’ve likely wondered if brand new hot tubs are worth the splurge. After all, why go for a new spa when you could get a used one for a fraction of the cost?

However, there are some things you should know before committing to buying a used hot tub.

Here’s what you should consider before taking the plunge.

Used vs. New

When purchasing a used hot tub from an individual seller, there are a few common points you should consider.

  • Longevity: Used hot tubs naturally have a shorter lifespan than their brand new counterparts. While most mid-range hot tubs can last for about a decade, a pre-owned hot tub that’s been in use for five years may only last for another five, or fewer if it’s been poorly maintained.
  • Warranty and repairs: The warranties included with used hot tubs can vary greatly, and are generally non-existent. With new hot tubs, however, you can count on having a warranty, and may also be able to purchase a service plan from your dealer to stay up-to-date on maintenance.
  • Financing: For new hot tubs, many dealers offer flexible financing regardless of your credit score. With used hot tubs, though, you won’t have that option, and will almost always have to pay in cash before taking your hot tub home.

Individual Sellers vs. Dealers

While individual sellers may offer their used hot tubs at lower prices than new hot tubs from dealers, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind:

  • Transportation: Chances are that neither you nor the seller will have the equipment necessary to transport a hot tub. So, you’ll need to hire a moving company to do it for you. The cost of this can add up quickly if you don’t live close to the seller.
  • Warranty: Most hot tubs sold by individuals are no longer under warranty. So, don’t expect free or low-cost repairs from the hot tub manufacturer in the event of a malfunction.
  • Quality: Before finalizing your purchase, you’ll need to personally conduct a thorough inspection of the hot tub’s internal and external components. Also ask your seller to fill the hot tub and let it run for at least 24 hours before purchase. This way, you can check for leaks and mechanical failures.

On the other hand, dealers sell new hot tubs for higher up-front prices. However, they also offer a number of advantages:

  • Transportation: Many hot tub dealers offer free or low-cost delivery and installation, even if you live far away from their warehouse. This means you’ll be able to have your new hot tub delivered and installed with minimal effort on your part.
  • Warranty: As you’d expect, dealers typically offer new hot tubs with generous warranties. These warranties can last anywhere from a few months to several years, and will either fully or partially cover the cost of necessary repairs.
  • Quality: Dealers conduct thorough internal and external inspections of their new hot tubs before offering them up for sale. This means that you’ll get a high-quality hot tub without having to do an inspection yourself.

The Bottom Line

Purchasing a used hot tub can be a fantastic way to enjoy the benefits of owning a hot tub with a lower up-front cost. However, they do come with some drawbacks as outlined in this article.

Used hot tubs from individual sellers are ideal for buyers who:

  • Don’t want to pay the total cost of a brand new hot tub.
  • Don’t mind giving up flexible financing options.
  • Don’t mind conducting their own quality inspections.
  • Don’t mind forgoing a warranty.
  • Aren’t opposed to paying extra for delivery and installation.
  • Are willing to purchase a hot tub that may require maintenance soon after purchase.
  • Are willing to purchase a hot tub that may only last for a few years.

By comparison, new hot tubs from dealers are great for buyers who:

  • Can afford the total cost of a brand new hot tub.
  • Want flexible financing.
  • Want the security of a comprehensive warranty.
  • Don’t want to worry about inspecting for quality.
  • Want to avoid paying extra for delivery and installation.
  • Want to avoid as much maintenance as possible.
  • Want a hot tub that will last for more than a few years.

If you do decide to buy a used hot tub, be sure to ask yourself these questions before making your purchase:

  • Do I trust the seller of this hot tub?
  • How old is this hot tub?
  • How long do I think this hot tub will last?
  • How will I handle delivery and installation?
  • How much maintenance will this hot tub need in the future?

Whether you choose to buy brand new or pre-owned, use this guide to help you make your decision. If you do, you’re sure to end up with a high-quality hot tub you and your family can enjoy for years to come.