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With incentives, tax breaks and price wars sweetening the pot, there's never been a better time to shop for new business vehicles. Let our guide to commercial vehicles get you started.

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This story appears in the December 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

There couldn't be a better time to buy light-duty commercial vehicles-pickup trucks, vans and sport utility trucks-than between now and December 31, 2004. A temporary tax-cut package signed ear-lier this year gives small businesses a break and provides federal write-offs, including a bonus depreciation and a new expensing rule, to companies that buy business equipment, including vehicles. Also, Uncle Sam is giving a tax break of as much as $100,000 to small businesses that buy SUVs and pickups weighing more than 6,000 pounds. Plus, a flurry of incentives and rebates being offered by virtually every auto manufacturer and price wars spearheaded by GM, mean it's a buyer's market.

The leading 2004 commercial vehicle trends are pickups and vans that combine brains and brawn with greater power and performance, more comfort and conveniences, and more varied configurations and price ranges. In pickups, new names include Chevrolet's midsize Colorado/GMC Canyon. There are also two additions to Chevy's Silverado line-a half-ton crew cab and a hybrid gas/electric-powered model. Nissan introduces its first full-size pickups, the 350 Z Titan crew cab and king cab; and Toyota adds a double-cab Tundra pickup. Some familiar models are improved as well: Toyota's Tacoma has a fresh look, some Dodge Ram pickups sport a new HEMI engine, and Ford has completely redesigned its F-150 and is offering a Super Duty optional diesel engine Harley-Davidson model.

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