Purchasing a used Scania R-series truck

The introduction of the R-series in spring 2004 marked a change in Scania’s model designation system. Out went chronological (1-,2-, 3- and 4-series) numbering, replaced by a prefix indicating cab-mounting height, followed by the engine power rating in hp. R-series, the highest cab mounting, was joined later in 2004 by P-series, the lowest. 

The intermediate G-series arrived on the scene in 2007. But it’s the R-series that everyone hankers after, thanks to its semi-flat floor and the engine cover standing proud by just 150mm (6in). In comparison, it intrudes by 310mm in the G-series.

Scania’s improved market share in tractor units suggests it is popular with logistics operators, family-run hauliers and owner-drivers.


Changes over the years


The R-series sleeper has four roof-height options: low, normal, Highline and Topline.

Most early R-series from 2004 to 2006 have Euro-3 engines: the 10.6-litre DC11 at 340hp or 380hp; the 11.7-litre DC12 at 420hp or 470hp (the latter with turbo-compounding); or the 15.6-litre V8 DC16 at 500hp 

or 580hp. 

But Scania had Euro-4 engines for R-series available well before the October 2006 deadline, with the 11.7-litre DC12 offered at 340hp, 380hp, 420hp and 480hp, the last two with turbo-compounding and all with EGR. 

V8 ratings at Euro-4 rose to 500hp, 560hp and 620hp, acquiring SCR exhaust after-treatment and thus needing AdBlue.


Always ready


The Euro-5 deadline was October 2009 – but again Scania had engines ready well before, with 

a new 12.7-litre DC13 EGR engine at 400hp, 440hp and 480hp for the R-series. 

The 11.7-litre unit was retained as an SCR engine for Euro-5, at 380hp and 420hp. The V8 (still with SCR) moved from Euro-4 to Euro-5 with power and torque ratings unchanged, but was joined by a new enlarged sibling, boasting 16.4 litres and 730hp.


Introducing newer engines


In early 2012, Scania rationalised this rather complex engine range, axing the 11.7-litre, but introducing new SCR versions of the 12.7-litre. Since then, Euro-5 R-series come with either EGR or SCR versions of the 12.7-litre engine at 400hp, 440hp, 480hp, plus the aforementioned four V8 variants. 

The R-series has changed remarkably little since its inception in 2004. 

It was refreshed in autumn 2009, with subtle changes to the grille, new interior trims and an updated dashboard with a Scania Driver Support screen giving information on driving style and fuel economy. 

More importantly, this was when Scania finally decided to offer its Opticruise transmission automation system (added to the 8-, 12- or 14-speed manual gearboxes) without the clutch pedal, previously needed when starting and stopping. 

Scania engineers also reworked Opticruise, achieving a big improvement in shift speed and quality.  

  • CAP retail prices for 6x2 R-series with Highline cab at three years old, 420,000km, 2009-registered on 59-plate. Prices from CAP
  • R420 with 11.7-litre engine – £41,250
  • R500 with 15.6-litre V8 engine – £44,500

Reputation is key


Scania enjoys an enviable position in the used truck market. It’s based on a long-established reputation for build quality and desirability, and impressive residuals.

It’s a reputation supported by Barrie Travis, the Red Book editor for LGVs at price valuators CAP. “Any Scania R-series is sought after, and the V-engine commands the higher prices,” he says.

At Euro-4, the R480 proved popular, says Travis, and that has continued with the R500 at Euro-5. 

Although many operators select the V8 engine, the majority of R-series trucks coming back to market are fitted with the proficient Highline cab and not the flagship Topline.

The love from the industry isn’t always reflected in Scania’s registrations. Recent registration figures from the SMMT reveal a yo-yo performance. In 2010, Scania struck several significant deals, including a 1,000-truck deal with Stobart Group/AW Jenkinson. This helped it reach number two in the tractor unit (two- and three-axle) league table.

Scania was unable to maintain that success and it slipped to fifth in 2011 with 13.4% market share of all tractors sold in the UK, before bouncing back last year to third, with a 17.9% market share. Despite inconsistent sales performance, residual values for the R-series have remained strong.

The franchised dealer network actively buys any late-year or desirable Scanias that crop up, which essentially starves the open market and forces non-franchise traders to pay the going rate as well.


Product recalls by VOSA


Scania R-Series has had seven recalls since 2006; the following was the most significant

Ref: R/2008/198 possible loss of steering control

Product time span: 1/11/2005-1/6/2008

“Identified that during production, the nuts on the track rod end clamps may not have been tightened to the correct torque, creating insufficient clamping force on the joint. Under conditions of high steering load, the track rod may detach, resulting in loss of steering control. 

“Recalled vehicles will have the track rod end clamps checked and changed as necessary.”




Selective Scania R-series parts prices (retail prices excluding VAT)

Part Price
Headlamp £125
Oil filter £14.25
Air filter £52.75
Front bumper £694
Rear mudguard £253.50
Turbocharger £2,364

Five most ordered parts:

Part Price
Brake pad £97.50
Battery, 180ah £183
Starter motor £399
Brake disc £125
Maintenance kit £34.32