How to Buy a Used Truck

Trucks are great for hauling things and getting work done, but they can be quite expensive. That’s why it makes such good sense to buy used when you can. If chosen properly, buying used makes it possible to save a whole lot of money while still providing a vehicle that offers reliable performance. With a little research, you can get the truck you need at a fraction of the cost.

Plan for the Purchase

As with any purchase, a wise buyer always looks to their budget first. Use an online loan calculator to help you determine how much truck you can afford. If you are planning on using it for work, will it really provide enough extra income to cover the added payment? The truck won’t do you any good if it costs so much that it isn’t affordable. That’s why a budget is so important. Take time to determine what you can honestly and comfortably afford before continuing with your purchase plan.

What Truck Will Fit Your Needs?

What do you need the truck for? This is the question that every buyer must ask himself. Figure out what the vehicle will be used for most of the time. Is it just to haul lumber? Will it be used on dirt roads? Do you need room for children? Will you be hauling large loads or pulling a trailer? These questions must be factored in to assist you in finding the truck that suits you best.

Obvious Things to Look For

While inspecting the truck, check the body for signs of rust or of accident damage. Listen for strange noises from the engine and make sure there is no blue or black smoke coming from the exhaust. Check under the truck for leaking fluids, smell the oil for any burning, and shift through all of the gears to evaluate the condition of the transmission. As an added precaution, you may consider purchasing a vehicle history report to check for any other previous problems not revealed during the inspection.

Get it Inspected

Always look over a truck closely yourself, but don’t stop there if at all possible. Take the truck with you on a test drive to a nearby garage, and have them look it over as well. It’s amazing how much a buyer can learn from professionals that know what they are looking for. When having it professionally inspected, most issues with the vehicle will become glaringly obvious. Such an evaluation makes it easier to avoid poor purchases or if the problems won't be too difficult to address, to negotiate a lower sales price.

Buying used offers many benefits, but make sure that you get yourself a good deal by being cautious. Look over the vehicle closely, and never make a purchase without first considering what you are getting and what you could be paying at other dealerships. If something about the truck seems strange, don’t make the purchase, there is likely a problem that you aren’t noticing.