Truck ownership is so rewarding because these vehicles are durable and can carry a heavy load. When you buy a truck, you need to make sure it’s reliable so that you can get a return on your investment.
You will particularly have some homework to do when you purchase a used vehicle. There are a host of things you should keep in mind whether you’re shopping with a private party or a dealership.
Read on to learn what to look for when buying a used truck.
1. Look Into the Year, Make and Model
Get to know the best pickup truck options available to you in today’s market. Set aside some of the most proven and highest-ranked years, makes, and models to know which truck is best for your life.
Look up the Kelley Blue Book (KBB) value of the truck to know how much you should be paying for it based on its condition and odometer reading. Find a year, make, and model that also gets high safety and crash test ratings.
By looking into the specs of a truck, you can develop a shortlist of vehicles that can provide you with what you need most.
2. Find Out How Many Miles it Has on It
Verify the odometer reading of the truck to see how many miles it has on it. It’s at this point that you need to clarify your purpose for buying the truck and what you hope to get from it. If you need a transitional work truck for a couple of years, you have some wiggle room for how many miles it has.
However, if you hope to get a decade or more of performance from a truck, you’ll need to purchase it with as low mileage as possible. The amount of mileage the truck has will also help you when you need to negotiate the price.
3. Test Drive and Inspect the Truck
This is the ultimate step that too many people gloss over. It can be tempted to get so caught up in wanting to drive off the lot that day that you skip thoroughly test driving the truck.
Make sure to carve out at least an hour to drive the truck both in the city and on the interstate. Pay attention to how well the truck steers and handles. Be particularly mindful of how the truck reacts when you accelerate or decelerate.
If the truck struggles to do either, it’s a sign that there may be something wrong with the engine or transmission. These aren’t small problems, and if you buy this truck, you’ll have to spend lots of time and money correcting these issues.
What’s more, a truck that has built-in problems will provide safety risks.
To truly know what’s going on under the hood, have a third-party mechanic inspect the truck. With this inspection, they’ll be able to catch critical problems and let you know if it’s worth purchasing at the asking price.
Dealerships will allow you to arrange for a third-party inspection either on their premises or offsite once you’re ready to make a purchase. If the dealership or private seller hesitates, you should consider taking your business elsewhere.
Buying a truck is a large investment and if they’re selling you a quality vehicle, they shouldn’t have any problem with an inspection.
Even if an inspection reveals some issue that needs to be fixed, this can still work in your favor. You can have the dealership or seller fix it, which results in a better car at a reduced price. When you know the conditioning of the vehicle, you can shop for trucks and parts with the right information in your back pocket.
4. Understand How You Need It and How Long
Get to know exactly what you need from the truck as you shop for different models and options. If you’re going to drive a truck for long distances, for instance, you’ll want to consider the comfort of the interior and what kinds of entertainment options it comes with.
If you know the truck is going to haul camping gear or construction equipment, the towing capacity becomes more important. This might also be cause to pair the purchase with a towing package.
Above all, figure out how long you need this investment to last, so you can consider the right make and model, and find out which brands are the most reliable.
5. Get a Warranty to Go With It
You need to have some protections in place when you’re trying to do what’s best for your used truck purchase. Start by adding an extended warranty.
When you get an extended warranty, it lets you get routine repair appointments throughout the years that keep the truck at its best.
6. Consider the Interior Features and Customization Options
Today’s pickup trucks have all of the amenities and features that you can find in sedans and SUVs. For instance, many pickup trucks allow you to turn the interior cabin into a Wi-Fi hotspot.
This way, your passengers can get online with their devices without having to rely on their cell phone data.
When you buy a truck at a dealership you also have plenty of customization options. Trucks come out in different color trims, exhaust options, bed type, and so much more. Put these details into place at the time of purchase so that you get exactly what you need.
What to Look for When Buying a Used Truck
These tips will steer you in the right direction to know what to look for when buying a used truck. Use these points as a guideline so that you’re able to find the best truck option.
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