What to Look for When Buying a Used Truck: 10 Tips for the First-Time Buyer

It’s no surprise that Americans love their pickup trucks. In 2018, over 1.4 million pickup trucks were sold in the first half of the year.  

Even though it’s easy to fall for a clean exterior and attractive price, you must conduct thorough research before making a final decision. From the truck’s history to its mileage, leave no stone unturned.

Not sure what to look for when buying a used truck? Here are the top 10 tips for a first-time buyer. 

1. Create a Checklist for Your Perfect Truck 

As you go through the process of buying your next used truck, create a checklist. First, make a list of your trucking requirements and know which price range you’re comfortable with. This will help you narrow your search down to a few potential options which you can then make an appointment to see. 

2. Find Out the Truck’s History

This is the best way to get an idea of the truck’s background. Ask for maintenance and oil change records, accident, history and about any recent upgrades.

The maintenance records will tell you whether it has received any tune-ups or had any parts replaced. Further, the accident history will tell you how extensive the damage was and prepare you for potential problems further down the line.

Also ask about how much towing and hauling the previous owner has done. For example, if your truck has spent many miles hooked up to a trailer, then it will have caused more wear on the truck’s mechanical components. 

3. Know Why It’s Being Sold 

Before you set your heart on the truck, ask the owner why they’re selling. This will tell you whether there are any potential or existing mechanical issues to deal with. But if the owner is selling because they are upgrading, then there aren’t necessarily any red flags.

4. Check the Oil

During your quality inspection, check out the oil situation. You should look at the current oil levels and the oil’s condition as it can show the health and condition of the truck.   

5. Look for Any Rust or Damage

Not sure how to buy a used truck?

You should give the truck a once-over so you can check for any rust or whether there are any dents. Focus on the doorframes and the roof for raised spots in the paint as they can show rust underneath. To prevent anything getting overlooked, inspect the truck outdoors and in daylight.   

6. Consider the Truck’s Mileage

Not sure how to buy a truck? Ask for mileage details.

The truck’s mileage also tells you about the overall quality of the vehicle. It is good to ask for the engine model so you can know which mileage point requires an engine rebuild. You’ll also want to consider what you’re using the truck for. 

Further, certain engine models have a track record of chronic problems. For example, they can wear out after a certain period or time or mileage. It’s best to do your research about the best engine models before committing to a used truck.

If you plan to drive frequently over long distances, find a truck with a lower mileage. But it’s important to note that a high mileage doesn’t always mean it’s not good enough. If the truck has been taken well cared for, it may still have lots of life in it. 

7. Inspect the Tire Tread 

When buying a used truck, it’s easy to overlook the finer details because you get so focused on the mechanical aspects of it and its history. But also focus on the tires during the inspection.

Ask the owner how many miles the tires have done and when they’re due for a replacement. If the truck is due for new tires, then you must include this in your budget.  

8. Source Replacement Parts 

Buying used trucks means you must determine any parts that need replacing and finding suppliers that stock these. If the truck is a special model or is lesser-known, it can be difficult to find the right parts even if they seem insignificant. 

This isn’t great as the used truck could be considered obsolete.  

9. Budget for Repairs and Upgrades

Be prepared for any repairs. Once you know which parts need replacing, add this to your overall investment so you aren’t left blindsided or left unprepared for extra expenses.

10. Explore Financing Options 

As you get closer to buying a truck, research available financing options. Lenders operate on different criteria when it comes to providing financing plans, and some used trucks may not be eligible. 

You may need to call for an official inspection to secure a plan so ensure the truck meets all the requirements before seeking financing.

Now You Know What to Look For When Buying a Used Truck

It’s always daunting when you’re on the hunt for a used truck. Before you browse listings, you must know what to look for when buying a used truck so you can find the best match. You should also conduct thorough research from the truck’s maintenance history to the truck’s mileage.

Also, think into the future and consider any potential repairs. You’ll need parts so make sure several suppliers have compatible parts so you can always replace them. Happy hunting!

Did you find this article helpful? If you’re looking for a dream second-hand truck in South Burien, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us here for more details. 

Author: Legend Auto Sales

Over 350+ Cars, Trucks, and SUVs.