So… you’re in the market for a truck and have decided to look one the “used” side of the marketplace first. Smart move! Maybe you’ve always dreamed of owning a truck and it’s never made more sense to get one. Perhaps your profession and lifestyle demand that you use trucks and so you’re looking to replace your current one or add to the calvary. Whatever the case may be, you’ve made the right decision in searching through used trucks first. However, not all of them are the right fit.
Here’s how to find the best used trucks through all of the offers and deals you’ll find online.
Define Your Future Truck’s Purpose
Before you hit the marketplace in search of your dream truck, you first have to get a glimpse of what that looks like.
Sure, every truck driver’s dream is to purchase one they can modify into a lift kit, customized rims, tinted windows… the works. However, that’s probably not realistic for what your needs are.
Take a hard look at what you need out of the truck that you purchase. Some people may have far fewer requirements than others. If this is your first time considering buying a truck, it may have never occurred to you before.
How important is it that your future truck has heavy towing capabilities? Does it need a long bed for storage? What kind of payload specifics does it have to have?
Is your truck going to be used for hauling? Will it be used primarily as a means of daily transportation? Possibly both?
Answering all these questions will help you define what an ideal truck is for you in terms of size and capability. You’ll know how essential both are and how they line up with your preferences.
Check the Truck’s History
One of the best things about modern-day car shopping is that you can find car history on almost any vehicle that you’re interested in.
There are websites that are literally designed to open up the history books and records on any specific car.
Because of that, it’s important for you to take advantage. Always check the car maintenance history as soon as you possibly can. If there’s a price that seems too good to be true, the maintenance history will probably tell you why.
Other than keeping an eye out for any red flags, also pay close attention to how well the car has been taken care of. Has it been taken in for regular checkups? Are there any parts of the car that have been hell-raisers to previous owners?
While it’s merely impossible to know how a car will perform years into the future, the history reports give you the best glance at that.
Set Your Budget
Even prior to getting serious about purchasing a truck in the near future, odds are you’ve been scanning sites of your trusted local Used Truck Dealer. That’s good! You have an idea of what you’re looking for.
Now that you know the price range of trucks that fit both your needs and preferences, it’s time to set the budget.
It’s easy to get attached to one or two specific trucks that you find. When that happens, you’re much more likely to make a purchase that doesn’t agree with your financial situation.
Don’t become a victim of that! Setting your budget beforehand gives you a plan of attack as you comb through the market.
It gives you a helpful way of filtering out hundreds of options. If the truck isn’t anywhere close to your price range, then it’s on to the next one!
Do Research on the Truck Model
After you’ve set your budget and scan the market, you’ll probably notice that you run into a few models far more often. That means they’re the mixture of everything you’re looking for.
Now that you know what models would be a great fit, you need to do some research on them specifically.
This can be anything from reading customer reviews, scanning through car review sites for specifics, or calling a dealership directly to hear their pitch.
All of these should be taken with a grain of salt, but the things you’re hearing consistently will show you whether the car is perfect for you or not.
Scan for Rust
Rust is one of the worst things that you can find on a used truck that you’re interested in. It’s a physical sign of depreciation… stay away from it.
That said, looking for rust will be difficult to do while searching through options online. Car photographers know the perfect angles to take a picture and avoid a rusted spot (if there is one).
Because of that, you’ll have to do your rust inspection in-person. Scan through both the outside paint job as well as under the car for any signs of rust.
Raised paint bubbles on the car can be a sign of rust underneath the coat.
Regardless of where you find it on the car, it’s a sign that the car hasn’t been well taken care of and is slowly on its way to truck heaven.
Use These Tips to Find the Best Used Trucks
Now that you’ve seen a few ways to filter through all the truck options online, it’s time to find the best used trucks that the marketplace can offer!
While the search process may be tedious, it’s crucial to set yourself up for longterm happiness with the truck you buy.
Be sure to check out our other articles pertaining to useful topics like this one and others just like it!