Since 1896, when Daimler created the first pickup truck, the truck has been the heart and soul of America. There's something truly majestic about a truck that can carry people and carry cargo as easily as you'd imagine, a problem-solving beast of burden that has as much style and swagger as you want and your budget can handle. In fact, trucks can come with a hefty price tag, so choosing a used truck for sale is a smart financial option for people who want the benefit of the burly towing and hauling without the hefty price tag.
Do Your Homework on Used Trucks
Just like with any used vehicle purchase, the smart first move when you're buying a used truck is to do your homework. You'll want to look at your budget, of course, but also be realistic about what your requirements for your truck are. Are you buying it for flexibility, so that you have room to haul home the odd furniture or landscaping purchase or haul something to the dump? If that's the case, you likely won't need anything more than a compact used truck. If you're frequently towing a trailer or hauling large loads, you'll likely be looking at full-size or heavy duty used trucks.
Of course, once you've narrowed down your list of potential used truck models, you should investigate each of them. Take a look at their reliability records and what buyers are saying about how they're performing in real life. You'll want to find the used truck models that have the best track record and the best performance record for your needs before you start looking for specific vehicles.
Find a Reputable Used Truck Dealer
Yes, you can buy a truck off of the side of the road or you can go to an auction to find a used vehicle. Of course, you can turn to Facebook or Craigs List for a vehicle as well, but you won't get as much information about a used truck's background--or have as much opportunity to protect yourself during the transaction--as you will with a reputable used truck dealer. Used truck dealers want to keep their reputation stellar, which means they are very picky about the inventory they stock. Even better, dealers like Idaho Falls Cars and Trucks take the inventory through a rigorous inspection process, making sure that the late model used trucks on their lot are the cream of the crop, often still having their manufacturer warranties intact. Make sure that your dealer has a vehicle history report, has done an inspection, and offers some kind of warranty if you're interested in one (even if it's a third party warranty plan).
Ask Specific Questions about Your Used Truck
When you find a truck that you're interested in, ask specific questions about it. Was it involved in regular towing? You can find some telltale clues to this past in a worn town hitch, bent license plate area, or cables for wiring rear trailer lights. If you see a hint of a past life of towing, ask about the transmission and engine. Similarly, you might look for scrapes, scratches, and bent parts underneath the truck to see if it's lived a tough life off road. If it has, and you notice the aftereffects, you may need to consider checking out the suspension and chassis.
One way to get the backstory on the vehicle you're most interested in is by getting a vehicle history report. You'll then know what the vehicle was used for (personal or commercial or fleet use) and the maintenance history. Those facts are important considerations when you're choosing a vehicle!
Enlist a Savvy Mechanic to Look at Your Used Truck
Make sure you have someone experienced in diagnostics take a look at the used truck you love before you buy it. You should always get an expert to take a look, and it's money well spent if you can avoid potential pitfalls in the used truck you choose. Have them give the used truck you've chosen a serious once over, looking at everything from the interior to the undercarriage, and have them give you their honest assessment. Once you have that, you can move forward or move on.