The Second-Hand Market: 10 Things to Look for When Buying a Used Truck


When purchasing a used truck, there’s a lot to know and plant for. It will likely be necessary to spend several hours researching the different options that are available, comparing the different features and prices, and figuring out what type of truck will meet a person’s needs.

To help narrow the search down even more, factor in the inevitable costs that go along with buying a used vehicle so that it is possible to budget properly and receive the most value.

While the task of buying a used truck may seem somewhat overwhelming, there are some tips that can help. In addition to taking the time to look at, use the tips found here.


#1 Find Out Why the Truck is Being Sold

One of the first things a person should consider when trying to purchase a used truck is why the owner has decided to sell. Finding out the reason for this is the best way to determine if there are any possible mechanical issues that will have to be fixed down the road.

If the owner is selling the truck because they are upgrading their existing truck, then this may not raise any red flags. However, if there’s an issue with the truck that’s being sold, it is better to know about it upfront so that the buyer doesn’t inherit these problems with the purchase.


#2 Look at the Truck’s Maintenance History

Once it is clear there are no serious problems with the truck, it’s a good idea to do a bit of research regarding how well it was maintained.

Take a look at the truck’s past maintenance records. Did it receive regular tune-ups? Have any parts been replaced? By looking at the maintenance records, it is possible to learn about the truck’s overall history, which can help to prepare the buyer for what is coming if it is purchased.


#3 Look at the Oil Change Records

While maintenance history is important, it’s also a good idea to look at the truck’s oil change records. If oil changes have not been performed properly through the lifespan of the truck, it may be an indication of possible engine problems down the road. If there aren’t any oil change or maintenance records, or if the records are sporadic, proceed with caution.

It may indicate improper maintenance, which could be a possible issue.


#4 Get to Know the Accident History of the Truck

Another part of getting a full picture of the overall history of the truck is to know if it has been involved in any accidents in the past. Some of the things to look for include what parts have been replaced due to damage, how extensive was the damage that occurred, and what types of collisions and accidents occurred.

Getting to know the accident history ahead of time will make sure the new truck owner is fully prepared for possible issues that may arise down the road.


#5 Figure Out What Needs to be Replaced

The maintenance history will provide some insight regarding what has been replaced. From that point, a person can easily determine the truck parts that still need to be replaced or upgraded in the near future. Be sure to pay close attention to the engine and transmission.


#6 Research the Track Record of Engine for the Model Being Considered

It’s a good idea to look at the engine model in the truck being considered.

There are some models that are known for having a lot of problems. There are some engines that will ear out after a certain amount of time or when it reaches a certain mileage point. Make sure to do plenty of research online about the best models before committing to buy a used truck.


#7 Always Check the Oil

As part of the inspection, make sure to look at the oil level in the truck. In addition to how much oil is in the truck, be sure to look at its condition. This can be a good indication of the health of the truck. If a buyer suspects anything, they should request the records for the oil change, as mentioned above.


#8 Look for Signs of Body Rust

Make sure to inspect the vehicle’s quality by searching for any rust on the exterior surfaces and on the inside of the vehicle. Also, look at the other parts and doorframes for any signs that structural rust has begun to form. This may be an indication that the vehicle isn’t properly maintained and that it may not have very much life left.


#9 Look at the Mileage

The mileage on a truck is also a good indication of the quality of the vehicle. Getting to know the model of the engine can help a person figure out at what point an engine rebuild may be needed. When looking at the mileage, it’s a good idea to consider how it will be used.

For those planning on driving the truck often or over long distances, it may make more sense to try to purchase one with lower mileage.


#10 Look at the Tire Tread

When buying a used truck, it may be easy to overlook some parts because the buyer may be completely focused on the maintenance history and mechanical issues. While this is true, don’t forget to look at the tires during the inspection.

See how much of the tread is left and how many miles have been put on the current tires. Find out when they should be replaced, as well. If a person doesn’t consider this ahead of time, it may mean another investment has to be made by the buyer in the near future.

There’s no question that buying a used truck can be a great investment. While this is true, the tips here will help ensure the right purchase is made, regardless of the type of truck that is wanted or how it is going to be used. Being informed is the best way to ensure the right used truck is found and purchased.

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