Tips & Tricks for Buying a Pre-Owned Truck
Tips and Tricks for Buying a Used Truck | Landers Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Norman
While we love putting customers behind the wheel of a beautiful new RAM, pre-owned vehicles are a huge part of our business. We absolutely love helping our customers find a budget friendly car, truck, van or SUV that works for their busy everyday life. We know trucks are always a popular choice…well duh! Have you seen them? However, when buying a pre-owned truck there are certain things to consider.
How will you use your truck?: While considering what you want to do with your truck before you buy seems like a no-brainer, it’s a factor that not enough customers take into account a lot of the time. Are you looking for a truck that looks great on Saturday night? An all-business workhorse that can take a little wear and tear? A fuel-sipping smaller truck to use as a commuter or for light weekend hauling? A mud-slinging off-roader? A tow-rig for your fifth-wheel or horse trailer? Be honest with yourself and realistic about what you need. If there’s anything worse than having “too much truck,” it’s having too little power or towing capacity when you need it most.
Insurance: The monthly note is not the only thing to consider when buying a pre-owned truck. From an insurance standpoint, choosing a 4×4, high-horsepower or highly-optioned luxury pickup can bump up the cost of insurance considerably, especially if you have accidents or moving violation tickets in your past. Be sure to reach out to your insurance company and check on insurance prices for that specific model before you commit.
What’s your budget?: With fuel prices going up every year and trucks are known for their low fuel economy, the price of fuel is something you need to consider. Choices like 4×4 running gear, overall vehicle weight and higher-horsepower V8 engines can drastically increase the amount you’ll spend on fuel every month. Another factor is tires. In general, the bigger the tire, the more it costs, and if you own the truck awhile, the tires will need to be replaced at some point. So consider your monthly budget carefully before you buy. While that big V8 4×4 with the lift kit and custom paint might impress your pals, if you have a 20-plus-mile commute every day, it might not look so hot after a few months of expensive fill-ups.
Interior Space: Trucks these days come in a truly dizzying array of cab configurations! If you’re going to be using your truck as a primary or secondary family vehicle, a crew cab four-door truck might be best. If you don’t need the extra seating or room, though, a single-cab or extra-cab pickup might be a better fit, and they generally cost less than four-door trucks on the pre-owned lot.
History Report: Included in the report is information about previous accident damage, service records, the ownership history, documented mileage and more. Not only is it great information to have about a truck you’re considering, it also can give you a lot of insight on whether the pre-owned truck you’re considering was pampered or punished by a previous owner.
Reviews: The internet is forever, and that includes honest reviews of and recommendations for every vehicle under the sun. If the truck you’re considering is under 20 years old, do a search for that model and see what people said about it at the time it was new. Whether it’s the original towing capacity, safety features, persistent mechanical or electrical problems, long-term reviews by owners, manufacturer recalls or anything else, a search will turn it all up for the particular model you’re considering. That could either help you make a decision to buy or save you a ton of headaches in the future.
Mileage: While there are exceptions to every rule, a great rule of thumb is to always look for the lowest-mileage vehicle you can afford, and that’s especially true with trucks. Every mile a truck traveled with a previous owner is another mile when it could have been worked hard, run hot, used and/or abused. Again, there are always exceptions, but if presented with the choice of a low-mileage truck that fits most of your needs or a high-mileage truck that fits them all, go with the low-mileage truck, even if it costs a bit more. You’ll likely get more useful life out of it and will be happier in the long run.
There you have it. If you are looking for a used vehicle we have an amazing selection for YOU! Stop in today, or check out our big selection online right now!