Welcome to the world of used truck sales!
If you’re in the need of a truck and considering buying a used vehicle, it’s likely you’ve already thought carefully about the reasons for doing so. The one that probably springs to mind first is cost- that trucks are so essential for many businesses as well as personal use is often reflected with an extremely impressive price tag. A brand-new semi-truck will set you back £25,000 (that's about $41,000 for all the Americans out there) at the very minimum, but the used equivalent -if purchased carefully can happily meet and exceed the expectations of a buyer with a snugger budget at a sliver of this cost. This is also taking into account future potential costs on your truck. It is likely that you will pay less on insurance and financing, as well as not having to watch your pride and joy's value slash with every year as the current rates of cost depreciation take their toll!
There is an extensive range of used trucks and used truck parts out there, so shopping around for the vehicle which will best accommodate your needs can be a daunting project! It is imperative to find a used truck sales dealership that you know you can trust and can work with your requirements to help you find the perfect vehicle; an independent dealer may be more useful in advising you on varying manufacturers and models which are more suited to your requirements. Signing for a brand new truck may seem like the most straightforward option, but with just a little know how, an older vehicle will do the same job at a fraction of the price. Here’s a few rules which, once you’ve found the right used truck dealer, will make finding the perfect used truck run much more smoothly.
- Before you even set off for the dealership, decide what type of used truck you really need rather than want. Unfortunately these are not often the same thing! It’s important to be realistic at this stage, thinking carefully about what you will be using your truck for. Your choice should reflect its future usage, whether it is going to be put to work delivering items around the country, acting as a service or training vehicle or carrying heavy machinery. Who is going to be driving it? Where? How far and how frequently?
- Another important decision to be made before actually looking at any trucks is how much you are intending to spend, or perhaps more pertinently, how much can you afford? In with this figure you should always allow for the other costs of ownership on top of the vehicle’s basic price. Research the potential outgoings on each promising truck’s future essentials such as insurance, maintenance and fuel and measure this up against your budget.
- Now you can get to the interesting part- once at the right dealership and faced with a model which you have decided fits your needs well, it’s important to closely check the exterior to get a good indication of its past treatment. Concentrate on joints, petrol gaps and the vehicle’s underside, searching for damage and rusting. Bear in mind however that a used truck (and strongly depending on how used it is!) will demonstrate superficial signs of wear and tear. Surface rust on the frame or axles is no big deal, but if you can poke through the metal anywhere on the truck you've encountered structural rust. Step away from the truck!
- Following from this it is now necessary to inspect other more mechanical and interior aspects of your vehicle such as breakage, damage and leaks in the oil, brake fluid, water coolants and mechanics. Also take a good look at the steering components, U-shaft and the more mechanical aspects of the brakes. After all this if you are still in any doubt you should...
- Seek a second opinion. Even if just a friend comes along with you it is reassuring to have someone else to advise your decision, or even just stop you from getting carried away when faced with lots of potential new toys! If you’re not confident in the more technical checks that need to be carried out, take along a mechanic. Even better, some used truck sales establishments have their own service workshops on site, where any mechanical repairs and reconditioning can be carried out to the customer’s requirements.
Whether you're buying for personal use or a business, there is a used truck out there for you. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to find the right dealer who will help you find the vehicle you need rather than coerce you into purchasing a particular model or spending more than you can afford! Good luck and happy trucking!