DIY: A Used Truck-Buying Guide




It can be a bit overwhelming when purchasing a used pickup truck. After all, many dealerships offer an enormous selection of vehicles, making the buyer's decision rather difficult. Plus, it can be confusing sorting through all of the reviews, financial terms, and other necessary truck-buying duties.

Fortunately, we've provided a truck-buying guide below. If you've found yourself stressing over the pursuit of a used pickup, rely on these tips to walk you through the process...


Establish a Budget

You may not necessarily be pursuing a used truck for financial reasons. However, even though you won't be dishing out money for a brand-new pickup, you'll still want to set a strict budget when pursuing a pre-owned vehicle. While used pickup trucks still present a huge savings over their new counterparts, these rides can still cost a bit of money (you're probably not going to get much production from a used pickup that's less than $8,000). While the affordable price tag will surely catch your eye, it's important to remain modest. By setting a monthly payment budget, customers will understand their financial limitations.

Luckily, dealerships like Miami Lakes Automall in Miami Lakes, Florida offer their customers financing for these rides, so those with extremely limited budgets can still find a way to secure a ride. Furthermore, the financing department will work with the customer to assure that they'll be able to make their monthly payments in a timely manner, thus avoiding any dire consequences.


Do Your Research



The truck-buying process shouldn't begin when you step into a dealership. Rather, you should be initiating your research weeks before. If, for example, you've established that you want a used pickup, you should take in every review that you can. There are online experts who focus on solely used cars, so it shouldn't be too difficult finding the information you need. Reversely, it's important to allow yourself a bit of wiggle room. While you may zero in on one specific model year of a pickup, it might be better to target a generation (usually multiple years) of a specific nameplate, thus providing you with more options.

Fortunately, you can often peruse a dealership's inventory before you even head into the business. While you shouldn't expect to see these dealerships post all of their vehicles, you can still get a good idea of what you're in store for. Dealerships like Miami Lakes Automall make it very easy to browse through their selection of used vehicles. Prospective buyers can sort by price, the body style, the fuel type, the mileage... basically any sorting information they need is at their disposal!


Investigate Certified Pre-Owned Trucks



Some used buyers may prefer to opt for a "certified pre-owned vehicle." How do these differ from your standard used pickups? Generally, these 'CPOs' are backed by the brand itself, as each vehicle often has to undergo an extensive inspection and review, assuring that every single aspect of the ride is up to par. While some drivers may be wary of a used vehicle's reliability, they can be rest assured that these CPOs will last them several years. Plus, many of these vehicles are backed by some type of warranty, so if you do run into any issues, at least you know the brand has your back.

It's important to inspect the fine print on these CPOs. While these pickups are often backed by the brand itself, they may instead be backed by the dealership. As a result, some of the expected terms and protections that you've been seeing may not necessarily be accurate. In rare cares, another business handles the inspect and CPO process, meaning the customer won't be dealing with either the brand or the dealership. 


Check out the Pickup's History Report

Dealerships like Miami Lakes Automall are as trustworthy as you can get, so there shouldn't be any worries of securing an unreliable vehicle. These businesses are also rather transparent, so they'll alert you to any present or previous damage. However, it's still in the driver's best interest to investigate a target vehicle's history report, especially if you're going to be purchasing that used pickup truck from a private seller.

After having secured the vehicle's VIN number, customers can visit websites like AutoCheck and CarFax to get some insight into their targeted ride. Drivers may learn if the odometer's been rolled back, and they may even be alerted of any relevant recalls. By learning about these issues before purchasing the ride, buyers can better anticipate any problems.


Give the Truck a Test Drive



If you're certain that you've found the perfect truck, don't let your first ride behind the wheel occur after having made the purchase. Rather, the customer should give their targeted pickup truck a test drive, even if the vehicle looks to be in perfectly workable condition.

By giving the pickup truck a test drive, buyers may be able to pick up on any handling or steering odditys. In fact, a customer may even discover that the driving experience isn't necessarily what they were expecting. Furthermore, a test drive could reveal any odd issues lingering under the hood. If there seemed to be unusuanoiseses coming from the pickup, you may want to stay way.


Negotiate a Deal

Depending on who you're buying from, you may be able to play hardball when it comes to the price. By starting with a low offer, the buyer may find that the seller is willing to lower their demands. If you've set a budget, you can have a better understanding of when it's time to walk away, and you may find that the seller is crawling back to make the deal.

Sure, many used dealerships don't really haggle when it comes to prices. They've set their desired value for a specific nameplate, and they've probably allowed for little wiggle room. While these clear and transparent prices are beneficial to the customer, it means you won't be able to utilize your negotiating tactics.


The truck-buying process is actually rather logical, and it shouldn't be all that stressful. If you follow our guide above, you may actually have some (*gasp*) fun when shopping for your used pickup, and that will make the entire process a lot more enjoyable.