4 Tips for Buying a Used Truck

When it’s time to buy a truck, you have a lot of decisions to make concerning make and model. Then you’ll need to decide whether you need a light, medium, or heavy-duty truck. Cab, double cab, or extended cab? Small bed or large bed? But the biggest question to ask yourself before your hunt is whether you want to spend a fortune on a new truck, or if you want to save yourself some hard-earned cash by shopping previously owned.

Pre-owned trucks are usually a better value without sacrificing the qualities that are important to you. We have four tips to ensure that buying a used pickup truck doesn’t land you with a hefty monthly payment, so you can keep on trucking, worry-free.

Do Your Research Ahead of Time

Whether you’re going to be a first-time truck owner, or you’re replacing your fourth truck, it’s a good idea to evaluate your exact needs before you hit the lot. With so many options available, it’s easy to become bogged down and overwhelmed by all the details. Knowing what you want before you shop will allow you to focus on the options that best match your needs and lifestyle.

Make a “Truck Wish List” and take it with you when you head to the car lots. Some points to include are:

  • Preferred vehicle age range
  • Target price range
  • Number of miles on the vehicle
  • Primary ways you’ll be using the truck (i.e. towing large items vs. hauling lighter items around in the truck bed, etc.)
  • Size you prefer
  • Interior comforts you want (leather seats vs. fabric, built-in GPS system vs. using your own navigation device, etc.)

While a wish list summarizes what you’d like in your perfect truck, remember that you may need to compromise to find the best fit for your needs and for your budget. It’s best to prioritize which factors are most important to you.

Be Budget Minded

Once you’ve made the list of what you’re looking for in a used truck, it’s time to sit down and crunch some numbers. Take a look at what your ideal truck is selling for new. Then do some research on the average cost for older models.

Knowing your budget ahead of time helps you stand firm on your price point when you start to negotiate. If you don’t think this through ahead of time, you may wind up with a hefty monthly car payment that you’ll soon regret.

According to the article 7 Steps to Buying a Pickup Truck, a good rule of thumb is to keep your truck payment at no more than 15 percent of your total take-home pay. The more you save ahead of time, the more likely you’ll be able to make a sizeable down payment — making it possible to have little-to-no monthly payment on your pre-owned truck!

If you’ll be financing your truck purchase, look for a dealer who offers the Buy Here/Pay Here option, an in-house financing and payment program that provides locally guaranteed credit approval.

Test Drive, Test Drive, Test Drive

When it comes to buying a used truck, whatever you do, don’t skip the test drive. While it may be hard to imagine not test driving a vehicle you’re considering purchasing, people do buy sight-unseen in some cases. Buying a truck, or any other used vehicle for that matter, is a huge decision and one that you should make only after a solid test drive around the block or down the interstate. A thorough test drive will give you an idea of how your truck will ride on all those fun adventures you’re planning.

If it’s the right price, with the right features for its intended use, and if it checks out on the road test, chances are you’ve just found the pre-owned truck to fulfill your wish list without straining your finances.

Search Our Online Inventory

Monarch Auto Sales offers a great inventory of reliable, pre-owned trucks for reasonable prices.  Search our online inventory today!

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