Would you be surprised if I said pickups are one of the top selling automobiles in this down economy? Well, believe it because it’s true. More half ton pickups are sold than many of the popular cars you think of when thinking about new car sales. More and more people are realizing the advantages of owning a pickup. But before you head out and join the crowd, here are some tips for buying a used pickup truck you need to know.
For starters, sit down and figure out why you want a pickup. Pickup trucks come in many shapes and sizes today. If you want fuel economy plus the advantage of being able to haul your gear, then you’ll obviously choose a compact pickup over a larger full size one. But be careful, just because they are small does not mean they get good fuel mileage. Research the models you choose on a websites like edmunds.com and nada.com. This will give you a feeling for what used pickups like the one you’re looking at are going for.
I always like to look in the bed of a pickup truck. This can tell you a lot of things about its history. If I see a bed that is beat up with the paint scratched off and dents all over it, then this tells me the truck was used as a work truck and probably treated poorly. I’m also leery of pickup beds that have had recent linings installed. These linings can hide years and years of abuse.
Secondly, get in a drive it! The best place you can take it is to your mechanic so they can put it on the racks and give it a good going over. If you don’t have a mechanic, try looking for your nearest NAPA auto care center. I’ve had really good luck using the people at these centers for checking our vehicles that I’m about to purchase. If the individual or car lot you’re buying the car from will not let your mechanic check it out, then walk away. They’re scared that you may find something!
Years ago when I had poor credit and was trying to rebuild it, I bought several pickup trucks from buy here pay here car lots. I had everyone checked out by the local NAPA auto care center and they saved me from buying a lemon more than once!