Used Truck Buying Guide
When purchasing a new or used truck, there are a couple of things one should consider. What will this truck be used for, what is the price, is it reliable? A used pickup truck can be exactly what you want for business or travel, and we want to make sure you know the steps to take to get the best deal for your lifestyle.
Why Do You Want a Pickup Truck?
This is the first question you need to ask yourself. Why do you want a truck? Is this for business or personal-use? Is there a brand you have in mind? Read up on trucks, their towing capacity, fuel economy, capabilities, and match this to what you need the truck for.
If purchasing for business, pay more attention to its towing capacity, durability, and capability. If purchasing a truck for personal use, those characteristics may still be viable, but also look at fuel economy and cab configurations. Take a crew cab truck for example – a crew cab can seat up to five or six people. If you intend to ride around with multiple passengers, a crew cab may be what you need.
Budgets and Number Crunching
Don’t think of how much you can afford, right now – that’s a trap. When looking at used trucks and cars, split the price into monthly payments over two or three years. A used truck, say a 2015 Ram 3500 Tradesman, costs about $38,000. Divided by 24 months, that’s a monthly payment of nearly $1,600 a month and that doesn’t include fees, taxes, tag or interest.
To get that monthly payment down to a more manageable amount, consider making a larger down payment. A good rule of thumb is to pay 30 percent of the vehicle’s value up-front. Also, having good credit and stable income should help keep your monthly finance payment lower.
Lastly, after finding a couple trucks you like, don’t zero-in on a specific year. Look for the latest generation of that vehicle; for instance, the Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500 are in their fourth generation, which began in 2009. Now it comes down to price. Always have a budget.
On and Off the Lot
Okay so you have a truck in mind and you have a budget, next find a dealer. Here at University Mitsubishi, we have plenty of used trucks by Ram, Ford, and Nissan in our online inventory. However, what’s online isn’t always all we have, and coming by in person can open up more options. Either way, online or in-person, there’s a few things to do before signing some papers.
On the lot, we can show you a collection of certified pre-owned vehicles, which are vehicles that have undergone extensive inspections and reviews to assure our customers the pre-owned vehicle is in fine working condition prior to purchase. We also provide car history reports to show any damage, warranty details, or maintenance a used truck or car may have received before put up for sale as a used vehicle. It’s also a lot easier to test drive a used truck in person.
Strike a Deal
All that’s left is negotiating the right deal. You have a budget, you know what you want, and you know what you can afford. Keep these cards close to the chest, and start with a low offer when negotiating with a salesperson. Of course there’s a starting number and a dealership’s target price. There’s also resources out there like Kelley Blue Book that can give you a good idea of how much a vehicle is really worth today. Make use of such sources to make sure the price on a used truck is fair, and if not, work it down from there.
We hope this guide has helped shine a little light on what to do when in the market for a used truck. Remember, we have plenty of trucks and other used vehicles in our inventory. So stop by today, and we’ll strike up a deal to get you on your way!