How to Make a Smart Used Truck Purchase

March 30th, 2018 by

2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71

When you are shopping for a used truck for sale, there are a few things that you can do to ensure you buy a quality vehicle at an appropriate price. Finding a vehicle that balances quality and value is the most important aspect of purchasing a used truck. A used truck that suits your budget and needs is easier to find if you follow a few guidelines as you navigate available models and purchase and finance options. McCluskey Auto can help match you with a vehicle that is perfect for you. Starting your search with a few specific needs and wants in mind, as well as having a budget and payment options available will make your used truck purchase a breeze.


What You Want and What’s for Sale

Maybe you’ve had your eye on a particular make and model of truck before you’ve started shopping. Or maybe you are jumping into the used truck buying process without any specific ideas about what you are looking for.

First, be sure to consider what you are going to use your used truck for. Will it be strictly a work vehicle or will it be an all-around work, play, and family vehicle. What you intend to use the truck for will largely determine the kind of vehicle you should shop for. Cab size, tow capacity, safety features, are all things you will need to consider when you are shopping for a used truck.

Next, you’ll want to consider where you are going to shop and what vehicles they have available. Many dealers will work with you if you have a very specific make and model in mind and it is not currently in your inventory. Dealers like McCluskey Auto will do their best to get their hands on the vehicle you want and make it available through their dealership. This process could take a little longer, but it is a good option if you want something specific.


What to Look for In a Used Truck

While you are shopping around there are a few things you should do to ensure that you are purchasing a vehicle that is both priced well and in good condition. These steps are something you can do no matter what kind of used truck you are considering.

Examine the truck in daylight and on level ground so that you can check the exterior as well as fluids correctly. Check all body panels from back to front. Go around the bottom of the vehicle and check for any rough edges or rust. Raised areas on the roof signal rust underneath, so check for that.

Under the hood, check the coolant fluid for any discoloration that could mean rust. Check the air filter for excessive dirt, as well as the engine. Large amounts of grease or oil deposits could mean that it was not taken care of thus far. If the car has an automatic transmission, check the dipstick. If the oil smells burnt at all this is a red flag as it signals trouble for the transmission.

Start the engine. Listen for any sounds that don’t seem normal like loud bangs or clangs. Check the emergency brake and make sure it holds. Check all switches and extras on the car such as lights, air, etc. Turn off the motor and open the trunk and look for rust.

Finally, take it for a test drive and notice anything that might seem odd. Loose brakes, notice how it handles overall, and check for any evidence of odometer tampering (if the stated mileage doesn’t seem to match up with the wear on the car, there could be an issue.)


Most Popular Used Truck Models

Once you start looking for a used truck for sale, you’ll find a lot of models and styles available. Depending on what kind of truck you want to buy, there are a few popular models you may see on the used car market:

  • RAM 2500 Crew Cab
  • GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab
  • Toyota Tacoma PreRunner Double Cab
  • Nissan Frontier Crew Cab
  • Chevrolet Silverado
  • Ford F-150 Supercrew
  • GMC Canyon Crew Cab

If you are shopping for a used SUV, you may come across these models often:

  • Honda Pilot
  • Buick Enclave
  • Volkswagen Touareg
  • Toyota 4Runner SR5
  • Chevrolet Tahoe
  • Land Rover Range Rover Sport
  • Chevrolet Traverse
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee

Many of these particular trucks and SUV’s have a nice resale value, and so they are often found on the market for used trucks for sale. They are popular makes and models, usually perform well, and if and when repairs are needed they are usually fairly simple and straightforward. During your shopping experience you will probably find many truck and SUV models, these are a few popular models to consider.


Finance and Purchase Options

Once you find a vehicle that you like and fits within your price range, you then have to consider purchase and finance options. If you struggle with bad credit and have had difficulty purchasing a vehicle in the past, there may still be finance options available to you. One option for those with credit difficulties are in-house finance options such as buy here, pay here (BHPH) dealerships. With a small down payment and a buy here, pay here purchase option you are able to secure a loan through the dealership and pay it back with reasonable payments from each paycheck. Other financing options that offer low-interest rates or let you take advantage of dealer offers or incentives can help you save on your used truck purchase.



While you are browsing our used trucks for sale at McCluskey Auto, view our inventory, check out our financing options and get in touch with one of our customer service specialists. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about specific vehicles, financing, and more.  We are committed to providing the very best customer service to our customers and look forward to setting you up with your perfect used truck.