If you are in the market for a used pickup truck, chances are you don’t want a lemon. You want something reliable and with little wear and tear for a good price. Most auto manufacturers have trucks in their lineups these days, and the purchasing options can seem endless. But an option that most people don’t consider is buying a used work truck.
Many commercially owned fleet vehicles are bought new and then driven for three to six years before being resold. Before you consider this type of purchase, you should first consider what exactly you’re looking for in a vehicle. A few helpful questions to ask yourself up front include the following.
- What will the truck be primarily used for?
- How many miles per year do you anticipate putting on it?
- Will you ever need towing capabilities?
- How much maintenance can you afford?
These are just a few questions that should point you in the right direction, but they definitely need to be answered before you set out to find some used trucks you want to consider. If you’re going to go for the used work trucks or a fleet truck, keep in mind that these will be a little different from a passenger-grade pickup. Work vehicles are considered heavy-duty vehicles, with large, powerful engines and extended or crew cabs. The good thing about a fleet or commercial vehicle is that they’ve often been very well maintained. Companies don’t want to endanger employees with a vehicle that doesn’t have sound mechanics. If you’re just looking for a truck to move your neighbors every so often or to haul the family around, then this might not be your best option.
However, if you plan to use this vehicle for your own line of work, it should be the best deal you can find. When you begin checking out your options, keep in mind that a work vehicle has been through a harder life than a family sedan. If you own a small landscaping business, for instance, you may need a smaller bed with smaller payload capability and a two-person cab. But if you haul concrete or other heavy building materials, you will definitely need to look for a more powerful option. When you find the vehicles you’d like to choose from, consider that some may have incurred scratches and dents, but if the engine is sound and the mechanics are working well, you’ll get a better price on it than if it were shiny and new.
As with all used trucks or cars, it’s important to do all your research first, have a budget and stick to it, and anticipate what the primary use for the truck will be. You’re sure to get a better deal if you know what you want, haggle a little for it, and are sure that you know exactly what you are driving off the lot.