Guide to buying a used truck

Before making any purchase, you’ll want to ensure you’re buying a quality product from a reputable vendor. If it’s a piece of equipment like a truck, that’s been used before and has had previous owners, there are a number of considerations to take into account.

First steps

It’s always advisable to know what you’re looking for before you buy, especially when buying a used truck. Do some research, decide on your needs and budget, find out what the best trucks to buy used are, and which to avoid. Do some investigating to find out whether the dealer is reputable and the price is reasonable. Phone around, or check CAP. You might need an Operator’s Licence, and need to figure out options for financing and insurance.

Once you’ve found a potential vehicle, and before you part with cash, you can carry out a few basic checks to help you avoid buying a dud.

Questions to ask

  • Check there is a V5 document and ensure specification, mileage and description matches.
  • Check MOT dates.
  • Service history: what work has been done and what has and hasn’t been replaced? Look at the oil change records – have they been performed consistently throughout the truck’s lifetime?
  • Engine model: find out if this particular model has a history of problems.

What to look for

You will also need to perform a number of physical checks when buying a used truck:

  • Check the truck over for physical damage or any red flags: look at paintwork for rust or repairs, check windscreen and mirrors, tyres and wheel rims, tread depth, water and header tank. Check the engine: do the components and injectors look too clean? (If so, it might be because oil residue has been removed.) Is the engine warm, because the vendor is hiding start-up problems? Look for oil leaks and check the sump, battery and fuel tanks.
  • Check the interior for damage to the dashboard and seats.
  • Start the ignition and run the engine. Listen for odd noises. Check the lights.
  • And if you’re satisfied with all this, ask if you can take it for a test drive.

A trustworthy and reputable dealer will be honest and able to advise. Ask them questions and build up a good working relationship with them. It’s in their interest for future sales and word-of-mouth connections.

Having been trading for over 60 years, we have many happy customers who bought a second-hand truck from us. Why not head over to our ‘Used Trucks for Sale’ page and browse our latest stock?