If you are in the market for used trucks, you will have to begin with one fundamental choice: buy from a dealer or from an individual seller? I hope to help you understand some basic strengths and weaknesses of each route. No matter which route you take, you also need to know the real market value of your prospective truck, not just the price given to you buy any salesman.
A couple of significant advantages to buying jacked up trucks from a dealer include the way you are protected from odometer fraud and how your automobile investment will be protected by lemon laws. Odometer fraud laws protect you from unscrupulous sellers who change the odometer to make you think you’re buying a truck with fewer miles on it. Lemon laws give you an opportunity to return the vehicle and get your money back if, within the first couple weeks of purchase, you discover that the vehicle has serious problems.
The lack of a lemon law for private, individual sales is one major reason you have to be so thorough in your used truck evaluation. Once you commit to buying it and you give the seller your hard earned cash, that truck is yours. No lemon law lets you return it a week later should you discover some expensive repair issue.
While buying your truck from an individual seller might not provide as secure and polished of an experience as buying your truck from a dealer, there are advantages if you know what you’re doing. Often times, problems with used vehicles are hidden when sold by a dealer. They make the dashboard nice and shiny and they steam clean the engine. This hides all the quirks and idiosyncrasies inevitable with any used vehicle. When you visit with private sellers, you are usually able to get a more complete and realistic picture of the jacked up trucks for sale.
One thing you absolutely must do is obtain the Kelly Blue Book estimated value of your targeted truck before you even start evaluating it. You must start with an accurate market value before you add or deduct things depending on your personal inspection of the jacked up truck.
Always obtain the CarFax data of any vehicle you are seriously considering before you commit to purchasing it. The CarFax will reveal all manner of historical data that could affect the truck’s future maintenance and reliability. You will also immediately know if a salesman is trying to do something sketchy like sell you a truck that has been salvaged.