April 1, 2015
How to Buy a Used Pickup Truck in Oklahoma City
Buying a used pickup truck in Oklahoma City is a little different from buying other kinds of used cars. Along with the huge variety of trucks on the market, there are also lots of reasons you might need a truck. Some people use them for daily drivers, but others need the versatility that a pickup offers for work or personal projects. The many choices and factors to consider make buying a used pickup truck in Oklahoma somewhat complicated – but by following these simple tips, you’ll find the perfect truck in no time.
Things to Consider When Buying a Used Truck
If you’re shopping for a used pickup truck, you need to think about why you want it and what exactly you’re looking for. There are a huge variety of pickup truck models on the market, from small quarter-ton light trucks to huge diesel-engined behemoths. Finding the right one for your needs takes some time and careful thought.
First, think about what you’ll be using your truck for. Are you planning on towing a trailer or boat? Do you need to carry heavy loads in the bed? Will you frequently be driving with more than one or two passengers? Do you actually require four-wheel drive, or do you just want to have it? Answering questions like these will help you decide on what’s important in your truck when it comes to picking a model.
Second, consider your budget, both in terms of down payments and how much money you can afford to pay per month. If you need a truck for work but you don’t have a huge budget, you can and should consider older models or less feature-rich pickups.
Finally, think about what features or options you want on your truck so you can see if any models for sale include them. For example, many people install bed covers or shells on their pickup trucks to keep their belongings safe from weather and theft (not to mention flying out of the bed while driving). Some people can’t live without GPS navigation, cruise control, or a nice stereo. Many heavy-duty trucks will come with a fifth-wheel hitch in the bed, but if you’re not planning to use it you’re just wasting bed space. Decide in advance what features you need so you can narrow your search.
Choosing Which Used Truck to Buy
Once you have a general idea of what kind of truck to look for, it’s time to start searching. There will be no shortage of used trucks for sale, especially here in Oklahoma City. However, you’ll want to be careful when choosing and be sure to give the truck a thorough inspection before driving it off the lot.
Because of their versatile and work-focused nature, pickup trucks see a lot more abuse than passenger cars, SUVs, and minivans. While you’re at the lot you should be sure to check:
- Dents, Dings, and Scratches: Look closely at all of the body panels to see if there are any marks or dents on the paint, bumpers, and so on. Remember, though, that this is a used truck, not a new one – don’t expect it to be absolutely perfect.
- Panel Fits: Look closely at the gaps between body panels (like where the fenders meet the hood or the front doors). Check if any look too large or small, and see if you can feel any sharp, jagged, or rusty edges. Uneven panel gaps or rough panel edges can be signs of a major repair.
- Engine Condition and Fluids: Pop the hood and check the oil level, coolant, transmission fluid (on an automatic), and the general condition of the engine bay. If anything looks low or uncared for, move on to another truck.
- Wheels, Brakes, and Tires: Look around the wheels and wheel wells for signs of rust or corrosion, and check the tires for proper inflation pressure and tread depth. Also, take a look at the brake rotors behind the wheels to see if they look worn or thin. Any grooves or deep rings in the brake rotors are signs of neglect.
- Truck Bed Condition: Obviously a pickup truck’s bed is meant to be used, and that means there will probably be some scratches or general wear. However, there shouldn’t be any deep or prominent scratches or dents, any holes in the bed, or any damage to the rails or tailgate.
- Interior Condition: Look around the inside to see if the floor carpets, seats, and electronics are in good condition and working order. Again, the older the truck, the more wear you should expect to see.
Another good resource for checking the condition of a used pickup truck is to look at a CarFax vehicle history report. These reports include data about any accidents or major service calls that the truck had at any point in its lifespan, meaning you get lots of great information that can help you decide whether or not it’s a good buy.
Finally, a warranty can be a great way to protect your investment and ensure you get lots of use and value from your used truck. Most used trucks won’t still be covered by their factory warranties, but a lifetime warranty from your dealer is still a possibility – after all, that’s what we do here at The KEY.
If you’re considering buying a used pickup truck in Oklahoma City, make sure you take a close look at your own needs and inspect any truck carefully before you buy it. Follow these tips and you’ll end up with a great used pickup that will last you for years.
Even if you have poor credit, you can find lots of amazing used cars and trucks at The KEY in Oklahoma City! We offer lifetime warranties and free CarFax vehicle history reports on every car or truck we sell, so visit today and get approved in less than two minutes – even if you have bad credit. You can also follow us on Facebook or Google+ for more helpful used car and credit tips!