We get asked the question all the time: “Should a first -time truck buyer be scared about buying a used truck?” You might be surprised to hear this from a used truck sales company but the answer is “yes”! As with any big decision, discretion and knowledge is the key to minimizing the fear and apprehension associated with buying used or even new equipment.
This is a big decision that affects you, your family, income, lifestyle and future. Everything is wrapped up into this decision. Get the decision right and it can pay off significantly. Get it wrong and the story could be entirely different.
Doing your homework is key to purchasing used equipment. There are several things to take into consideration when buying a used truck. Every reputable dealer will say they went over the truck in detail, and that they’ve thoroughly inspected it. But are they just saying that or do they have proof to back up what they are saying about their units? What steps are they taking to stand behind those units? Is there some initial warranty that comes with the truck? Was the inspection done by a neutral third-party that accurately represents the condition of the truck and removes bias from the inspection process? Or was it inspected by the dealership that is banking on you coming back to them for repairs after the sale?
Test driving a truck you’re considering buying is necessary when you’re going through the process. A fifteen mile trip to get a feel for a potential purchase is great, but the variables change when you put weight behind it. What kind of protection options do you have from a dealership and/or warranty company to ensure that your success will be maintained when something happens? Proper protection with warranties and a dealership’s standard protection plans at the point of purchase are very important factors to consider. You should do your work learning about the dealership, the products they offer and the products they sell. These products are important to success for drivers whether purchasing new or used.
A used truck still has a useful life. It may have dings, dents, scratches and flaws but it still has productive business value. You just should have a healthy amount of fear about any major life decision, including becoming an owner-operator. How you protect yourself with warranties, how diligent you are in learning about the unit you’re investing in and how much consideration you take into who you do business with are things you can do to make sure you’re setting yourself up for success on the road.