Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Used Truck, SUV, or Jeep

Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Used Truck, SUV, or Jeep

The used car business is growing fast with more consumers looking to save as much money as possible on their next vehicle. In fact, the used car industry has experienced an annual growth rate of 4.6% over the last five years and shows no signs of slowing down.

But buying a used car requires awareness and some knowledge. You need to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth before you sign on the dotted line. If you’re interested in buying a used truck, SUV, or Jeep to haul a lot of cargo, go off-road, or tow a bunch of heavy equipment. Learn how to find the right off-road truck, SUV, or Jeep for your next adventure.

Consider Your Needs

Before you start shopping and comparing different vehicles, you need to have a keen sense of how you plan on using your new truck, Jeep, or SUV, including where you plan on driving, what the car will be used for, and what kinds of features are most important to you.

If storage is your main concern, a pickup truck with a deep, wide bed will serve you well. With the right fastening tools and equipment, you can even strap larger items to the top of your truck bed.

If you have a large family or regularly give your friends and co-workers a lift and you need lots of room for storage, a used SUV gives you the best of both worlds. You can pull down the seats to make room for cargo and equipment and still have the option to give passengers a lift.

A used Jeep is a great choice if you’re excited to experience the best of nature and the open road. Put the top down and feel the wind on your face.

You should also consider whether you want to lift your Jeep or truck to make room for larger, more aggressive tires.

Compare Prices

Once you have an idea of what kind of truck, SUV, or Jeep you’re looking to buy, it’s time to compare prices. Your local dealership is bound to have plenty of options. You can also talk to the sales rep at the local dealership for more information or to negotiate a lower price.

But don’t forget about the latest used car buying apps like Kelley Blue Book, TrueCar, AutoTrader, and CarMax. You can find hundreds of local used cars from independent and registered sellers. You can even use social media to connect with local sellers in your neighborhood. There are many ways to find and buy a used car, so don’t limit yourself to just one channel.

It’s best to find several used options that you’re interested in buying in case some of them fall through. Another buyer could beat you to the punch or the car might fail to pass inspection once you see it in person. Create a list of your “target” cars and make appointments to see them in person.

Check the Vehicle History Report

Once you start comparing different models in person, be thorough with your inspection and look for anything out of the ordinary. Lift the hood, open the trunk, and, if possible, look at the underbelly of the car to check for damage or have an ASE certified mechanic check out the vehicle. Consult with the vehicle history report for in-depth information about the life of the car and how it’s been handled over the years.

If you’re not too familiar with how cars age or how much you should be spending on a certain make and model based on its driving history, bring along someone who does. Whether it’s a friend or colleague, find someone who can offer a second opinion. It’s important to cover your bases when you’re spending thousands of dollars on a used car or truck.

Don’t Forget to Test Drive

Last, but not least, it’s time to give the car a proper test drive. You should never hand over the money without first driving the car yourself. Turn off the radio and listen for any strange sounds. Make sure all the features and components are working properly. If possible, try driving at night and during the day, on the highway, and in the city. The more experience you have behind the wheel, the more informed your decision will be.

Research and then Find the Best Deal

Buying a used truck, SUV, or Jeep is a great investment for anyone who’s looking to save money on their next car. Use the latest tools to find affordable used cars near you. Doing the right research will help you find the right vehicle for your lifestyle.