When it comes to buying a new truck, second hand options can often present much better value for money if you can find a good one. However, this does mean that you need to know what you are looking for and understand how to drive a hard bargain.
Here, Walker Movements takes a look at some of our top tips when it comes to buying a second hand truck.
1. Truck History
Buying a used commercial truck can sometimes seem like a bit of a lottery, as you know nothing about its history, so you will need to do a bit of homework. Find out as much as you can about its mileage, service history, MOT and repair work so you can understand more about how it has been driven and how it has been looked after. This will give you a good indication of how much life it still has in it.
2. Get an Inspection
When buying anything second hand, you should never just take the salesperson’s word for anything, so make sure that you inspect the truck yourself, or get someone you trust to do it for you.
It is important to check for rust, especially in areas like the wheel arches and corners of the windscreen, as well as inspecting the paintwork for signs that it might have been repainted recently and ask yourself why.
Also make sure that you check water levels, oil quality and the running of the engine as well as testing that the brake pads are responsive, there are no leaks, the catwalk is secure and the locking cap on the fuel tank works. It is also important to have a good look around the inside of the cab to make sure that the mattress and seat are in good condition and that the curtains are up.
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3. Set a Budget
You know how much you have to spend, and without a firm budget in mind, it is easy to be pushed into buying something you cannot afford. Start by deciding how much you want to spend, and then make a list of priorities to help you narrow down your search and find a truck that ticks all of your boxes. Don’t forget that any purchase will be subject to VAT.
4. Check the Payload
You will know how you want to use your new truck, so you should be clear on the potential payloads it will have to handle. This will help you work out what axle configuration and specification you need, to make sure you have a truck that can perform the tasks that you need it to.
5. Test Drive
You should always take the truck you are looking at out on a test drive, as this is when you find out things about it that would not be obvious when parked up. If you do not have a HGV licence, bring someone with you who does so that you can check the handling, the way the engine runs and look for any faults on the dashboard.
6. Check Licences
You need to make sure that whoever is intended to drive the truck has the relevant licences in place, as there is no point buying something that no-one is qualified to drive. Make sure that you check what category it falls into and whether you have anyone with the qualifications to drive it.
Second hand trucks can be a great investment, but as they do a lot of miles, they can be subject to a number of problems. It is therefore vital that you pay close attention to every detail to make sure you are buying something that has plenty of life left in it.
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