If you’re ready to finally pull the trigger and buy a new truck, it can be difficult to know where to start. On the one hand, buying a new vehicle is always exciting. However, you also need to be conscious of your budget and long-term satisfaction with the vehicle.
Buying a new car is a big investment. Don’t rush your decision and end up making a mistake you’ll regret for years to come. We want to help.
Keep reading for our top tips on how to buy a truck you’ll love now and in the future.
Figure Out Your Finances
One of the most important things to do before making a big investment is to take an objective look at your finances. How much can you afford to make on monthly truck payments?
Your budget needs to include other costs associated with buying a new truck. For example:
- Sales tax
- Auto insurance
- Registration fees
- Fuel costs
- Regular maintenance and repairs
We also recommend getting pre-approved for an auto loan to make sure you’re eligible for the price range you’re shopping under. If your pre-approval comes up short, you may want to spend a few months improving your credit score.
Save for a Down Payment
One of the best ways to get approved for a larger loan with lower interest rates is by putting money down on your new truck. This is one of the most important steps of learning how to buy a truck the right way. The difference of a single percentile on your interest can account for thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
Determine the Type of Truck You Want
When buying a new truck, you also need to take a little time to figure out what types of trucks are best for your lifestyle. For example, if you’re planning on using the truck as your primary means of transportation to and from work in the city, you’ll want something with excellent fuel efficiency.
Alternatively, if you’re planning on using the truck for outdoor recreation activities like hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping, you’ll want something a little more rugged. You will undoubtedly need a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
Finally, consider hauling and towing capacities. Will the truck be towing a camper, boat, or trailer?
Decide What Features Are Important to You
Learning how to buy a truck that’s perfect for you means prioritizing your wants and needs. For example, do you want all the bells and whistles of high-end luxury models? These include things like smart entertainment systems, top-notch speakers, heated and cooled seats, advanced driver features, and more.
These models are more expensive but provide much more comfort, luxury, and convenience.
Do Your Homework
Before buying a new truck, it’s vital to do a little digging. Lookup vehicle ratings and reviews.
Look at professional safety ratings from certified organizations. However, you should also see what other drivers have to say about the vehicle. Find customer reviews and testimonials from people who have the same truck you’re considering buying.
For reference, check out this review on the Chevy Silverado.
Decide if You Want to Buy New or Used
Another important step in the truck buying guide is deciding if you want to buy a new or used pickup. There are pros and cons to both sides of the argument.
Buying a brand new pickup means you’re getting a vehicle with no previous owners. It also comes with manufacturer warranties that will last up to 60,000 miles or five years. However, brand new trucks are much more expensive and can lose as much as 30% of their value in the first year.
Alternatively, buying a used truck most likely means forgoing any warranties. Additionally, you’ll need to make sure you’re buying from a credible seller to avoid buying a truck with pre-existing issues. However, buying used may save you thousands of dollars and grant you access to high-end models you may not have been able to afford new.
Finally, there’s a happy medium between the two options. CPOs are slightly used vehicles that have been refurbished to like-new condition. They’re more expensive than traditional used vehicles but are given new warranties.
Get the Vehicle History Report
Learning how to buy a truck used means getting your hands on the vehicle history report. This is especially important when buying from a private seller. The vehicle history report records vital information about the truck’s past, such as:
- Number of previous owners
- Locations of registration
- Accident/repair history
- Maintenance history
- Factory recalls
- Commercial history (used in a commercial fleet for rent or lease)
Technology has made tracking a vehicle’s history easier than ever. As such, it’s now virtually risk-free to buy a vehicle with s solid history report.
Take the Truck on a Test Drive
Last but not least, when buying a new truck, make sure you test drive it before you make any final decisions. For all you know, you may not even enjoy driving the model you’ve picked out. Make sure the truck feels intuitive, responsive, and easy to handle.
Depending on the type of truck and what you’ll be using it for, you may want one that produces minimal engine noise and road noise. If the vehicle is used, make sure all the instrument panels, driver features, entertainment equipment, and other electronics work properly.
Regardless of the temperature outside, ensure both the heating and the air conditioning work, as well. Have someone stand outside and check the brake lights, headlights, brights, turn signals, etc.
If you feel it necessary, consider taking the truck to a trusted mechanic for a full inspection.
Looking for More Tips on How to Buy a Truck?
We hope our list helps you find the best pickup truck you’ll cherish for years to come. And remember, if you can’t afford the truck you want now, save up for a few months to make your dream a reality. Patience pays off.
And if you’re looking for more tips on how to buy a truck and other auto-related news, be sure to check out some of our other articles before you go. We have an entire section dedicated to the auto industry for people just like you.