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Top Tips for Buying Second Hand Trucks

Nobody wants to be dissatisfied after making a purchase, especially when you’re buying something as large and expensive as a truck! Avoid this feeling by reading our guide for the top tips for buying a second hand truck, where we’ll run through things you must consider upon your purchase of a second hand truck and ensure you get the right truck!

Set your budget

Set your budget and try not to budge. The last thing you want to do is buy a second-hand truck that you can’t afford, so ensuring that you have a budget set for yourself is crucial. With the size of the truck market being so inclusive, you need to know where to start so by setting a budget you’re instantly segmenting the market to your needs. However, you must consider the requirements you expect from your chosen vehicle.

What are your vehicle requirements?

After your budget is set, you need to think about what you require from your second-hand truck, for example what would be the potential weight of your payload, are you trained correctly to drive this truck? These are things you need to consider so you purchase the correct second-hand truck, so inspecting factors such as the gross vehicle weight is very important.

To find out more about vehicles weight allowances, click here.

Truck History and Inspection

Upon purchasing a second hand truck, having a budget and knowing your limits are crucial, but you need to ensure that the truck will be able to live up to your expectations. Due to the fact that it is an industry standard for fleet managers to keep the vehicle history, it is essential that an inspection is completed on the vehicle to identify any potential repairs that could be required.

Furthermore, this will give you a good indication of what you might need to do to the truck in the near future, or features that have previously been modified by past drivers, so this is crucial. Buying a second-hand truck is a big investment, so don’t be afraid to ask any questions that may get you the answers you need!

Inspect the truck. See what you think, a physical viewing is the best way to get a closer look at the vehicle and this could improve your perception of the vehicle, or not. There are things buyers sometimes miss upon inspection, so if you’re not the most technical person when it comes to used trucks, bring someone along, a second pair of eyes is always helpful. Keep in mind that this is a big investment, so checking absolutely everything about the vehicle is not a silly thing to do.

What to Look for When Inspecting a Used Truck

Now that we’ve established the importance of inspecting the truck that you’re looking to buy, lets cover some of the things you’ll want to keep an eye out for while doing so.

  • Physical Damage – Check the vehicle for physical damage such as rust and damage to the paintwork. Also consider checking the tyres and wheel rims for wear ensuring the tread depth is within the legal limit. If you’re buying privately, check whether the engine is warm or not as this could be an indicator that the seller is trying to hide start-up issues.
  • Check the Interior – Make sure you check the interior for any damage as well! As a driver, you’ll be spending most of your time in the cabin so making sure that it is up to your standards will be a good use of your time.
  • Research the Engine – One benefit to buying a used truck is that you can research the type of engine that is installed more easily. Researching the engine that is installed in your prospective buy can help you identify any common problems that they can have so that you can keep an eye out for the key symptoms once you get it out on the road.
  • Check the Battery – Ask questions about the battery so that you can make sure that it holding a charge as it should and that it won’t need to be replace in the near future.
  • Check for Leaks – Check for oil, fuel, and fluid leaks. These repairs can be quite costly to finding a used truck that avoids these issues can save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run.

Take it for a drive

After inspecting the vehicle and ensuring it meets your expectations, take it for a spin. Before you buy, you’ll want to make sure that truck drives well and that you get a feel for it on the road. Make sure all of the lights have gone out on the vehicle before you set off as they can indicate an issue with the vehicle.

Check your licence

Making sure you’re qualified to drive the truck you want is really a basic requirement. You don’t want to buy a truck that you can’t drive. A category C licence is the minimum need for someone who wants to operate a heavy-duty commercial vehicle. This allows you to operate rigid vehicles above 3.5 tonnes with a trailer up to 750 kilogrammes, as opposed to category C+E, the highest LGV licence, which allows you to drive articulated vehicles over 3.5 tonnes with a trailer over 750 kilogrammes. So make you sure you have the correct requirements to drive the truck before buying.

Consider potential alternatives

Some second-hand trucks in the UK are very hard to get your hands on, so make sure that you’ve got an alternative lined up if things don’t go to plan. However, this could come at a higher expense due to potential for extra work being required to meet the needs you require from the second-hand truck, so make sure you bare this in mind.

How are you going to finance the vehicle?

Possibly the trickiest decision you’ll make (that isn’t deciding on which truck you’re going to buy) is how you’re going to finance the vehicle. Although the monthly charges are higher in contrast, loan packages can significantly lower the upfront cost of buying a used HGV. Financing may enable you to purchase trucks that were initially out of your price range and may make it much easier for you to buy the exact truck you need.

Do your research

We heavily recommend that you conduct as much research as possible. Ensure you’re buying from a recommended seller and they’re not overcharging for the truck, so look at similar trucks in the market and compare their price. They might even be able to price match if you find one that is cheaper.

Don’t just research the seller, research the product. How has it performed previously for other drivers; would they recommend that vehicle? You may see certain trends appear for a certain vehicle, which can be extremely helpful when comparing alternatives.

And finally, take your time when making your decision. Make sure you get the right vehicle for you and your business. With the vast majority of trucks being fairly reliable, it is the small differences that make an impact on their performance. Although, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look out for bumps in the road along your journey.

Start your vehicle search today!

Here are Walker Movements, we have a wide range of used HGVs and commercial vehicles for sale; including tractor units, rigids, trailers, and more. All of our vehicles are from trusted manufacturers such as DAF, Mercedes, Volvo, MAN, and Scania.

We also have financing options available on all of our vehicles. Contact us today to discuss your requirements further.

Uploaded: 20 April 2023
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