Tips for Buying a Used 4x4

Date: 5/5/2016

We all get a little nervous when buying a used vehicle. After all, “used car salesman” basically translates to “scam artist” in the English language. But in all honesty, buying a used 4x4 can be an excellent option depending on your situation. Before jumping headfirst into a business deal, though, consider our tips for making a smart decision:

1. Examine the body work.

Take your time scrutinizing every single inch of the truck to look for scratches, rust or signs of past damages. Rust is one of the biggest problems with used trucks, so be sure to especially check out the door edges and roof. If you notice any raised areas on the roof, chances are good rust is underneath. 

2. Check under the hood (and body), suspension and steering!

The inside of the vehicle is even more important than the outside. The body may look to be in decent shape, but the heart of the vehicle needs to be in good shape for the purchase. Inspect the motor, check for leaks underneath or damage, and even fire it up to see how it runs. It is also a good idea to check all fluid levels and their colors to ensure that they are fresh and properly maintained. If the owner didn’t take the time to change fluids on a regular basis, you can bet that they also didn’t care for it in other ways. 

3. Request to take it on a test drive.

If a dealer has nothing to hide, they should have no problem letting you take their 4x4 for a test drive. Use this time to evaluate how well the engine turns over, see if there are any issues with the steering or pedals, and to make sure all the dials work. There’s nothing worse than getting to mid-July only to find you have no A/C!

4. Ask the seller why he is getting rid of it.

Not all vehicle issues are apparent at first glance, so it can be helpful to assess the integrity of the dealer to get a better idea of the big picture. If you ask why they are selling it and their answer is reasonable and honest, e.g. “I need a car with better gas mileage” or “I just don’t have the room,” consider that a good sign. Watch out for answers that seem evasive or along the lines of “No reason, it’s perfect!” If you don’t trust the dealer’s explanation, that’s not all they are hiding.

5. Negotiate the price.

Last but not least, work on your negotiating game. Avoid sounding too enthused or certain you will make the purchase because this will only hurt you. Name your price below the number they list, and hopefully you are able to meet in the middle.

If you are uncertain about purchasing a used vehicle, Bullhide 4x4 offers a pre-purchase inspection as well as additional inspections to ensure you only buy the best. Give us a call at 970-224-2288 for more details.