Guide to buying a used truck

Buying a used truck can work out much more economical than buying a new one. Be aware, however, that there are some pitfalls which can catch out the unwary. With that in mind, Walker Movements, specialists in Used Fleet Trucks provide their advice and guidance to buying a used truck.

Work out your potential payload

Your payload will determine what kind of truck you need. You can’t go under the minimum specification, but you generally don’t want to go too far over it. Getting a truck which is much more powerful than you need increases both the purchase costs and the running costs.

Make sure you deal with the paperwork

If you’re starting up your own business, then you need to apply for a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) operator’s licence more commonly known as an ‘o’ licence. Even though it’s the 21st century, you still need to have a real-world company base and place an advert in your local paper for 21 days before you apply. You can, however, at least apply for the licence online.

Sort out your finance

You might use dealer finance, but it’s advisable to check what other options are available to you. Sorting out your finance options will also help to determine your budget. Again, just because you can spend the money doesn’t mean that you must. That said, you do have to remember that, in general, you get what you pay for.

Check the vehicle’s paperwork

Before you even bother giving the vehicle a thorough inspection, check that its paperwork is in order. This includes its financial history, the V5 and the warranty. Also, if you already have an o licence check if you need to amend it.

For the V5 pay close attention to the specifications, including the mileage, the MoT dates and any Vehicle Excise Duty left on the truck. Ideally, you have a full vehicle history including service history. For the warranty, make sure that you understand what is and is not included. If there are any red flags at all, then just walk on, it isn’t worth it.

Undertake a thorough visual inspection

On the exterior, have a good look at the general condition and take a close look at the windscreen, windows, and mirrors to see if there are any cracks or chips. Check the tyres and wheel rims for wear/damage and to see if they are standard specifications.

Look at the engine and see if its condition makes sense. If it’s too clean, then the vendor might have tried to remove the evidence of a problem. Touch it and see if there is any warmth. If so, then the vendor might be trying to hide start-up issues.

Look for any evidence of liquid leaks, especially water, coolant, oil, and fuel. Check all seals and connectors.

With the bonnet open, key the ignition. Check all the lights work as they should. Listen to the sounds and check for any signs of smoke from the oil reservoir. If the battery is dead, have the dealer charge it up for you.

If all is good, then check out the interior of the cab for damage.

If you’re still happy then the last, but very important, step is to take it for a test drive and really put it through its paces.

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