Brand new 4×4 trucks and SUV’s can cost at an upwards of $30k or more, and they can depreciate in value quite quickly. Sometimes the best alternative is to buy a used vehicle to save you money in the long run. However, proper research, inspection and information about the specific vehicle you’re looking at is very important. Use these tips to help you find the perfect used vehicle.
The Search: The first step is to identify what you will be using the vehicle for and what features are important to you. For instance, if towing is important for your needs it’s helpful to look up the towing specs of the vehicle and read reviews on how capable it is. Do you need a shorter wheelbase version for heavy-duty off-road use? Do you want plush interior amenities, or do you prefer the truck to have an interior that can be hosed out after an outing in the mud? All of these are questions you should ask yourself before purchasing any vehicle.
The Examination: Once you find a vehicle that fits your price range and needs, it’s time to thoroughly inspect the vehicle. This is important because it can give you a very good indication as to how hard it was driven off-road (if at all) and if any additional money is needed to fix it up. It’s important to inspect the body for dents or mismatched paint, look at the undercarriage for corrosion, look for any leaky parts, uneven tire wear (this can indicate a vehicle that needs suspension or alignment work), or any other items that indicate wear.
Engine Work: Does the engine or transmission need maintenance? Check under the hood for any cracked belts or tubes, a grimy or dirty engine bay, dirty fluids, or corrosive parts. Check all moving parts to make sure they function properly Any signs of these could mean that the car has been neglected from regular maintenance. Once you have inspected as much by yourself as possible, make sure to the car (if the owner will allow it) to your trusted auto service center or 4 wheel parts shop for a detailed inspection.