There are plenty of financial gurus out there who will tell you how much better it is to buy used vehicles. New cars cost more to buy, insure, and even register, not to mention their depreciation rate.
However, there is some risk involved in buying a used vehicle, as you never truly know it’s past. However, this just means you need to make sure you do your homework before signing on the dotted line.
Therefore, if you’re looking at buying a used Ford F150, be sure to ask the following questions.
How Well Was It Maintained?
First, depending on the previous owner and where they had the truck serviced, there should be some maintenance records.
Ideally, you should be able to see a laundry list of oil changes, tire rotations, and other routine checks done on the used Ford F150. Routine maintenance is incredibly important when it comes to the performance and longevity of any vehicle.
What’s the Mileage?
Next, when looking at a used Ford F150, check the total mileage on the truck. Regardless of how well maintained the truck is, mileage will be a contributing factor to its value.
Typically, every 30,000-40,000 miles mark a certain turning point in terms of the necessary repairs and maintenances a vehicle requires, beyond the routine stuff. It also marks the age and projected life of the engine.
What’s the Vehicle’s History?
While we’re speaking of the past, you also need to get a vehicle history report on the used Ford F150 you’re looking at. This report will tell you a myriad of things about the truck.
First, it will tell you how many people have owned the truck, including if it was ever used as a rental or leased vehicle. Secondly, it will tell you if it’s ever been in any major accidents or had any major repairs. This includes if it has a salvaged title, in which case, you may want to walk away, as salvaged titles can be difficult to ensure.
Is Anything Wrong With It?
Next, you need to know every major and minor issue with the car to determine if you want to invest in it or not. If you can, take it to a trusted mechanic to look it over for you.
While he or she can handle the complexities of the engine, transmission, etc., you can look at some basics. For example, take a look at the condition of the tires. If they’re worn, you may be able to get new tires from the dealer or get some money off the price.
Is There Any Body Damage?
Additionally, when looking at a used Ford F150, check to see if there’s any body-damage, including rust. While most newer Ford trucks have rust-resistant frames, you should still check the underside for any signs of it.
You can also look to see if there is any collision damage possibly not mentioned in the history report. If there’s any damage to the frame, you’ll definitely want to move on to another vehicle.
How’s the Interior?
Next, take a look at the interior. While a worn interior won’t affect the performance of the truck, it will affect your comfort level. Take a moment to have a thorough look inside the truck to see if it meets your standards, including cloth versus leather material.
Also check for stains, cigarette or other odors, rips, tears, scuffs, etc. You’ll also want to look at the dash, control panel, and entertainment center. Make sure the truck is running so you can see if everything works:
- Heating and A/C
- Radio, CD player, etc.
- Heated/cooled seats
- Seat controls
- All speakers have sound
Check these while the vehicle is on, but parked, to avoid any accidents. All of the driving controls can be checked on the test drive.
Is It a Used Car or CPO?
When buying a used Ford F150, you need to know if you’re buying an as-is used vehicle or a certified pre-owned vehicle.
When buying an as-is used vehicle, it typically doesn’t come with any warranties or special features such as satellite radio or navigation. Therefore, any issues that arise after you make the purchase will be on you and your insurance.
CPOs, on the other hand, are vehicles that have been certified for both their performance and aesthetic condition. These vehicles come with warranties from the certifying entity (typically the manufacturer or the dealership). These can be bumper to bumper warranties, engine performance warranties, and maintenance warranties.
When buying a CPO, you will pay more for the certification and perks, but you’ll also have more security in your investment.
What Will You Use the Truck For?
Determining what you’ll use the used Ford F150 for is paramount before buying. If it’s going to be your everyday car, you’ll want something with good gas mileage. However, if you plan to use it as a work truck, durability and performance may be more important.
Additionally, if you like taking the camper or boat out on the weekends, you’ll need a used Ford F150 capable of hauling some weight.
Can You Afford It?
Before you even start shopping, you should figure out what kind of budget you’re working with. If you plan to trade in your car, figure out what you may get out of it to help you in your calculations.
Mainly, come up with a number amount you can afford to pay for the monthly payments and stick to it unless, of course, you’re buying a car with cash. Don’t allow yourself to be persuaded into buying something that will put a financial strain on you.
Are There Any Lasting or Extended Warranties?
Next, if you’re looking at a relatively new used Ford F150, it may still have some of its factory warranty on it. In this case, know the absolute terms of the warranty and see what’s covered. Additionally, you may be able to look into extended warranties from the manufacturer or the dealer.
How Does It Drive?
Finally, take the truck on a test drive. There’s no point in buying a vehicle if you won’t enjoy driving it. This will also give you time to get to know how the vehicle operates, it’s turning radius, maneuverability, smoothness on the road, how loud it is, etc.
If whoever you’re buying the truck from won’t let you test drive it, it’s usually a red flag. Move on to another seller.
Looking to Buy a Used Ford F150?
There are countless benefits to buying used vehicles over new ones. If you’re looking for a new truck this season, we recommend taking a look at a used Ford F150. After all, they’re the most popular truck in America for a reason!
However, if you looking for any more advice or information about cars or the industry, be sure to check out the rest of our articles before you leave.