What To Look For When Buying A Used Truck

By: San Antonio Used Cars   |   13 Apr 2023
dirty ford truck with Texas license plate

Pickup trucks come in all shapes and sizes, each further made unique with different mechanical designs and features in their engineering. Essentially, that means there is a type of truck for every kind of driver! So when it comes time to purchase your next used truck,  the main question becomes: what do you need your truck to do?

While it can be easy to get caught up in bells and whistles, focusing on what you'll be using your pickup truck for is the best place to start. Let's take a look at a few different scenarios and which trucks best fit within them:

  1. If you plan on using your truck for work that involves heavy equipment, you’ll likely want to take payload and towing capacity into account. Full-size models with more powerful engines can handle additional weight being loaded on. If your job calls for lots of gear, more towing ability should be your first priority.
  2. Those who want to head off the beaten path for camping and hiking trips should search for a model with 4-wheel drive, and likely, adequate towing capacity for ATVs, bikes, boats, and RVs. A truck with a dynamic drivetrain will have more traction and smoother performance when traveling over dirt, mud, rocks, and other uneven terrains.
  3. If you make frequent trips to dense downtown areas, the size of your truck is another factor in what model works for you. For example, compact and midsize trucks are more nimble and better at navigating tight spaces, making them a smart choice for your trips into the city.

Go Ahead And Meet Some Trucks

Learning about a truck’s capability in advance is the first step in your quest. Once you've narrowed down a few options that will suit your needs, the next step is to meet some vehicles: aka, book some test drives!

Here are some things to check out during your test drive:

  • Does the cab feel large enough for you and any potential passengers to be comfortable in?

  • Do the different systems and features, such as air conditioning, work as intended?

  • Does the truck perform smoothly (acceleration, braking, and other functions)?

  • Is the truck a good fit for your everyday plans?

  • Can your kids, dog, parents, spouse, etc. get in and out of the truck easily?

  • Is there enough storage space inside for your needs?

By giving a used truck a test drive, you get to learn how it will perform for you in the years and miles ahead. That gives you a good sense of whether it’s the right truck for you.

Making The Final Decision

Finally choosing your truck can be a challenge. What if you like several of the trucks you took for a test drive? What if your needs are relatively flexible? When everything lines up on paper, sometimes it helps to think with your heart.

  • Did any of the trucks you looked at feel "more like home" than the others?

  • Is there a brand, colour, or design feature you're more attracted to?

  • Do any of the trucks come with additional modern features that make one stand out above the others?

  • Go with your gut: which truck do you visualize yourself driving?

San Antonio Used Takes The Guesswork Out Of Buying Pre-Owned

You might notice we didn't mention things like vehicle history, price, or dependability. That's because when you shop with Cavender Auto and San Antonio Used Cars, we take pride in making sure all of our used vehicles pass our rigorous standards for quality, value, and affordability. We want you to truly enjoy the experience of buying a new-to-you truck (or any vehicle model you're looking for) without getting caught up in worries and details. So sit back and leave the tough stuff to us: no matter which used truck you choose, you can count on quality!

If you're ready to get started with your truck-buying journey, we'd love to help. With hundreds of used trucks for sale, San Antonio Used has the right vehicle for every type of driver!


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