A Newbie’s Guide To Buying A Used Truck: What You Need To Know

We’ve all looked at a beautiful truck with jealousy at some point in our lives. The power and weight of a large machine feels magnificent when you let her rip. The trailer is the perfect place for lounging passengers on a country road. They feel solid and dependable off road and make a decent everyday car too. If you’re looking for a change, then you could do worse than picking up a truck.

For space and carrying power alone, they are worth the price. That trailer offers the potential for transporting just about anything you need. Their power and weight makes them great for towing as well. A good truck is a workhorse, yet they look great and work around town too. The popularity of trucks has given rise to hundreds of models and ranges. Picking a truck isn’t the easy task it once was. There are a variety of options coming to the market in 2015 alone. Here is everything you need to know about the trucks on the market.


Traditionally, trucks rarely varied in size. Nowadays, the choice is huge. First of all, there’s the choice between a ‘full-size’ truck and a ‘compact’. You don’t need me to spell out the difference here. The compact is more suited to everyday driving. It can be used as a family car for those who love the shape and power, but need something practical. The full size truck is a larger vehicle, more suited to the off road and farm work it was designed for.

Within those two categories, the number of doors varies. The ‘regular’ models have just two doors. They typically have three seats up front or a bench. Next up, you have the ‘extended cab’. This has a small back seat area with half doors that open backwards. Great for an extra bit of storage room, or squeezing in an extra passenger or two. Finally, there’s the ‘crew cab’. This has a full four doors and proper back seats. These are the choice for families or larger crews of workers.

Fuel economy

You don’t typically buy a truck for its fuel economy. However, with today’s tight budgets and environmental consciousness, it’s worth considering. Trucks aren’t well known for their fuel economy. Their V8 and V10 engines and heavy weight mean they don’t return a great mileage. The full size models often come with a diesel engine that can be more efficient.


The range of trucks now on offer means the price varies wildly. You can pick up a used truck in St. Louis from $10,000 and you’ll pay anything up to $100,000 for the top range. You’ll need to narrow down your field before you look at pricing.


Many people pick up a truck for the safety features. Their large size and heavy weight does give them an advantage in an accident situation. A four wheel drive truck and any vehicle with traction control will also provide safety. The front cabins are as well equipped as all modern cars. However, be wary of passenger and back seat safety features.

That should give you a little background on trucks. Choose the best vehicle for your lifestyle and then take it out on the road for the test drive. You’ll know instantly whether a truck is right for you when you get behind the wheel.

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Auto Upkeep 4th Edition

Michael Gray

Mike has roots in the automotive service industry. He began diagnosing and fixing cars at a young age in his family’s service station. He has worked in automotive parts supply stores, towing companies, and service facilities. After graduating from St. Cloud State University (MN) with a Bachelor’s degree, he implemented and taught a basic car care program at the high school level. During work on his Master’s degree at Illinois State University (IL), he was a curriculum specialist on a National Science Foundation project where he co-authored ten integrated mathematics, science, and technology books designed for team teaching. Mike has also supervised teachers in Career and Technology Education as a school system administrator.

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