Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

2013 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD LTZ Crew Cab Pickup

Considering a Used Truck? You’re Smarter Than You Look


Just kidding. You look plenty intelligent, but now that we have your attention, “Kudos” on your decision to shop used trucks for sale. In doing so, you’ve recognized the value that pre-owned vehicles have within today’s market. Delivering a stronger return on investment than many new offerings, a used vehicle can still provide plenty of assurance of longevity, as long as you perform your due diligence before finalizing your purchase. Some of this will be performed independently, while other parts may be assisted by the reputable dealership you choose to do business with. Either way, let’s look at how your decision to buy a used truck might be the smartest choice you could make.

Whether you’re choosing between the celebrated F-150, the iconic Silverado, the ground-breaking RAM 1500 or any their midsize, or heavy-duty stablemates, each of the ‘Big 3’ have an offering that’s ideal for you. Other worthwhile alternatives can be found in the upstart offerings from Toyota, Nissan, and Honda. Looking back over the last five years, it’s important to recognize the difference between new model year offerings and what you can expect to see in a pre-owned. That said, here’s a quick look at a shootout between Ford, Chevy and RAM offerings for the 2014 model year.

Sure, you might be making some compromises in terms of available technologies, but keep one thing in mind: depreciation. Consider the fact that a three-year-old vehicle will have decreased in value by up to 46%, and up to 63% after five years of ownership. While that depreciation may not be indicative of the best ticket price you’ll be able to negotiate, it gives you a relative idea of the benefits you might enjoy.

By choosing a used vehicle, you’ve (i) allowed the original owner to absorb the lion’s share of depreciation and (ii) empowered yourself to get more truck for your money. This means that you’ll be able to afford a more expensive truck or trim level than you would if bought new. This might help to bridge the gap between your wish list, and what you drive off in.

It also means that you’ll experience a slower rate of depreciation during your ownership of the vehicle, meaning a stronger return on your investment (if the vehicle is well-maintained). Ultimately, time will tell, but at the end of the day, buying pre-owned is simply smart.

Just make sure and perform your due diligence. Research the vehicle, utilizing a vehicle history report, and perform a thorough inspection (with the help of an experienced mechanic if needed). If you take these steps seriously, you might find yourself extremely satisfied with your decision to buy used.