What to Look for When Buying a Used Truck

silver truck driving by

Looking to buy a used truck?

Whether this is the first time you’ve shopped for a used truck — or just the first time you’ve shopped for one online — it’s worth setting the groundwork before you start browsing.

Read on to get our tips for buying a used truck, including all of the things you need to consider when deciding which used pickup is the best fit for you.

Reasons to Buy A Used Truck VS A New Truck

There are lots of reasons to buy a used truck rather than a new one. And no, it’s not just about the money.


OK, money is still a pretty good reason to buy a used truck. The price of new trucks has skyrocketed in the past few years and a used truck is always less expensive than a brand new one.
the word price highlighted in pink

Additional features

Because used trucks are more affordable, your budget will go further. This means you may find a used truck with great additional features that you wouldn’t be able to afford if you bought new.

Better investment

A new truck tends to depreciate in value rapidly for the first few years. But when buying a used truck, that downward curve just isn’t as steep. This means that if you decide to sell your well-maintained, used truck at a later date, you’ll get a better return on your investment.
jar of coins labeled investment


You can’t beat quality craftsmanship. And some older pickups are actually made with better, more durable materials. Think steel instead of aluminum.

This means that some used trucks may actually be made better than the newer models.

Things to Consider When Buying A Used Truck

So we’ve covered all of the reasons why used trucks are well worth your consideration. But what’s the best way to buy a used truck?

To ensure you’re getting something that meets your budget and your requirements, you should nail down exactly what kind of used pickup truck you’re looking for before you start your search. 

To do that, consider all of the following points.


Budget will always be important when buying a used pickup. When figuring out your budget, factor in all truck ownership costs. This includes:
  • The sale price
  • The cost of any repairs or maintenance the truck may need today
  • Truck insurance costs
  • Extended warranty costs
  • Loan terms
  • the word budget next to a light bulb
    Here at Motobyo, we make it easy for you to calculate all truck ownership costs before you contact a seller or place a bid.
    four different kinds of trucks on a beach


    Some pickups age better than others. So do a little research on the make and model you’re considering to find out how long they’re likely to run without needing significant repairs. Then you can figure out whether the age and mileage of a vehicle make it a sound investment.

    Fuel Economy

    Fuel economy is another big consideration when buying used trucks.

    A quick Google search will throw up the original EPA fuel economy estimates for any make and model on your shortlist.
    Just bear in mind that fuel economy decreases over time so a used truck is unlikely to still meet top EPA performance.

    The type of pickup truck you need

    Pickup trucks come in all shapes and sizes.

    There are light-duty, medium-duty, heavy-duty, two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive, luxury, half-ton, three-quarter-ton, one-ton, and compact pickup trucks to choose from.

    tail gates of several different trucks
    Before you go used truck shopping, have a clear idea of what you 100% need your truck to do and what features are simply nice-to-have.


    What are you planning to use your truck for? And where will you be driving it?

    Smaller trucks are easier to drive around urban areas. And they’re easier to park in standard parking lot spaces.

    But larger trucks have better horsepower, and the ability to haul or tow bigger weights.


    When buying a truck, you need to consider length as well as size. You’ll find trucks in both short- and long-bed configurations.

    Short-bed trucks (with a bed between 5 and 6.5 feet long) are easier to maneuver.

    But long-bed trucks (with a bed of up to 8 feet long) are great for longer loads, like lumber or large furniture.


    The next thing to consider when buying a used truck is how many passengers you plan to carry around in your pickup. When shopping for a used truck, you’ll find three common cab types:
    • A standard cab – with two doors and two seats
    • An extended cab – with two doors and four seats (the front seats slide forward to give you access to the rear seats)
    • A crew cab – with four doors and seating for three passengers in the rear bank of seats (the most comfortable way to transport more than two passengers).

    Towing capacity

    If you’re looking to buy a used pickup, then chances are you’re also interested in hauling or towing loads on a regular basis. 

    So you need to be confident that your chosen used truck is capable of doing what you have in mind.

    black truck towing a white boat up a hill

    An average light-duty truck has a towing capacity of around 12,000 lb. In contrast, the average heavy-duty pickup could tow up to 20,000 lb. But you should research the payload and towing capabilities of a particular make and model before you commit to buying it.

    Also remember that towing and hauling capacity is based upon the total weight transported — which means you have to factor in the weight of the driver and any passengers, not just the load in the back.

    The Best Way to Buy A Used Truck: Online VS in Person

    Buying a truck in person means you get to see it, inspect it and test drive it yourself.

    The downside? Shopping in person means limiting your search to your local area. This means many excellent used trucks don’t even make it to your short list.

    When you shop for a used truck online you get your pick of trucks from across the country. Shop with Motobyo, and you get a host of other benefits too:


    There are so many options when you choose to buy a used pickup online.
    Ready to find a used truck that ticks all the boxes? Visit the Motobyo auction page to find your own perfect pickup.