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Used Trucks for Sale

Learn where to look to find used trucks for sale.

For many, finding a good deal on a used truck is cause for leaps of joy. [© Jupiter Images, 2009]
© Jupiter Images, 2009
For many, finding a good deal on a used truck is cause for leaps of joy.

The most common places to find used trucks for sale include new and used car dealerships and private sellers. The warranty and certification of pre-owned vehicles is a benefit of using dealerships when shopping for a used truck. Conversely, the ability to negotiate a cheaper price is a benefit of using a private seller, who may just want to get rid of the vehicle. However, truck buyers who want a larger selection can pursue other avenues when shopping.

New and Used Car Dealerships

New car dealerships frequently have a pre-owned vehicle section, while used car dealerships specialize in selling only used cars. Car buyers can spend an entire day visiting a handful of car and truck dealerships, comparing prices and negotiating deals. Though the process may be wearisome, shopping at a dealership gives the buyer the luxury of seeing and test-driving the vehicle before buying.

Many used car dealerships sell what are known as certified pre-owned vehicles. Used trucks with this designation will have low mileage and no history of damage. These vehicles also undergo an inspection and include a warranty. Cars.com makes buyers aware that a certified pre-owned car or truck will have a higher sticker price than a non-certified vehicle.

Another benefit to shopping at a dealership includes being able to take advantage of dealership coupons. Depending on the time of year, dealerships may offer coupons to help get rid of excess inventory. These coupons entail offering a price lower than the listed value.

Private Sellers

In addition to dealerships, private sellers are another avenue through which used trucks can be purchased. Buyers can find private sellers by looking for For Sale signs in truck windows, reading advertisements in the newspaper or asking friends and family if anyone is selling a truck. Edmunds reports that that many buyers find transactions with private sellers more comfortable than dealing with an aggressive salesperson at a dealership.

Truck buyers can find private sellers by researching car selling sites like the AutoTrader, which is also a magazine sold at bookstores and gas stations. Magazines like AutoTrader will list cars sold in a certain area, and the Web site lets buyers search by geographical region to find local sellers of used trucks.

Vehicle Auctions

Government auctions get rid of seized, forfeited and surplus cars and trucks. Buyers can find late model vehicles and newer vehicles in a variety of price ranges. There are many opportunities for buying a vehicle cheaper than the list value. Local police departments will usually advertise upcoming auctions in the newspaper or on the radio. Buyers can also use the services of GovSales to find local government auctions.

According to the U.S. General Services Administration, government auctions have strict guidelines and buyer requirements regarding payment, warranty and bidding. Buyers:

  • Must be 18 years old
  • Must show a social security number or tax identification number
  • May need to sign a bid card immediately after winning a bid
  • May not pay by personal or company check unless the bank drafts a letter guaranteeing payment
  • Should contact the auction house to verify what credit cards the auction house accepts
  • Must not owe the government any debt from a previous government auction purchase
  • Must pay for and remove the vehicle in the specified time frame
  • Will not receive an extended warranty for the vehicle, but simply a warranty that guarantees the vehicle is as described during the auction


Rental Company Sales

Car rental companies often sell off inventory or vehicles the company purchased from customers. Enterprise estimates that in 2003, 1.7 million rental cars were sold in the United States. Enterprise states that a used rental car is a good buy because rental cars receive regular maintenance and care. In addition, rental companies usually sell cars that are only a few years old, meaning a buyer can get a newer model truck for a low price.

While rental agencies have similar policies when it comes to selling rental cars, it's a good idea for a buyer to get warranty information from each rental company before making a purchase. Other advantages to buying from a rental agency are that many will take trade-ins of older vehicles and offer financing options. Some rental companies may even incorporate the savings they get from volume pricing into the price of the truck.

Car Show Sales

Custom car shows have a huge following, and many of the shows are perfect venues for sellers to find buyers. If a buyer wants a truck with air bags, a custom paint job, custom tires and wheels, or a truck with hydraulics, checking out a custom car show is a great idea. Many custom trucking magazines have websites that list upcoming shows, and most of the sites have a classified ad section, too. A site like mautofied lists custom show trucks for sale, including price, specifics and location. A benefit of this site is that many truck owners are willing to consider a comparable trade in lieu of payment for the truck. Street Source Magazine provides a list of truck shows and includes a classified ad section. Sellers will sometimes list if they will have a truck for sale at a particular show.

Online Truck Sales

Online truck sales include those brokered completely online, as well as those begun online and finished in person. Sites like ebay Motors and Craigslist offer buyers and sellers the opportunity to connect and begin a transaction online. Using these sites also allows buyers to peruse truck ads from all over the country.

Craigslist ads are from private sellers, so the buyer must be in or near the location of the seller. These ads are not verified by a third source, so buyers must use caution when making an agreement with the seller. Craigslist advises buyers to deal locally and never wire any money to a seller. Ebay is a more secure online shopping site, with buyers eligible for buyer protection of up to $50,000 on eligible vehicles. Buyers and sellers can begin and complete transactions online, and some sellers even offer shipping services.

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