Purchasing a used truck can save you thousands of dollars over the cost of a new one; however, you need to always be aware of various truck scams that are practiced by unscrupulous used car dealers. You should also be aware of common truck repair scams that can easily cost you hundreds of dollars in needless repairs. Here is a list of some of the most common used truck scams.
Trucks are made for work, and as a result usually have a lot of miles put on them. Although most used car dealers are ethical and honest, some still resort to the age old scam and trick of tampering with the odometer to make a truck more attractive to potential buyers. Always request a vehicle history report for any used truck you are thinking of purchasing as it well help you avoid this scam 99% of the time. You can use online websites like Carfax.com to check the status of a vehicle title and also get a full vehicle history report on the vehicle. The site does require you pay a small fee for the report; however, the money you save in the long run will be well worth the price paid.
Canceled or Fake Extended Warranties
Be wary of extended warranties offered by a used car dealerships from small warranty companies that you have never heard of. Sometimes, the dealer will sell you the warranty, cancel it and pocket the refund. In some cases, the warranty company does not even exist. To avoid the scam, research the warranty company before buying the used truck. If you do purchase a warranty, make sure that you receive a copy of the warranty contract and contact information for the company. A week or two after your purchase call the warranty company and make sure the warranty is still in effect and has not been cancelled.
Untruthful about History of the Truck
Some unscrupulous used car dealers or private party sellers may try to sell you a used truck with a questionable title or a vehicle that has been totaled by an insurance company. Always ask the seller about the status of a title before buying. If they dealer or seller tells you the title is lost, make sure to check with the DMV in your state to make sure the vehicle has a clean title and is not considered a rebuilt or salvage vehicle. Sometimes, purchasing a rebuilt or salvage vehicle is a good idea—but only if you can get the truck for about half the price of a similar truck that has a clean title.
Transmission Repair Scams
If your used truck ever displays symptoms of transmission problems, make sure that you get two or three repair estimates from reputable transmission shops in your area. Many dishonest shops will tell you that your used truck needs to have a transmission overhaul or rebuild when all it really needs is a minor repair such as a vacuum seal replaced or even only more transmission fluid. You may wind up paying more than $1000 for a repair that should cost between $10 and $100.