Used Truck Value Research Tips

February 24, 2012

If accuracy matters, used truck value assessment is simple but not easy. It takes a Blue Book, a vehicle history report, and some dealership legwork.

Used Truck Value

The definition of a fair used truck value depends on the state of the auto market and, on a broader scale, the state of the economy at the time the used truck is being purchased. In times when the auto market is flourishing, a fairly valued used truck may be priced higher (sometimes considerably higher) than during times when the auto market is floundering. The auto market, as well as the economy in general, operates very cyclically. Some years the market is high, while in other years the market is low. Generally speaking, as the auto market goes, so goes what buyers consider to be fair prices.

There are many steps buyers can take to guard themselves against unfair used truck pricing. These steps are the same regardless of whether the auto market is in a good period or a challenging one. To confidently shop for and purchase a used truck at a fair price, buyers should consider the following:

Identify the type of truck you want
One of the first things buyers should do when shopping for a used truck is to determine the make and model of truck they want. By knowing what they want, buyers can visit various dealerships without getting talked into buying a truck they haven't considered or didn't really want.

Determine the Actual Value of the Truck
Before researching the prices that dealerships are offering a particular truck for, it is important to know how the truck is actually valued. Kelly Blue Book is a reliable source for locating used vehicle values, and it gives buyers an idea of how a used truck should be priced.

Price Shop the Truck at Different Dealerships
With the wide accessibility of the internet, used truck price comparison shopping can be done from the comfort of a buyer's own home. Knowing how the competition has priced a similar truck can give the buyer incredible leverage when negotiating with a dealer. To further increase the odds of getting a fair price, buyers should expand their search to neighboring cities 50 or 100 miles away from their home.

Research Acceptable Alternatives
In addition to determining the ideal make and model of truck, buyers should identify alternative makes and models they would be willing to purchase. Having options helps a buyer to make a purchase decision based more on fact and less on emotion.

Get a Vehicle History Report

Once a specific used truck has been identified, buyers should get the vehicle history report. This report will detail whether the truck has been in any accidents, and should also list much of the repair work completed on the truck. A vehicle's history report can be located on the AutoCheck website.

Be Willing to Walk Away

If a dealer is unwilling or unable to meet either your target price or the competition's price on a similar used truck, leave the deal on the table. Buyers who are able to walk away from a deal are more likely to secure a fair price and not overpay as compared to buyers driven by emotion.

By following the steps outlined above, buyers should be able to better identify a fairly priced used truck whether the auto market is experiencing a sales rush or a sales slowdown.