Truck Buying Checklist: How to Prepare for the Truck Buying Process

make sure you have a truck buying checklist

Everything You Need While You’re Preparing For Buying a Truck

Are you finally thinking about buying a truck? Congratulations! Here at Northwest Motorsport, we are in full support of your decision. We live, breathe, and sleep trucks! But if you’ve never bought a truck before or it’s been awhile, you might be asking: “What do I need before I buy my new truck?”

Trust us, you’re not the only one. If you go into a dealership without knowing what you need to start the buying process, you are only going to waste your time. That’s why we put together this truck buying checklist with everything you need to know for buying a used truck.

truck buying checklist

Truck Buying Checklist: Before You Get to the Dealership

For folks who want to be the most prepared, you have to start your checklist before you even get to the dealership. So what exactly should you prepare before you drive onto the lot?

Know What Kind of Truck You Need

There are a lot of different types of pickup trucks out there. There are just as many reasons people use their trucks. If you need a truck with a big towing capacity, you’re going to want something heavy-duty. 

Make sure you know exactly what you need your truck for and that will help you determine what type of truck you should be looking at.

know what kind of truck you need

Have 3 Models/Years You’re Willing to Look At 

Sometimes you find the exact truck you’ve been looking for. Maybe you’ve been looking at our online inventory and found a pickup truck that’s just calling your name. But sometimes what you think a truck will be is a lot different than the one you see when you’re actually on the lot.

Don’t let the idea of “the perfect truck” keep you from getting a really good truck! Keep some different makes and models in mind. That way, if the Ford you were hoping for doesn’t quite meet your needs, you have a backup that you already know a thing or two about. 

If you only consider one make and model of truck, you will be blind to some other great pickups that might actually fit your wants and needs better.

understand your budget and price range

Understand Your Budget and Price Range 

This is another thing that could seriously cloud your judgment. You find the perfect truck, the right year, the right color, the right trim. But when you see the price tag maybe it’s 3 or 4 thousand more than you were expecting. 

Maybe you think you can swing it, but is it worth risking your finances? If you don’t know exactly what you can afford, you can’t really know what you’re looking for. Make yourself a strict budget to abide by so you don’t get stuck with a truck you can’t pay for.

Check Your Credit 

One of the best ways to figure out exactly what your price range looks like is to get a credit check. Your credit score will directly influence the types of interest rates and monthly payments you’ll be making through financing options. 

Northwest Motorsport can even help you with our expert financial team. You can even start the process from the comfort of your own home!

truck buying checklist

Truck Buying Checklist: On the Lot

Okay so you know what you’re looking for and you know what you can afford. Now you’ve made your way over to the dealership and you’re finally looking at some trucks. What do you need to be ready for?

Ask about previous owners!

 The first rule you need to follow when buying a pre-owned pickup truck is that you should never make a purchase if you don’t know the vehicle’s history. When you buy a truck from Northwest Motorsport we will gladly provide you with the vehicle’s CarFax report. This will give you valuable information on what’s been worked on recently, what might need work next, and of course any accidents the vehicle may have been in.

Take it for a test drive!

Let’s say you find the truck you were looking for, and it’s in your price range. You’re good to go, right? No way! Don’t ever be sold on a vehicle without going for a test drive first.

Take it out for a test drive and pay close attention to how it runs. Do you hear any knocks or thuds when starting it up? How are the brakes and the shocks? How smooth is the transmission? These are things a dealer can tell you, but you won’t really know until you give it a proper drive.

make a list of models and years you like when you're making your truck buying checklist

Make A List of Models and Years You Like 

Whenever you come across a truck that you like the look, feel, and history of, make note of it! Having this quick list of vehicles to come back to will help save you time and money by making sure you don’t lose all that valuable research. 

Be Prepared to Walk Away Without a Truck

Once you’ve found a truck with good fuel economy and everything else you want, you might be ready to sign the paperwork. But even the best trucks aren’t perfect. Take some time to really think over your options, especially if you’ve found a few really good ones. There’s no harm in leaving and taking some time to think about the trucks you saw and comparing them with what you want. 

Maybe you’ll come back the next day and buy the truck you knew you wanted yesterday, or maybe you’ll end up finding something even better! There’s no time limit on getting a great truck when you shop with Northwest Motorsport because great trucks are the only kind we have in stock

let Northwest Motorsport Help You Prepare for the Truck Buying Process

How Can Northwest Motorsport Help You Prepare for the Truck Buying Process?

One of the best decisions you can make when buying a used pickup truck in Washington is buying one from Northwest Motorsport. We’ve got options for every taste and style, not to mention we can help you with financing. When you buy a truck from Northwest Motorsport, you’re buying from a trusted source. So why not turn to the name that thousands in Washington and abroad have turned to? 
Prepare yourself and come on down to one of our 13 locations today!