Buying a used truck can be an important investment and should not be taken lightly. To avoid unpleasant surprises, make sure you choose the right model for your needs and requirements. Then, it will be necessary to carry out some checks before the purchase to protect yourself from scams or possible complications. We give you the keys to buy a used truck with peace of mind.
Define your needs and budget
First, it is important to determine the model you are looking for. Depending on the routes the truck will take or the type of goods it will transport, the different models or types of existing vehicles may be more or less adapted to your needs.
You must also define your budget carefully before you start looking for an offer. Estimating the price of a truck is quite difficult because its bodywork can be worth up to twice its price.
Checks to be carried out
Once the model has been chosen, the first step is to check its Argus rating, which ensures that the selling price of the offer you are interested in is fair.
But price is not the only factor to consider. It is essential to carry out a few checks to avoid scams and unpleasant surprises.
Find out about the vehicle’s history
You will need to ask your seller a few questions because even if the advertisement summarizes in detail the characteristics of the vehicle, you don’t know what type of activity it was used for.
For example, it should be noted that the number of kilometres recorded on the truck’s meter at the time of sale does not necessarily define its wear and tear status. A truck that has essentially been driving on the highway for years may be in better condition than a newer truck that regularly travels to construction sites.
That is why it is important to ask the seller what its usefulness has been in the past.
Examine the truck to check its condition
First of all, make sure that the roadworthiness test of the used truck is blank, or at least that it does not entail the obligation of a counter-visit which could cost you additional fees. If the roadworthiness test is valid, there are still some checks to be made yourself to be sure that you do not encounter any problems later:
- Hydraulics: Check the steering gear for oil leaks.
- Suspensions: Check that the air cylinders are CE approved (durable for fifteen years) and their date of manufacture. Also check the straps that hold the bottles for corrosion.
- Tyres: Truck tires can be resized three times, check their wear and tear.
- Chassis: Check for corrosion.
- Head gasket: Start the vehicle and let the engine run for 5 to 10 minutes for the calorstat to open and the fan to start.
Test drive on the road
Once the first checks have been made, there are still a few steps to ensure that the vehicle you are looking for is in good condition. The best way is to drive or ride with the current owner to test the truck on the road.
- Clutch: Inspect for any clattering or difficulty when engaging or disengaging. Also test the clutch disc when stationary by shifting to third gear and releasing the clutch (if the truck is stalled, the disc is in good condition).
- Braking: 4 or 5 steps are sufficient when applying the hand brake. Also check the truck’s road brakes by piloting and checking its trajectory.
- Direction: When releasing the steering wheel, it should not vibrate and the truck should not deviate from its trajectory.
The parts to be provided by the seller
If you have passed all the previous steps without any problems, the truck you are looking for is in good condition. There is only one last step left before becoming the proud owner. Indeed, the seller must provide certain documents:
- The vehicle registration document: the seller must cross it out with two diagonal lines, write the words “sold on… date and time” and sign it.
- Certificate of sale/transfer: this document, drawn up in duplicate for each of the two parties, indicates the change of ownership.
- The no pledge certificate: this certificate proves that the vehicle is not the subject of a pledge or opposition registration.
- The roadworthiness test report: as mentioned above, the roadworthiness test report informs you about the condition of the vehicle.
- The maintenance logbook: it allows you to trace the history of all the interventions carried out on the vehicle.
You can now purchase your used truck with peace of mind, without fear of a potential unpleasant surprise.