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How to Save Money When Buying a Truck

By on June 12, 2019
How to Save Money When Buying a Truck

People are persnickety about cars, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The process of choosing a truck can be great fun, but for many people, it’s nerve-wracking. You want to come away with something you’ll enjoy and get use out of, but you don’t want to overpay.

You may have heard that the days of haggling with car dealers are over. That’s not entirely true, but the way a dealership treats you has changed in the age of the internet and complex financing. Here’s our advice on how to get the deal you want on a truck you’ll love.

Know What You Want

Maybe you’ve read some research on impulse buying. It happens to the best of us, but opting to throw an extra Cliff Bar in your shopping cart and coming home with a truck with color-matched blue wheels are two entirely different things. It’s easy to get carried away when shopping for cars — particularly when you’ve got a fast-talking salesperson making things sound enticing. Don’t put yourself at risk.

Instead, do your research and know what you want to buy, so when you begin pounding the pavement, you’ve got the advantage of knowledge on the salesperson. If you understand what’s available in different trucks and their trims, which ones appeal to you, and what they generally retail for, you’ll be better equipped to strike a favorable deal. For example, does the fact that an earlier year F150 is made of aluminum instead of steel make it worth paying more for that truck than a Silverado?

Pay Cash

This tactic doesn’t work as well as it used to because dealerships want to sell financing now. They’ll give you a lower bottom line if it means they can collect on interest. Ultimately, though, you’re still paying less by closing the deal outright as opposed to paying interest. Cash always has a lower interest than the best financing around. If you’re hyperextending yourself to get into a truck you can’t afford, hit the brakes. Is it really worth the financial hardship? The answer is no.

Check the Private Market

Buying a truck from a private party can involve a little more paperwork, but it can also net you significant savings in price. Removing all the cost that comes with running a dealership means margins can be tighter when transacting between two individuals, and that works in your favor. In the end, the process really isn’t that difficult. You’ll make the seller happy and probably come away with just as good a vehicle.

Choosing a truck is a very personal decision. Import vs. domestic, auto vs. manual, four-wheel vs. two-wheel drive — these are all things you’ll need to decide on. Getting a good deal is just as important, though. The key is to be patient, understand the situation and select the right vehicle. It might not be the sexiest one, but getting the right truck can set you up for long-term enjoyment — and that is truly what you want.

Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington

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