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Buying a Pickup Truck at Auction – What to Look For

A lot of people are interested in auto auctions, however a lot of people don’t know what to look for when buying a pickup truck at auction.  The biggest reason that a person will hesitate when thinking about going to an auto auction is that they have no idea how to tell the diamonds from the junk.  Every truck is not created equal, especially when they are used.  Fortunately, there are a few key indicators that you can pay special attention to in order to find the best trucks on the auction block.  Here is a quick look at a few tips to keep in mind.

The most important thing to remember is to ignore the cosmetics.  The biggest mistake that you can make is to judge every truck by how it looks.  There are two sides to this.  First, you need to ignore certain types of cosmetic damage because they are not a reflection on how well the truck runs and how reliable it will be.  Imperfections like a broken mirror or dings in a fender should not be blown out of proportion.  On the other hand, there are cosmetic changes that can be done to make a truck look more reliable than it actually is.  For example, things like new tires and fresh wax can make a truck look good, but it doesn’t reflect how well it will run.  When buying a pickup truck at auction, the cosmetics can be the single largest variable that can throw you off.

If you are having problems deciding what to look for, the easiest starting point is the VIN number.  When buying a pickup truck at auction, the VIN number of the vehicle will be readily available.  Take advantage of this information and use it to gather additional background information.  Most importantly look for accidents and issues that can signal long term problems that you will have to deal with like fire or flood damage.  Also note whether or not the vehicle has ever had a salvage title.  If it has then major damage, which can be hard to see like a bent frame, could be an issue.

When buying a pickup truck at auction it is also helpful to look for some of the basics that many people don’t consider.  For an average truck-buyer, you want to make sure that the keys are included as well as a clean title.  While you can always have a new set of keys made, you will have to tow the truck out of the lot initially.  For most people, that simply isn’t an option.  Making a title clean is possible, it just takes some additional effort on your part.  Save yourself the trouble and make sure that all of these things are included in the first place.

When it comes to deciding what to look for when buying a pickup truck at auction, everyone has their own secret recipe for success.  If you are not familiar with truck auctions or have little experience with them, then there are a few simple tips that will instantly boost your odds of landing a great deal.  Make sure that the cosmetics don’t mislead you; use the VIN number to do additional research into the history of the truck; and make sure the basics are included like a clean title and at least one set of keys.

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