There are a number of possible used four-wheel drive sources from which to choose. When hunting for a vehicle, be certain to let each source know that you are also considering the other sources. Some of the sources to consider when buying a used four-wheel drive include:
- The Internet (Investigate if the source is reputable)
- Used truck lots (buyer beware)
- Rental car companies (some rent SUVs and trucks)
- Company vehicles
- New truck dealerships (investigate if the dealer is reputable)
- Private owners
Contacting a used vehicle source by telephone and obtaining specific information can help to reduce unnecessary legwork. The telephone inquiry will enable you to determine if a four-wheel drive is worth your time to inspect. Some questions to ask about a used four-wheel drive include:
- How many miles has the vehicle been driven (the average is about 12,000 to 14,000 miles per year)?
- Is the transmission an automatic or a manual? Does it have a low range? If the transmission is not what you want, there is no need to ask further questions.
- What is the condition of the vehicle's body? Is there any rust?
- Has the vehicle been repainted and if so, why? Avoid repainted four-wheel drives. It is better to see the original paint even if a few small stone chips need to be touched-up.
- Has the vehicle been involved in any accidents? Avoid four-wheel drives that have been involved in accidents.
- When is the next state inspection and emissions standard test due? The four-wheel drive should have a minimum of at least six months remaining until the next required state inspection and emissions test.
- How often were the engine oil and the oil filter changed, and who performed the service? An acceptable answer would be every 3,000 to 3,500 miles.
- Are they the original owner of the vehicle? Original owners tend to take better care of their four-wheel drives.
- What is the reason that the vehicle is being sold? It is worthwhile to look for a situation where an individual is the original owner and he is planning to again buy the same make of four-wheel drive.
- Are parts readily available for the vehicle? Where can parts be obtained? Avoid buying a four-wheel drive if parts are not readily available.
- Has the vehicle had any recent repairs (new
brakes, tires, exhaust, battery) or service
and if so, what garage performed the repairs or
- What price are you asking for the four-wheel drive?
The interior and exterior inspections and the vehicle test-drive are used to verify the information obtained during the telephone inquiry.