Whether buying a used vehicle from a website like AA Cars or from a complete stranger, there are always things you should check before completing the purchase. This is especially true of pickup trucks, which are likely to have done a lot of hard labour on top of normal driving. Here are some simple checks when buying one.

Everything Works

Perhaps one of the most obvious steps to take, but you should be meticulous in your inspections of the pickup as well as testing it out. Be sure to see how responsive the brakes are, as all pickups need strong brakes due to the extra weight they will be carrying.

Look out for the general wear and tear that the vehicle has been subject to, bearing in mind that many pickups have been driven off road and could have scratches/damage underneath.  You will only have to pay more for repairs in the future if you do not properly check the truck, so put it at the top of your priorities.


Since you will probably be using your pickup for general towing purposes, it’s probably a good idea to check how much towing the truck has actually done in its lifetime. Look closely at the tow hitch to get a good understanding of the condition it is in, and be sure to check if the license plate to see if it is at all bent (which would signify a lot of use).

This is especially important if you will mainly be using the truck for towing, as you need to be sure that the truck will be capable of effectively fulfilling its intended use.

Longevity/Shelf Life

This is more of a general consideration, but try to ascertain how long the pickup will last. Each truck will have towed trailers of different weights and sizes, which will have a bearing on how long it will last.

The mileage is another major indicator of the pickup’s overall shelf life, so it might be worth researching how many miles the average model does in its lifetime. If you feel it is necessary, get a mechanic to inspect the truck before you buy it.

Owing to their strong and robust nature, the majority of pickup trucks will probably serve you well. Do all the necessary checks and ensure you know how much use you want out of the truck, and always test it out first.

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