Buying a Pre-Owned F-150
Ford F-150s are extremely popular vehicles – and with good reason. Since their introduction into the Ford Family in the mid-1970s, the Ford F-150 has undergone multiple facelifts, engine re-designs, and interior upgrades to better cater to the people who use it the most. These changes have been to the benefit of Ford as well as its customers. Since the F-150 graced the buyer’s market, it has remained America’s best-selling truck for all those years, and for thirty-six of those years, it has been America’s best selling vehicle outright.
With the popularity surrounding the Ford F-150, you’re bound to find a used or pre-owned F-150 on almost any platform you search. After all, Ford has sold over 26 million F-series trucks since the mid-1970s, and not everyone has held onto their initial purchase. For every vehicle you buy, even one as trustworthy and reliable as the Ford F-150, you should have a different purchase plan.
Here’s Zeck Auto’s essential guide to buying a pre-owned Ford F-150.
1) Determine Your Budget.
Budgetary considerations are a must for any car purchase, but they are particularly crucial for Ford F-150s because there are so many iterations to choose from. With many options available there is more room for affordability. Some of the newer versions of the truck cost well into the $50,000 range and come with several bells and whistles. However, if $50,000 is out of the budget, there are many suitable and safe used F-150s.
So, before you do any research on the type of F-150 you want, you should work out how much you will be able to afford per month when it comes to payments. These budgetary considerations should include monthly car payments, insurance premiums, estimated maintenance per month, gas mileage and how far you will need to drive in this vehicle, and lastly, what type of down payment you will be able to afford.
2) Research the Different Generations
There are thirteen different Ford F-150 generations you can choose from, and all of them have slightly different features that make them unique. On top of that, there are exclusive trim options within each generation, like the 2014 Tremor trim, the King Ranch Trim, or the mid-nineties Eddie Bauer Trim. You can’t get these unique trims in every generation, so if they are something you are excited about, then you will need to hunt down that particular generation.
3) Pick The Right Seller
Not all pre-owned and used sellers are alike, although you are likely to find a pre-owned Ford F-150 on just about every different used seller platform. Once you have a good idea about your budget and what types of F-150s you’d like to buy, you should look for a seller with the following traits:
- The seller is open to telling you everything about the car, including fixes it has had and/or any issues it might still have.
- The seller has put a reasonable price on the car up-front.
- The seller is willing to let you get a second opinion on the car’s mechanical status, or they have a detailed recent inspection certificate/receipt.
- If you need to take out financing, they are willing to work with your budget.
Not all pre-owned dealerships or private sellers offer these things. Therefore, if you run into someone who does not fit within these parameters and they are deal breakers for you, you should find somewhere else to purchase your car. Zeck Auto’s many locations only sell vehicles that have gone through a rigorous, multi-point inspection. Additionally, we offer in-house financing to all our customers.
4) Take Different F-150s For A Spin
Even if you’re positive that you want a particular Ford F-150 generation, year, or other detail, you should always test drive other cars. The reason? You can’t solely tell what you’ll like from a description on the internet. For this reason, we recommend purchasing from a certified pre-owned dealership like Zeck Auto. This way, you’ll be able to browse a selection of new and pre-owned F-150s, and you’ll have more options that fit within your budget and your interests.
5) Ask About The Vehicle History
If the car looks good, sounds good when you drive it, and feels like a good purchase overall, that’s great! However, you still have a little bit of extra homework to do to ensure that you are getting the best price on the car.
Always ask about the vehicle history, especially if you’re buying from a private seller. Good private sellers will often keep a record of maintenance on the car, and they will be able to tell you about any significant repairs it has gone through. If they are not the first owners of the vehicle, you can also look up a vehicle’s history on Carfax for issues like accident history, title history, and repair shops. At Zeck Auto, we are transparent about the cars we sell. You will always get a full account of each vehicle.
6) Get A Second Opinion, Or Make Sure It Has Been Inspected
Finally, before you make any deal, you should always get a second opinion. The seller’s advice is always biased, even if they mean well and want to do right by the person they’re selling it to. Your opinion will be biased, as well. You want the sale to work out, so sometimes, your brain naturally helps you overlook issues. Getting a second opinion is a great way to ensure that your bias stays out of the mechanics of the car. That way, you’ll know you’re making a sound decision.
An alternative to taking a car to a second opinion is to check the dealership’s inspection requirements or process. Zeck Auto requires pre-owned vehicles to go through a 120-point inspection before being sold. We are happy to walk our customers through that inspection process to show them exactly what we take care of on the car before we sell it to you.