What if it was easier than ever to get your dream truck?

Buying a new truck can often be stressful, and it’s tough to find the vehicle that’s just right for you. But with the right tips and tricks, buying a truck becomes downright easy.

Wondering what the best tips are? Keep reading to discover all the answers!

1. Budget Accordingly

Is this your first time buying a truck? If so, the first tip is simple: you need to create a realistic budget.

Trucks are more expensive than cars. In fact, large trucks are often more than twice as expensive as a midsize car, and that makes a big difference in your monthly payments!

Long story short? Make sure you have your funding in place and are comfortable with the high price tags before you start shopping.

2. Make a Checklist

There will be many different trucks for you to choose from. One good way to approach the purchase is to make a checklist of things you want.

This list might include mileage for used vehicles, price range, extra features you want, and so on. Make sure the checklist includes all the things you consider “must-haves.”

You can then weed out all the trucks that don’t meet the criteria. And if you’re still figuring out what you really want from a truck, it’s time to find out more.

3. Consider the Cab

Different trucks have different cab sizes. The kind of cab you need depends on what you are wanting to do with the truck.

For example, extended cabs give you more versatility for transporting both people and goods. And crew cabs gives those in the back more room, which is important for driving friends and family around.

Of course, the bigger the cab, the bigger the price. Keep this in mind when shopping!

4. Diesel vs. Gas

Should you get a diesel truck or a gas truck? This is a matter of opinion, but you should know that diesel trucks involve a lot of maintenance.

That becomes doubly true if you are considering a used diesel truck. You’ll want to inspect things like the coolant reservoir for oil in the coolant and the injectors for leaks.

This tells you about the condition of the vehicle while also letting you know if the truck has had extensive repairs. And that may be another sign that you will be spending a lot of time and money on the upkeep of this vehicle.

5. Tow the Line

Earlier, we talked about why you should know how many people you will be driving around. It is also important for you to know how much (if anything) you will want to be towing with your truck.

For example, light-duty trucks may be cheaper and have better fuel economy (more on this later). But they won’t be able to tow much, and you may miss out on being able to do so.

Medium- and heavy-duty trucks can tow more weight, but some people have trouble driving (and parking) trucks that are so big. You want to find a sweet spot between a truck that is easy to drive and that can tow everything you need it to tow.

6. Get the History

Buying a used vehicle? Before you snag the truck, be sure to get as much of the truck’s history as you can get. This includes things like oil records, maintenance records, and accident records. On a positive note, you’ll also want to know about any upgrades it has had.

All of this helps you know whether a truck is going to be more trouble than it’s worth. And it can also help you gauge whether the truck is worth what the seller is asking for.

Think of it this way: for the kind of money you are spending, there’s no such thing as too much info!

7. Vehicle Access

So far, we have focused on things like truck specs and truck history. Here is a more basic concern: can people easily get in and out of your truck?

People who are used to driving cars often have trouble getting into a truck. This is especially true for a four-wheel-drive truck–your friends may end up needing a boost just to get inside!

To make everyone’s life easier, the truck should have running boards to help people get in and out of the vehicle. It’s not a dealbreaker if the truck you want doesn’t already have these because you can add them later.

8. Take the Test

Sometimes, there is an overlap between buying a car and buying a truck. As an example, you’ll definitely want to take the vehicle for a test drive!

We recommend driving the truck for at least 30 minutes before you make a decision. This can help you learn several things about the ride.

You’ll want to make sure the brakes are strong and that nothing feels “off” with the steering wheel. You’ll also want to ensure everything is smooth as you shift gears and that the truck doesn’t wander left or right as you drive.

If you feel comfortable during the test, you’ll feel comfortable as an owner.

9. Fuel Economy

Trucks often have a reputation for being gas guzzlers. However, some trucks have better fuel economy than others, and this can save you a lot of money over the lifetime of the vehicle.

In some cases, you can get up to 21 or 22 MPG for a truck. And while this is still a worse economy than many cars, it’s far better than the trucks of yesteryear.

When shopping, the stickers will give you an idea about the MPG. Keep in mind that different axle ratios and towing capacities may ultimately lower the effective MPG.

Buying a Truck: The Bottom Line

Now you have the hottest tips for buying a truck. But do you know where you’ll be driving your sweet new ride?

We bring readers awesome news and tips each and every week. To start planning your next truck destination, check out our guide to the best attractions in the United States!